School Operations Resources

Schools dedicate large sums of money, time, and effort to improve student achievement while running a successful business. This section provides information to support strategic decision-making and resources that offer new ideas or solutions.

> Recruiting Students
> Admissions and Enrollment
> Financial Aid
> Curriculum
> Graduate Placement
> Accreditation
> Strategic Planning
> Preventing Sexual Harassment
> Massage Profession Surveys

Recruiting Students

Prospective massage students range from high school graduates considering massage as a first career, to corporate professionals seeking a career change, to retired people looking for rewarding part time work. Many prospective students are unclear about how classes are conducted in a massage training program and the many ways massage therapists can use their credentials when they graduate. ABMP developed two tools that work together to support your efforts to recruit potential students.

Your Massage & Bodywork Career Brochure

Your Massage & Bodywork CareerThis award-winning 24-page brochure is designed as a fun, informative introduction to the field, with short articles written in light, straightforward language for easy reading. The guide covers the benefits of massage and a massage career, different approaches to massage and bodywork, various careers in the massage profession, financial expectations, education requirements, legal regulations, and the unique educational environment found at massage schools. Schools can affix their contact details to the guide and use it in a number of settings:
  • As a resource for prospective leads;
  • At a prospective student's enrollment visit;
  • At career fairs, health fairs, or open house events; and
  • On display in the school's reception area.
Contact your liason to order Your Massage & Bodywork Career brochures.

Your Massage & Bodywork Career PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint sampleThe PowerPoint presentation, created to complement the career guide, follows the same format as the guide for school representatives who want to use the presentation in their school's admissions process. The presentation might also play in the reception area on a screen, be shown at a job fair, used as part of an open house event, or shown at a high school recruiting event. Some schools bring the presentation into the classroom and use it for beginning business classes or as a first lecture in orientation to provide new students with a clear framework for understanding the massage profession and basic requirement of massage education and credentialing. Schools can make the presentation specific to their program by adding or deleting slides and customizing text in specific boxes.

ABMP Member Schools have access to a full copy of the Your Massage & Bodywork Career PowerPoint presentation. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access the presentation. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP School Membership.

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Admissions and Enrollment

In addition to providing Your Massage & Bodywork Career, ABMP can help you find prospective students through our public education website,
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Financial Aid

Financial AidWe know it's difficult for some massage and bodywork students to afford school tuition. Often, schools will provide a financing alternative that allows students to make monthly tuition payments to the school. Sometimes, this leaves the student with a large monthly payment he or she is unable to meet. Listed below are organizations that help students and prospective students find information about financial aid and scholarships. These programs allow students to repay their loans over a longer period of time and make financing their school education much more manageable and attractive. Contact the institutions below to set up the programs and make them available to your students.

Compare Student Loans

Deborah John & Associates Financial Aid Servicing (DJA)
DJA provides financial aid servicing and consulting to Title IV institutions.
108 West Main
Mulvane, KS 67110
Phone: 800-242-0977
Fax: 316-777-1703

E Student Loan
This service compares a range of alternative loans (nonfederal loans) through a search engine that matches the student's needs with a short list of available and appropriate loans.
P.O. Box 6191
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-6191
Phone: 800-788-3368

This is a search site that matches the information you enter in your user profile to scholarship, college, job, and internship opportunities. You may use the information that FastWeb provides to apply for scholarships, discover prospective colleges, explore internship possibilities, or learn about part-time jobs in your area.

A comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice, and tools. Access is free for all users and there is no charge to log in.
P.O. Box 2056
Cranberry Township, PA 16066-1056
Phone: 724-538-4500
Fax: 724-538-4502

Next Student
NextStudent offers a comprehensive portfolio of products, including-cost federal student loans and private loan products, for undergraduate and graduate students and parents. NextStudent also offers federal and private consolidation loan programs, and college savings plans. Next Student offers free one-on-one counseling with personally assigned Education Finance Advisors.
19601 N Black Canyon Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Phone: 800-658-6801

