How to Begin a Massage School in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the requirements for massage therapy practice and education are overseen by the Connecticut Department of Health.  If your school is located in Connecticut, your graduates will be eligible for licensure in Connecticut only if the school provides a minimum of 500 hours of instruction and has a school code in good standing with the NCBMTB.

In addition, you must have your school accredited by an agency approved by the US Department of Education, a state board of post-secondary technical trade and business schools, or by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA).

Since most accreditation agencies require the school to be in operation for at least two years, it is most probable that you would need to be approved by the state board of post-secondary technical trade and business schools, in addition to having an NCBMTB school code.  In Connecticut, you would have to get a Post-secondary Career School Authorization from the Office of Higher Education.

Connecticut Post-secondary Career School Authorization

You need to begin the authorization application process 120 or more before you plan to open your school.  For the application, you need to provide a financial statement/forecast; a $40,000 irrevocable letter of credit issued by a Connecticut bank; a non-refundable $2,000 application fee; and the information required on the application form, as well as any other information requested.

The application, a 59-page document, requires to you provide information such as school owners; business type (proprietorship, corporation, etc.); any additional facilities beyond the main campus; and a certificate of insurance that includes liability, property damage, and worker’s compensation if applicable.  In addition, you must provide a fire marshal inspection and zoning officer approval.

Each owner and school director must send in a Disclosure of Criminal Record form and a Revocation History that reveals any school certificate that has been revoked or privilege to operate a school has been canceled in Connecticut or any other state.  You must submit a campus roster, listing every employee that has contact with the students.  The school director must provide information regarding his or her qualifications, education and experience.  You must provide a form indicating that the campus director’s qualifications meet state code.

You must provide a form for each instructor that provides information on their qualifications and experience.  You must also provide a form for each person who will be a recruiter for the school indicating that they are familiar with the school’s curriculum and mission and will not misrepresent the school when recruiting.

In addition to information on the school’s facilities and employees, you will need to provide information on the programs and courses you plan to offer, including the length of the program and tuition to be charged, days your classes will meet, and a breakdown of how the time will be spent (lecture, labs, clinicals, etc.). You will be asked to list all library materials available to students, including the copyright dates and editors.  In addition, you will have to attach

  • All the student forms to be used at the school, such as applications, enrollment contracts, attendance forms, and transcript forms.
  • A copy of your catalog and show that it meets Connecticut’s requirements.
  • A list of fees, if any, that your school will charge for services to third parties, such as charging for massage services from an employee or a student.
  • Proposed advertisements for your school.
  • An affidavit of non-discrimination.
  • An affidavit of requirements for school closure.
  • A designation of an agent of service and a keeper of records.
  • Information on how you will maintain student records.

Following receipt of the documents, representatives of the Office of Higher Education will conduct an on-site evaluation of your facility, and submit their findings and recommendations.  Once you have corrected any deficiencies they found, a letter of authorization will be provided.  You will then have to apply for renewal of your author every year for the next 3 years, after which longer renewal periods may apply.

National Certification Board for Massage Therapy and Bodywork (NCBMTB)

The NCBMTB will provide a school code to massage therapy schools that meet its minimum requirements for massage schools.  This includes a 500-hour or more curriculum with at least 125 hours of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology; 200 hours of in-class, supervised instruction in assessment, theory, and application; 40 hours of pathology; 10 hours of business and ethics (at least 6 must be in ethics; and 125 hours in related subjects that will complete your massage therapy education.

Assuming you are a new school and have not become accredited, you will be required to provide information in addition to the application.  This includes proof of your business license, proof of school ownership, a list of your instructors with their resumes and qualifications, a copy of the credentials for the licensed massage therapists working at your school, your school’s attendance policy, your school’s course description and catalog, your syllabus outline for each course, a copy a sample transcript, and a breakdown of your instruction hours.

NCBMTB school codes are needed for your graduates to be able to obtain certification from NCBMTB.  There is no cost to the school for obtaining a code.  You will have to renew your school’s code every 2-5 years.

Summary

To open a new massage therapy school in the State of Connecticut, you need to have authorization to operate from the Connecticut Office of Higher Education.  In addition, your curriculum must meet the standards of NCBMTB and you must have a school code from NCBMTB in order for your graduates to be eligible for licensure in the state.

Your application for authorization should be submitted a minimum of 120 days before you plan to open your school, and will require a significant amount of information regarding your school’s facilities, employees, and curriculum. You will also have to obtain insurance for the school as well as have a $40,000 irrevocable letter of credit from a Connecticut bank.  The application itself costs about $2,000.  Your authorization must be renewed annually for the first three years, after which renewals may be longer (up to 5 years).

Links

http://www.ctohe.org/POSA/Schools.shtml

http://www.ctohe.org/POSA/App/CompleteApplication.pdf

NCBTMB School Information

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

Posted in Massage Therapy Schools

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