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Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care

The Degree

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)

The Outlook

More and more people are turning to complementary therapies such as meditation and massage to cope with stress, recover from illness or injury, or to maintain a balanced, healthy outlook on life. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.

Finger Lakes Community College's Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care is designed to meet the growing demand for trained professionals in this health care field.

The Program

The A.A.S. Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care is a unique program which develops the knowledge and basic skills necessary for the practice of massage therapy while also providing a base of studies in life sciences and alternative therapies. This holistic approach is complemented with coursework in general education, as well as introducing the student to massage research. The program is designed for those students who are preparing for a new career in massage therapy. Professionals who are currently working in other health care fields may choose to seek further training in integrated therapies through this program.

The program combines both massage and other forms of complementary therapies as well as a strong focus on research.

FLCC is one of a few colleges in New York State to offer this type of program. FLCC's degree program is less expensive than private massage schools in the State. At the same time, students are taking credit bearing courses many of which transfer into baccalaureate programs.

Admission to the program is competitive. Courses are completed over a two year schedule.

A limited number of seats may be available for January admission. Applying students must have a minimum of 13 credits applicable to the program, including A&P I, by the December preceding admission. Total number of credits and GPA will be used as admission criteria. Students, accepted into this track, will complete the program in three semesters from the time of his/her January admission. This requires enrolling in Massage 110, in addition to the other required massage courses, during the fall semester of the sophomore year. Interested pre-massage students should contact Admissions by December 1.

For more information about admission requirements and a pre-Therapeutic Massage/Integrated Health Care sequence of courses, contact the FLCC One Stop Center at (585)785-1000.

Honors Courses: The College offers honors courses that provide enhanced educational experiences for students who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability. Enrollment in honors courses is open to qualified students in this degree program, as well as all other qualified FLCC students. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase student transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate professional behaviors learned from mentoring and community connections that they participate in during their final semester in the program.
  • demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary as massage therapists / integrated health care workers.
  • demonstrate a broad-based knowledge of complementary therapies.
  • demonstrate the knowledge necessary to practice as massage therapists
  • use current and emerging technologies to solve professional challenges through presentation, research and synthesis.

The Experience

Sixty-four credit hours of study (equivalent to two years of full-time study) are required for this program. Students will take classes in subjects such as Swedish Massage, Medical Massage, Connective Tissue/Neuromuscular Massage, Shiatsu, Therapeutic Touch, Oriental Healing Arts, Yoga, and others. Massage Therapy Research is also included in the program.

Students may enroll in the program on either a full-time (taking 12 credit hours or more) or part-time basis. Except with special permission, massage therapy courses should be taken over a consecutive two-year period. The pre-massage sequence is suited for students who wish to attend part-time.

The program meets the standard 1,000 hours of academic training in massage therapy that are now required to sit for the NYS massage licensing exam. Graduates of the program will also be prepared to take the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

The Graduates

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to seek employment in massage and integrative therapies at hospitals, health centers, resorts, corporations, clinics, and private practices.

Salary: According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $35,970 in May 2012.

The Faculty

The massage program is composed of New York State-licensed massage therapists who hold masters and doctoral degrees. The faculty possesses a wide array of educational backgrounds in Eastern and Western massage modalities, as well as current experience in private practice. Credentials include research, chiropractic care, nursing and yoga. Individual faculty members have studied at the Ohashi Institute and one is a graduate from the Swedish Institute in New York City. Continuing education is a high priority for faculty, with attendance at workshops throughout the country. Students have the unique opportunity to travel with faculty to professional workshops; one group recently studied abroad in China. High education standards for faculty have resulted in graduates enjoying an above-average passing rate on the NYS Licensing exam.