Sallie Mae
The company primarily provides federal and private student loans, including consolidation loans, for undergraduate and graduate students and their parents. In addition, Sallie Mae offers comprehensive information and resources to assist students, parents and guidance professionals with the financial aid process.
P.O. Box 9500
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9500
Phone: 888-272-5543
Fax: 800-848-1949 is a loan comparison website that provides students with a simple and effective way of searching for rates on school loans from the most trusted names in educational lending.
P.O. Box 590034
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33359-0034
Phone: 954-731-9522 offers information regarding credit cards for high school and college students and consumers, along with information about credit management skills.
West Coast
322 Culver Blvd, #211
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
East Coast
6755 South Tropical Trail
Merritt Island, FL 32952
No Coast
2406 Echo Valley
Stow, OH 44224
Phone: 800-649-8802

The Education Resource Institute (TERI)
TERI is a non-profit organization with two primary programs: the TERI guaranteed private education loan programs and the college access programs.
P.O. Box 848108
Boston, MA 02284-8108
Phone: 800-255-8374
Fax: 888-329-8374

United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education "distributes financial aid to eligible applicants throughout the nation for elementary, secondary, and college education; for the education of individuals with disabilities and those who are illiterate, disadvantaged, or gifted; and for the education of immigrants, American Indians, and people with limited English proficiency."
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
Phone: 800-872-5327


American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The AAUW Educational Foundation funds educational and professional opportunities for women, in the United States and abroad, opening opportunities for women to access educational opportunities through the fellowships, grants, and special awards made possible through the contributions of AAUW members.
1111 Sixteenth St NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 800-326-2289
Fax: 202-872-1425

American Educational Guidance Center
The American Educational Guidance Center provides contact information—including phone numbers and e-mail addresses—for more than 1,000 colleges and universities, including admissions offices and scholarship and financial aid contacts. It also offers information on community colleges, historically African-American colleges, graduate schools, the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and more.

College Connection
College Connection, "founded by a group of parents who went through the college financial aid process with their children and saw a need to improve the process," posts scholarship information and offers a customized scholarship search service. Their services draw from databases including scholarships and grants offered by corporations, non-profit agencies, and associations.
1508 Seton Villa Lane
Wilmington, DE 19809
Phone: 302-765-3880

Jeanette Rankin Foundation
This non-profit organization offers scholarships for low-income women—with financial and/or other hardships or disabilities—ages 35 and older.
PO Box 6653
Athens, GA 30604-6653
Phone: 706-208-1211
Fax: 706-548-0202

MANA, A National Latina Organization
This non-profit's mission is "to empower Latinas through leadership development, community service, and advocacy. MANA fulfills its mission through programs designed to develop the leadership skills of Latinas, promote community service by Latinas, and provide Latinas with advocacy opportunities. Support for these programs is derived from members, corporations, foundations, and government grants."
1146 19th St NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-833-0060
Fax: 202-496-0588
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CurriculumIn education, curriculum is defined as a program of study, the individual courses that make up that program, the separate classes that make up the courses, the learning objectives of each class that define key learning outcomes, and the assessment methods the school will use to evaluate a student's ability to meet learning objectives. The term core curriculum usually indicates a program of study made up of courses that are mandatory for all participants to meet educational requirements to receive a specific title or credentials. Continuing education is a program of study undertaken after completion of a core curriculum that leads to advanced understanding and skill.

This section provides information to support basic curriculum design at massage schools and provides a model of a pre-massage student development program created by ABMP to promote student success.

> Overview of Common Topics for a 500-Hour Core Curriculum
> Current Trends in Massage Education
> The Student Success Curriculum
> Textbook Adoption

Overview of Common Topics for a 500-Hours Core Curriculum

While school programs vary in length from 150-2000 hours, 500 hours has emerged as the most prevalent program length as defined by state licensure requirements. The components of a 500-hour program vary depending on the priorities and goals of the schools, or requirements of the board of massage or department of education in the individual state. The topics included here represent common areas for focus in 500-hour programs. It should be understood that the topics are not presented in a particular order and that a school can sequence subjects to meet its philosophy and to best achieve learning objectives. The percentages provided indicate the importance of topics based on the findings of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) Job Task Analysis of 2007. These percentages also represent the degree of regularity that questions on these topics will appear on the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).

