European Medical School of Massage began the journey of accreditation in February 2015. Researching the steps to become an accredited institution we aligned the policies, procedures, and standards of COMTA (the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation) with the guidelines of the PA Department of Education during the initial application of the school. The school was approved by the PA Department of Education in December 2014.
We received an email of a new policy of COMTA, new schools can apply for accreditation as soon as they have an enrollment of 5 students. The original policy stated all schools had to be in business for a minimum of 2 years before applying.
January 2015 began the application process for COMTA. The administration worked on the application 12-14 hours a day until submitting the initial application the beginning of February 2015. In March 2015 we were able to begin our self-study of the school. Six more months of diligent work followed to prepare for the school visit by the peer reviewers. During this time, the school went through a complete transformation implementing policies, procedures, updating curriculum and bringing the school to a higher standard of education.
October 2015 the 4 peer reviewers of COMTA came to both the main location in Sinking Spring and the auxiliary classroom location within the Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center and evaluated the program, administration, staff and students. The school was then sent a team response for the school to make minor changes mainly because at that point in time, November 2015, we were still anticipating graduation of our first class in December.
February 2016 was the final submission with every possible supporting documentation needed to meet the standards of the accreditation body. The commission met on April 11-13 2016. April 22, 2016 was the day the administration received the news, European Medical School of Massage, as a new school and initial applicant was unanimously approved a “clean” grant of accreditation with no conditions.
The administration is submitting a petition to the Pa Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, to have massage therapy added to the High Priority Occupation list for Berks County. This will allow applicants to apply for our program through Career Link to obtain grants for tuition. We will get confirmation of this benefit in October 2016. We would like to thank all of the businesses in Berks County who helped us by supplying the data to submit to the CWIA to show a definite employer demand for Medical Massage Therapists in the Berks County area.
The future of European Medical School of Massage is currently in the process of applying for Financial Aid from the US Department of Education. This as well will be a long and complicated process. The administration will attend a week-long financial aid seminar in June to officially begin the application. The application can be submitted in March 2017 with the possibility of offering Financial Student Aid in June 2017.
We would like to thank all of the staff, students, administration and our families who have supported our efforts. This is all done to follow the dream of offering a higher level of education in medical massage therapy through well-trained students who will graduate and serve the community for pain relief and treatment of injuries.