Evening 12-month program begins January 2014; open house Nov. 2
York, PA. To meet the increasing popularity and demand for massage therapists both locally and nationally, HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, will launch its 12-month massage therapy program in January 2014 at its York Campus at 2010 Pennsylvania Ave.
The public and prospective students are invited to an open house event on Nov. 2, 2013, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Leader Building, Room 119. Park and enter at the back of the building. A formal presentation is scheduled for 10 a.m. with a question-and-answer session before and after. Those interested can also call (717) 221-1386 for more information. The registration deadline for the session beginning in January is Dec. 15, 2013.
The HACC-York Campus classes will be held Monday through Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. as well as six weekends throughout the year. Upon graduation, students receive a certificate of completion.
Pennsylvania recently passed legislation that requires a state-issued license in order to practice massage therapy. HACC's program exceeds Pennsylvania requirements and is a school member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) and the curriculum has been approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Upon completion, HACC graduates are eligible to take the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM) and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).
Graduates of the program are also eligible to receive up to 30 college credits from HACC toward an associate degree in health science.
HACC's program focuses on the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of massage therapy and offers specific courses on anatomy and physiology as well the training needed to perform Swedish massage, sports massage, reflexology, connective tissue therapy, neuromuscular therapy, chair massage, spa treatments, aromatherapy and integration and assessment. Additional courses focus on ethics, professional communication, personal awareness and best business practices. Students entering the program rotate through courses on the same schedule and graduate together. Students log at least five hours per week in studio and, upon completion, have conducted at least 50 supervised massages in the campus clinic.
Massage therapy is a growing field-more than doubling from about 150,000 therapists nationwide in 2000 to more than 300,000 massage therapists in 2010. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry cites the median income for massage therapists in Pennsylvania at $44,500.
Massage therapists use touch to manipulate the soft tissues of the body-skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments-in settings as varied as hospitals, medical offices, fitness centers, spas, nursing homes, shopping malls, cruise ships and rehab facilities.
Kara Sylte graduated from HACC's massage therapy program in May 2013 and loved the fact that Nina Kottcamp, who leads the program, interviews each candidate personally prior to admission. Sylte said it prevented any future surprises and gave students a much better feel for exactly what to expect. Classes are small, participants work closely together throughout and they learn a wide range of massage therapy techniques. "HACC is also more of an allied health school, which is what I wanted, too."
HACC first launched its massage therapy curriculum in 2007 on the Harrisburg Campus. In the six years since, the program has outgrown its current space. Accredited by the Commission on Higher Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, HACC's massage therapy program in York will make it easier for those interested in the profession to take classes convenient to home and to finish quickly. The program also features a hands-on massage studio that is open to the public, one-on-one counseling and mentoring for students, and higher-than-average job placement rates. Instructors are all trained professionals and have extensive industry experience.
"The field of massage therapy is one that's growing and becoming more mainstream in health care settings," said Nina Kottcamp, program coordinator. "A massage therapist is really a caregiver at heart. The perfect student would be those interested in healthcare, sports and providing a service-helping others to feel better."
HACC's massage therapy program in Harrisburg enjoys a partnership with the City Islanders professional soccer team, offers free massages to families at the Ronald McDonald House and can be seen throughout the year at local community events such as the Hershey Chocolate Fest and the Harrisburg Marathon. A HACC contingency also went to Thailand in May for a 10-day continuing education course where they partnered with the International Training Massage School for a hands-on curriculum that incorporates Thai massage. Another trip is planned for 2014.
In York, students will participate in the city's Halloween parade on Oct. 27, 2013, along with HACC's hawk mascot. They created a float with banners announcing the program at HACC's York Campus and will demonstrate massage techniques using the HACC hawk as a model.