A detailed outline of the following curriculum is available for ABMP Member Schools. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access the comprehensive curriculum outline. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP School Membership.

Common Topics

1. Anatomy & Physiology (14%)

2. Kinesiology (11%)

3. Massage History and Development (5%)

4. Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Populations (13%)

5. Benefits and Effects of Massage (17%)

6. Ethics, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations (13%)

7. Client Assessment and Treatment Planning (17%)

8. Guidelines for Professional Practice (10%)

9. Student Clinic

Trends in Massage Education

A number of trends are emerging as massage programs evolve to meet the needs of today's students, to better prepare students for the challenges of a career in massage, and to improve the quality of practitioners. These trends include:

1. Pre-massage school preparation. Massage schools are recognizing that some students lack the basic skills they need to reach their academic and professional goals. Like colleges across the country, many massage schools are requiring students to take a pre-massage school workshop on study skills, goal setting, time-management, understanding diversity, practicing sensitivity and tolerance for classmates, learning styles, and test-taking skills. Schools offer these topics in stand-alone workshops or as part of orientation. Such programs have been shown at the first year college level to decrease student attrition and improve overall grade point average. View ABMP's Student Success Curriculum for a comprehensive model of a pre-massage school preparation program.

2. Greater emphasis on soft-skills. The ability to relate with clients through written and verbal communication is an important aspect of building meaningful therapeutic relationships. Massage schools find that today's student benefits from activities that build emotional intelligence, interpersonal communication, sensitivity, adaptability, critical thinking, and documentation.

3. Movement toward evidence-based massage. Massage is increasingly accepted by both the public and the health care profession as a viable form of complementary and alternative medicine. Part of this acceptance comes through the recognition of provable measurable effects of massage demonstrated by recent research. Schools are placing greater emphasis on teaching students how to evaluate information pertinent to massage, such as research findings related to specific pathologies and client populations. For more information on building research literacy in students visit

4. Some massage topics are taught online. Increased access to the Internet has prompted a move of some massage program topics (i.e., aspects of ethics, law, and business) into an online learning environment. Online learning offers some key benefits to students, such as the ability to work at a comfortable pace and ease of scheduling. Challenges arise when access to the Internet or self-motivation is low. Most massage professionals agree that the dynamic interaction that takes place in a live classroom is an important element of the learning process. It is likely that online offerings will increase but that hands-on skills will still be taught predominantly in a brick and mortar environment.

The Student Success Curriculum

The Student Success Curriculum

The Student Success Curriculum was developed by ABMP to make it easy for schools to incorporate a preparatory workshop for students. Massage schools are recognizing that some students lack the basic skills they need to reach their academic and professional goals. Like colleges across the country, many massage schools are requiring students to take a pre-massage school workshop on study skills, goal setting, time-management, understanding diversity, practicing sensitivity and tolerance for classmates, learning styles, and test-taking skills. Schools offer these topics in stand-alone workshops or as part of orientation. Such programs have been shown at the first year college level to decrease student attrition and improve overall grade point average.

Following is the outline of ABMP's Student Success Curriculum, available to ABMP Member Schools. "Topic 7: Core Study Skills" is available for sampling. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP School Membership.

> Student Success Curriculum Introduction

> Unit 1: Transitioning
> Unit 2: Goal Setting
> Unit 3: Positive Affirmations
> Unit 4: Time Management & Organization
> Unit 5: Learning Styles
> Unit 6: Memory
> Unit 7: Core Study Skills
> Unit 8: Motivation
> Unit 9: Concentration
> Unit 10: Test Taking and Exams
> Unit 11: Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory
> Unit 12: Professional Conduct and Classroom Dynamics

Textbook Adoption

The Good News: The copier in the teachers' room can take a break from massage handouts; massage textbooks have never been better.

