Southern Union State Community College

Program Information

Program Information

Approval: Alabama Board of Massage Therapy

Degree Earned: Certificate

Length of Program: Therapeutic Massage is an evening program. Students attend classes three to four nights a week for three semesters. Students must apply with the Health Sciences Divison to begin the program.

Program Application: The Therapeutic Massage program admits new students one time each year.  To apply for admission to the program, applicant must be accepted for general admission to Southern Union State Community College, meet the admission criteria for the program, and apply to the Therapeutic Massage Program by the published deadline.

Therapeutic Massage Program Application
Therapeutic Massage Program Brochure


Plan of Study

Semester 1:          
Course Number Course Description Theory Clinical   Lab Credit
ORI 101 or Orientation to College 1 0 0 1
ORI 107 Student Success Skills        
MSG 101 Introduction to Therapeutic Message 2 0 0 2
MSG 102 Therapeutic Massage Lab I 0 0 3 3
MSG 103 Anatomy and Physiology 2 0 1 3
MSG 104 Musculo-Skeletal and Kinesiology 2 0 1 3
Semester Total   6 0 5 12
           
Semester 2:          
Course Number Course Description Theory Clinical   Lab Credit
MSG 202 Therapeutic Message Lab II 0 0 3 3
MSG 204 Musculoskeletal & Kinesiology II 2 0 1 3
MSG 105 Therapeutic Message Supervised Clinical I 0 2 0 2
Semester Total   3 2 3 8
           
Semester 3:          
Course Number Course Description Theory Clinical  Lab    Credit
MSG 200 Business and Marketing Plans 1 0 0 1
MSG 201 Therapeutic Message for Special Populations 1 0 1 2
MSG 203 Pathology 3 0 0 3
2MSG 205 Therapeutic Message Supervised Clinical II 0 2 0 2
MSG 206 National Certification Exam Review 1 0 0 1
Semester Total   5 2 2 9
           
Program Total         29

Background Check
The Health Sciences clinical education programs require background checks on incoming students to insure the safety of the clients treated by students.  After acceptance to the program, students will be required to order the criminal background check from the specified vendor in sufficient time for it to be reviewed prior to registering for the first semester of the program. A background check typically takes 3 normal business days to complete. The background checks are conducted by PreCheck, Inc., a firm specializing in background checks for healthcare workers.

After you receive an acceptance letter for the Therapeutic Massage Program, your order must be placed online through www.precheck.com/students. Complete all required fields and click Continue to enter your payment information. The payment of $49.50 (plus state tax for students living in Texas) can be made securely online with a credit or debit card. You can also pay by money order, but that will delay processing your background check until the money order is received by mail at the PreCheck office. For your records, you will be provided a receipt and confirmation page of your background check order placed through PreCheck, Inc. PreCheck will not use your information for any other purposes other than a background check. Your credit will not be investigated, and your name will not be given out to any businesses.

If you need assistance, please contact the PreCheck hotline by phone at 866-961-6587 or e-mail: studentcheck@precheck.com.


Health Requirements
A tuberculin (Tb) skin test is required for participation in the Therapeutic Massage Program. The Tb skin test may be obtained from your private physician’s office, urgent care clinics, and some community health departments. The test consists of an injection of a solution under the skin of the forearm and a return visit to verify results of the test within 48 to 72 hours. Printed results of the test are required to be turned in to the Health Sciences Health Records Clerk. In the case of a positive test result, student should consult with a doctor. Evidence of a negative Tb skin test or negative chest x-ray must be presented prior to registering for the MSG classes.


Malpractice Insurance
Malpractice insurance is required of the student while enrolled in the program. The cost of malpractice insurance is $10 per semester and is added to the cost of tuition each semester.


Drug Screening
Students enrolled in the program are required to undergo drug screening. The cost is the responsibility of the student. Thirty-three dollars ($33) is added to the cost of tuition for the first semester of the program.  Random drug screening will be held each semester. Students testing positive will be administratively withdrawn from the program.


CPR Certification
Massage students are required to obtain CPR certification at the level of American Heart Association Healthcare Provider prior to registering for MSG courses. Certification must be kept current throughout program. CPR training is offered through Southern Union. Click here for CPR information.


Health Insurance
Massage students are not required to purchase individual health insurance but it is highly recommended for your protection. If you are interested in health insurance, contact Marcus Johnson in the Health Sciences Division for more information.

Pregnancy Policy for Therapeutic Massage Program
A female student has the option of whether or not to inform program officials of her pregnancy. If the female chooses to voluntarily disclose this information, it must be done in writing and include the expected date of delivery. Following written disclosure, the student will be a Declared Pregnant Student. Without this documentation, a student cannot be considered pregnant and will not be excused from participating in lab or clinical. If the student decides to disclose her pregnancy, she has the option of:

  1. continuing the classes, labs, and clinical experiences, provided the student can meet the essential functions of the program, as well as give and receive neuromuscular deep tissue and sports massages and participate in all activities expected of other students in classes, labs, and clinical experiences. Documentation from the student’s physician will be required.
  2. taking a leave of absence from the program and later applying for readmission.

Estimated Program Costs
(Estimated and Subject to Change)

Criminal Background Check: $49.50
TB skin test: $20.00
Tuition for 29 credit hours: $3886.00 (in-state) $7221.00 (out-of-state)
Textbooks (new): $660.00
Massage Therapy Kit* :160.00
Drug Screening:* * $33.00
Malpractice Insurance ($10 per semester): $30.00
Scrubs*(cost not included in total): varies
Total (with in-state tuition): $4,838.50

**Other costs may also be incurred including materials, supplies, random drug screening, etc.
*Additional kit information included in Therapeutic Massage Student Handbook.


THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE (MSG) Course Descriptions

MSG 101. INTRODUCTION TO THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE. 2 hrs. (2-0-2)
CO-REQUISITE: MSG 102, 103, 104 The purpose of this course is for students to comprehend foundational information related to the profession of therapeutic massage. Specific topics include: history of therapeutic massage, professional ethics and standards of practice, regulatory agencies and their requirements, client and therapist’s professional relationships, communication skills, and an overview of types of therapeutic massage.

MSG 102. THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE LAB I. 3 hrs. (0-6-3)
CO-REQUISITES: MSG 101, 103, 104 This course provides foundational information related to massage therapy. Students gain knowledge related to purposes, effects, applications, benefits, indications and contraindications for various types of massage therapy. Additionally, students learn procedures and precautions for various types of massage therapists. Specific topics include Swedish massage, hot and cold therapies, stretching, basic myofascial massage, and documentation guidelines. Special emphasis is placed on professional behaviors, proper draping, and body mechanics. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to perform various types of full body therapeutic massage techniques and document their activities.

MSG 103. ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY. 3 hrs. (2-2-3)
CO-REQUISITES: MSG 101, 102, 104 This course provides students with an overview of the basic anatomy and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the importance of maintaining homeostasis. As part of this course students will receive instruction on cardiopulmonary resuscitation. At the conclusion of this course, students will have a basic understanding of the various systems of the body and the effects of massage on these systems. Students will demonstrate this knowledge in associated lab activities.

MSG 104. MUSCULOSKELETAL AND KINESIOLGY I. 3 hrs. (2-3-3)
CO-REQUISITES: MSG 101,102,103 This course introduces students to concepts related to the study of muscle movement. As part of the program students learn the interaction of muscles and various boney landmarks of the skeletal system. Students further learn how to position individuals in preparation for therapeutic massage of various muscle groups. Students will demonstrate this knowledge in associated lab activities.

MSG 105. THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE SUPERVISED CLINICAL I. 2 hrs. (0-6-2)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 101, 102, 103, 104 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 202, 203 In this course, students are required to demonstrate competency in specific therapeutic techniques including treatment preparation, use of proper techniques, client progress, and documentation. Students are required to perform a minimum of 45 hours of hands-on client massages.

MSG 200. BUSINESS AND MARKETING PLANS. 1 hr. (1-0-1)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 105, 202, 203 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 201, 204, 205, 206 During this course, students are also taught ethical business and professional development. This course is designed to help students to prepare for ethical decision making in professional practice while assisting in the development of their emerging identities as professional licensed massage therapists. Emphasis is placed on building and retaining clientele, communication skills, customer skills, customer services, continuing education and setting goals. Upon completion, the student should be able to list the types of communication skills, state personal goals, and develop a business and marketing plan.

MSG 201. THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS. 3 hrs. (1-1-2)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 105, 202, 203 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 200, 204, 205, 206 In this course, students learn to adapt massage sessions to the needs of special populations such as pregnant women, infants, elderly, and the terminally ill. Topics include technique variations, length of session, contraindications, cautions, considerations for survivors of abuse, and possible benefits. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to discuss and demonstrate techniques for performing therapeutic massage for special populations.

MSG 202. THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE LAB II. 3 hrs. (0-6-3)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 101, 102, 103, 104 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 105, 203 Students learn advance massage therapy techniques building upon previously gained knowledge and skills. Specific techniques include deep tissue, neuromuscular, and advance myofascial. Students learn to identify reflexology points and utilize reflexology for massage to the hands, feet, and ears. Upon completion students will be able to apply specific therapeutic massage techniques to various regions of the body.

MSG 203. PATHOLOGY. 3 hrs. (3-0-3)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 101, 102, 103, 104 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 105, 202 This course presents baseline information on pathologies which massage therapists may encounter in clinical practice including conditions of the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, lymphatic, integumentary, digestive, endocrine, and immune systems. Content will include etiology, symptomatology, medical approaches to treatment and the potential positive or negative impact of massage.

MSG 204. MUSCULOSKELETAL AND KINESIOLOGY II. 3 hrs. (2-3-3)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 105, 202, 204 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 200, 201, 205, 206 In this course, students learn advanced study of the muscular-skeletal system. Topics include specific therapeutic approaches to the regions of the shoulders, arms, hips, and legs, examination of these regions, the movements they produce, and common pathological conditions of the shoulders, arms, hips, and legs. Upon completion, the students should be able to identify and discuss the regions of the shoulders, arms, hips, legs, and the movements they produce and common pathological conditions.

MSG 205. THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE SUPERVISED CLINICAL II. 2 hrs. (0-6-2)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 105, 202, 204 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 200, 201, 204, 206 In this course, students are required to demonstrate competency in specific advanced therapeutic techniques including treatment preparation, use of proper techniques, client progress, and documentation. Students are required to perform a minimum of 45 hours of hands-on client massages.

MSG 206. NATIONAL CERTIFICATION EXAM REVIEW. 1 hr. (1-0-1)
PREREQUISITES: MSG 105, 202, 204 CO-REQUISITES: MSG 200, 201, 204, 205 This course provides a consolidated and intensive review of the basic areas of expertise needed by the entry-level massage therapist. upon completion, the student should be able to pass a comprehensive exam on information covered in the therapeutic massage program.