The Bad News: Choosing and adopting textbooks can be a time-consuming and expensive process for a school. A textbook choice that doesn't align well with the school curriculum can cause confusion for students. An inaccessible textbook may go completely unused despite its price tag, leading to lower student comprehension and achievement. Furthermore, teachers may dislike the layout and structure of a new textbook and find it difficult to implement. Clearly, finding the right books is important. This section looks at a process for textbook adoption and suggests criteria on which textbooks might be judged side by side.

A textbook adoption model is available to ABMP Member Schools. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP School Membership.

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Graduate Placement

Graduate PlacementA successful graduate is a school's best advertising tool. If one student has a positive training experience and goes on to a thriving career, you can be sure others will hear how it all started with your school. Consequently, you have a vested interest in helping your graduates find jobs after they graduate. Here are some ideas that may help:

1. Research the local market. Tracking hiring trends in your area is not only helpful for your students but a crucial part of the school's success, as well. Approach organizations that may hire interns and/or graduates, such as spas and salons, chiropractors, hotels, natural health practitioners, nursing homes, and hospitals. Ask them to fill out a short questionnaire and inquire into the possibility of a partnership. Keep questions short and in a multiple-choice format to encourage a positive response. Consider offering a gift certificate at your student clinic if a reply is received by a certain date. This information not only gives you insight into who is hiring, it may also introduce people to the idea of creating an onsite position for a massage therapist. Some sample questions might include:
  • Do you currently employ massage therapists? If yes, how many? If no, would you be interested in possibly developing a massage therapist position in your company?
  • Would your organization be interested in developing an ongoing partnership with our school's internship program?
  • Would your organization be interested in taking part in our job board, where we match positions with interns or recent graduates?
2. Create a job board. When either local or regional businesses do call you with job openings, you have a central posting place and students know where to look for new opportunities.

3. Host a career fair. Invite businesses to your campus or to an off-site facility, in the case of space constraints. To ensure success, it's important to make it attractive for the potential employers as well as the students. In your invitation to businesses, stress that your job fair is an opportunity to tap into new talent looking to start careers.

4. Invite guest speakers into classrooms. Community business people--including natural health practitioners, economic advisors, and hospital administrators--can speak on trends in their areas of expertise, giving students insight into the business world and building relationships between your students and their community (read "potential employers"). You can also set up panel discussions to bring in several different people to discuss relevant topics. These special events can be held in the evenings or on the weekend, when all students can attend.

5. Network with employers. Offer potential employers a free clinic visit. Once they get a taste of what your students have to offer, they may find reason to hire a massage therapist and understand how that can benefit their company. Provide a day of free chair massage to a company's employees. The feedback that owners/managers get may be incentive enough to set up a program offering once-a-week chair massage to their employees. Invite potential employers to activities to witness students in action.

6. Prepare students. Make sure students are prepared to present and market themselves for employment. Marketing materials (brochures, business cards, resumes) and accounting skills need to be in place. It's the school's responsibility to provide the tools--both the anatomical knowledge and the business savvy--for success. You will be rewarded with referrals and a strong reputation.

7. Participate in community outreach. Get the word out through community activities. As a school, you may want to make this part of your curriculum. For example, you could require students to contribute to five community events as part of their business class work. Include this information on their transcripts so that students can use it to promote themselves later. Or some schools donate proceeds from their student clinic to charity. One way to participate in community outreach is through ABMP's EveryBody Deserves a Massage week.

The following list offers ideas on events, activities, and segments of the community that students could be a part of. They can offer to give a short presentation on the benefits of massage, provide free chair massage for the ill, or discount massage for an after-prom party. Remind students to wear professional identification (t-shirts, hats, pins) to make your school visible.
  • Association events
  • Care for the caregivers
  • Career day at local schools
  • Church functions
  • College and university classes
  • Community living
  • Community organizations
  • Corporate gift certificates for Employee Appreciation Day, Boss' Day, etc.
  • County fairs
  • Educators
  • Fundraisers
  • Health fairs
  • High school proms
  • HIV-positive support programs
  • Hospitals
  • Kids' events
  • Lectures/demos
  • Marathons
  • Nursing homes (staff and patients)
  • Parks
  • Prenatal programs
  • Races
  • Radio station staff
  • Raffles
  • Retirees
  • Scholarship program
  • Shopping malls
  • Silent auctions
  • Social workers
  • Sporting, fitness, and health events
  • Student-generated ideas
  • Teaching wellness
  • Television and newspaper articles
  • Underwriters
  • Walks
  • YWCA/YMCA events
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Talk to any massage school owner about his or her institution and one of the issues bound to come up is accreditation. Some owners are concerned with how accreditation may affect the school's student demographics and campus culture. Some are anxious they can't compete in the massage school industry without the ability to offer federal financial aid, Title IV funding, made available only to accredited institutions. Many are confused about the benefits and drawbacks of accreditation and what it means for their students, business, and staff.

This section aims to demystify accreditation and provide basic information about the different organizations that accredit massage schools. View a detailed chart comparing accreditation agencies, including standard benchmark requirements, and contact details for the seven national agencies that accredit massage schools or programs.

Overview of Accreditation
The United States Department of Education (USDE) is the federal agency that administers most federal assistance to education, funding approximately 60 percent of all student aid for postsecondary education each year (about $78 billion in 2006). The USDE does not accredit educational institutions or programs. Instead, private, national, or regional educational associations seek recognition from the Secretary of Education by meeting the Secretary's procedures and criteria for accrediting agencies, as published in the Federal Register. The Secretary publishes a list of recognized accrediting agencies. There are 479 schools accredited by an agency recognized by the USDE, which represents 30.6 percent of the 1566 massage programs in the United States. Accreditation agencies adopt criteria that reflect the traits of a sound educational program. Most follow the same basic procedure to determine if a school operates at a fundamental level of quality:

1. The school submits an application and the agency conducts an initial site visit to determine if the school is eligible for accreditation and is likely to achieve accreditation.

2. Members of the school's administrative staff participate in a thorough accreditation workshop.

3. The school submits a detailed self-analysis report, including strengths and weaknesses, curriculum assessment, financial procedures, policies, and processes.

4. An on-site team representing the accreditation agency visits the school, evaluating the self-analysis and reviewing the school's level of compliance with the agency's guidelines, noting areas of non-compliance. The team submits a report on its findings to the school and/or accreditation agency.

5. The school responds to the findings, outlining plans to be compliant, where necessary.

6. The accreditation agency meets to review all of the documents in relationship to the school and either grants or denies accreditation.

Accreditation determination meetings and deadlines are particular to each agency. The predominant seven national agencies that accredit massage and bodywork schools and programs are briefly described below in alphabetical order; regional agencies are not discussed here.

Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES): Formed in 1964 as the Accrediting Bureau of Medical Laboratory Schools, it assumed its current name in 1974 to reflect the expanded scope of its activities. ABHES accredits degree and non-degree granting postsecondary establishments offering educational programs in allied health. 703-917-9503.

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT): Formed in 1993, ACCSCT acknowledges private, postsecondary, non-degree, and degree granting institutions that aim to educate students for occupational, trade, and technical careers, also recognizing institutions that offer distance education programs. 703-247-4212.

Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET): ACCET was officially recognized by USDE in 1978 to accredit non-collegiate institutions providing training programs and continuing education. Institutions that may be eligible for ACCET accreditation include private career schools, corporate training programs, intensive English programs, and trade and professional programs. 202-955-1113.

Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS): ACICS has been acknowledged by the Secretary of Education since 1956 and recognizes postsecondary institutions offering non-degree and degree granting programs. ACICS is focused on establishments that educate individuals in professions associated with business and management, or in disciplines that constitute a career or professional activity. 866-510-0746.

Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA): COMTA grew out of the American Massage Therapy Association's (AMTA) Program Approval Review Committee and the Commission on Massage Training Approval & Accreditation (COMTAA) organization. In 2002, COMTA was recognized by the Secretary of Education to accredit non-degree and degree granting institutions that offer massage and/or bodywork training programs. In 2004, COMTA separated itself from the AMTA, becoming an independent organization.

Council on Occupational Education (COE): COE was originally a regional accrediting agency founded in 1971, becoming a national accrediting agency in 1995. COE recognizes postsecondary institutions that focus on career and workforce development, including public technical institutions, private nonprofit, and for-profit job preparation schools, military technical training centers, national defense schools, and corporate and community-based training programs. 800-917-2081.

National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS): Originating from the merger of two accrediting agencies to form the Cosmetology Accrediting Commission (CAC) in 1969, CAC changed its name to NACCAS in 1981. NACCAS recognizes postsecondary schools and programs dedicated to cosmetology arts and sciences. It also accredits specialized schools and programs including massage. 703-600-7600.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Accreditation
Probably the main benefit of accreditation is the ability to offer Title IV funding to students. Readily available funds make the decision to attend a training program easier for many potential students and tend to increase enrollment numbers. Many schools report that the availability of federal financial aid changes their student demographic and even their campus culture. School program length is also somewhat dictated by Title IV funding, as financial aid eligibility is based on students' course load.

Some schools seek accreditation because they feel it lends prestige and legitimacy to their program, often promoting accreditation in marketing campaigns. Accreditation, however, is not an absolute mark of a program's quality, as there are many examples of exceptional programs that are not accredited, along with examples of accredited institutions that are substandard. Accreditation does ensure that certain benchmarks (including program completion and career placement) are met and that a school conducts business according to accepted principles. This structure ensures that curricula and procedures are consistent with other schools accredited by the same agency, but it also removes some of the school's flexibility.

The accreditation process provides a structure for a school to compare itself to an approved standard and to identify areas of strength and weakness, often leading to improved operational and educational procedures. On the flip side is the increased workload for the school's administrative staff, with the entire application process and record keeping consuming considerable time. Some processes also require specific training and auditing.

Fees for an initial accreditation are likely to run between $12,000 and $18,000. Additional costs include annual fees, periodic site visit costs, renewal fees, and administrative costs of tracking benchmarks and record keeping. These fees should be balanced against projected increased enrollment, which will likely, but not definitely, offset the cost of accreditation.

The decision to undertake accreditation requires careful consideration by the school's administrative staff. Each school must make its own decision based on its priorities. All of the accreditation organizations described here have complete and detailed information available on their websites.
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Strategic Planning

Strategic PlanningStrategic planning is invigorating and fun. People enjoy thinking about their school and taking a fresh look at realities and challenges. This renewed energy spurs the achievement of long-held goals and may lead to novel solutions. With measurable milestones and goals in place, schools are better able to define and influence their futures. A formal process for strategic planning that includes primary stakeholders (students, staff, graduates, and potential employers of the school's graduates) and allows innovative thinking can help schools strengthen the activities they undertake to achieve their mission and vision.

Strategic planning for schools builds on the business world's process to focus on the management of risk, industry expansion, and competitive advantage. While useful, this model can also hold pitfalls for schools. Schools participating in strategic planning are advised to place the core functions of schooling (curriculum, building teacher capacity, and learning), at the forefront of the planning process, so that the focus remains on an enhanced learning environment, rather than the market share of students. Strategic plans must have clearly defined action steps. Plans should be concise (between 12 and 35 pages), so that goals and activities don't get lost in fine print or in lofty language describing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Comprehensive details of the outline below are available to ABMP Member Schools. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP School Membership.

> Situation Analysis, Milestones, and Goals
> Action Plan and Evaluation
> Strategic Planning Worksheet Sample
> Strategic Planning Worksheet Blank
> Read Volume 6, Number 1 of ABMP's School Connection

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Preventing Sexual Harassment

Review the ABMP webinar Preventing Sexual Harassment in Massage Schools here.

For instructors and school administrators, wading through sexual boundary issues in a massage classroom is a complicated process. While schools regularly teach students how to set good sexual boundaries with their clients, they often forget to teach students how to interact in the subtle day-to-day environment of the classroom. In massage school, students play a number of roles (client, therapist, student, friend, etc.) and social exchanges run the gamut from professional and polite to flirtatious and sexual. In this setting, it is important for schools to educate students so that they can set appropriate professional boundaries both with fellow students and their future clients. Increased awareness also helps students to identify when a situation requires an informal response and when sexual harassment is occurring and must be addressed formally.

Schools that take proactive measures to educate their students about sexual harassment in both the classroom and the workplace, set clear policies and procedures on sexual harassment issues, and publicize those policies are taking the necessary approach to the situation. These schools:
  • Clearly define sexual harassment and behavior that will not be tolerated either on campus grounds or in off-campus exchanges.
  • Publicize a written policy on how the school responds to sexual harassment claims.
  • Publicize a grievance procedure so that students, faculty, and staff know how to file a sexual harassment claim.
  • Allocate classroom and meeting time to educate students, faculty, and staff about sexual harassment and ways in which it can be prevented.

A detailed explanation of the outline below is available to ABMP Member Schools. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP School Membership.

>Sexual Harassment Defined
>Examples of Sexual Conduct that May be Considered Harassing
>Development of the School's Sexual Harassment Policy
>Informal and Formal Complaints
Informal Complaint Procedure (Sample)
Suggested Informal Procedures
Formal Complaint Procedures (Sample) Oral Complaints
Written Complaints
Anonymous Complaints
Third-Party Complaints
>Investigation of Complaints

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ABMP Surveys of Interest to Schools

ABMP conducts surveys on a regular basis to help members identify trends to support strategic planning. The School Operations Survey and Enrollment Trends Survey are likely to be of interest to massage school owners and administrators.

School Operations Survey

Every two years, ABMP surveys school operations across the country, compiling average tuition costs, instructor compensation, program hours, and more. This important data gives administrators who run and oversee massage therapy programs relevant and practical information for understanding current trends in the massage school business.
> 2010 Survey
> 2008 Survey

Enrollment Trends Survey

Every two years ABMP education staff members attempt to contact every massage therapy training program in the United States to ask these three questions:

  • How many students do you currently have enrolled in your primary program?
  • Is that number up, down, or about the same?
  • How many graduates from that program will you have (or did you have) in a given year?

This important data gives administrators who run and oversee massage therapy programs relevant and practical information for understanding current and past enrollment trends in the massage school industry.
> 2013 Survey
> 2011 Survey
> 2009 Survey

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Association news, legislative updates, ABMP BizFit practice management tools, contributions from and profiles of ABMP members, and much more!
The best website builder in the profession, hands down. Includes choose-and-use content, a variety of professionally designed templates and color palettes, domain names choices, free hosting, unlimited pages, and loaded with premium features. Learn more!
The biggest names in the profession are brought directly to you through ABMP's webinar program. Learn the techniques and philosophies live from the experts. Learn more.
Client newsletters and brochures can be branded to your business! Select your ready-to-go content, and drop in your information. Voila! Your marketing materials are done.
Set up an e-mail account and choose your domain name: or No charge and no annoying advertising. educates consumers about massage and actively drives business to you. Potential clients input their location and type of bodywork desired, and a list of ABMP members meeting the criteria is generated. Optional for members.
On-demand courses and archived webinars, as well as live events, are available for CE credits and deeply discounted for ABMP members. Dynamic, high quality education for less.
Our optional business personal property insurance can insure your table and other office possessions for just $95/year for $10,000 in coverage or $250 for $25,000 coverage.
You'll be an official card-carrying member of ABMP when you receive your member ID card in your membership packet upon joining.
This digital publication is designed to educate your clients about the benefits of massage and wellness (and remind them to book an appointment!). Learn more.
Client paperwork is an important part of your practice. We provide you with the forms you need, including, client health history, physician referral, physician permission, SOAP notes, screening questionnaire forms, and more.
Video shorts from peers, ABMP staff, and service providers offer quick tips, tours, and tutorials for establishing a fulfilling career. Learn more.
This premier, 200-page guide helps you create a fulfilling practice. Chapters include: Getting Started, Managing Financial Health, Good Business Basics, Marketing, Advertising, and Promotion, Working with Physicians and HMOs, and more.