The rich historical tapestry of Charleston, South Carolina will provide the backdrop for the second Annual Conference of Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, to be held at the Charleston Marriott Hotel on August 18-20, 2011. With a theme of Bringing Teaching to the Next Level, the Conference will be highlighting one of this organization’s primary goals – to strengthen and improve the quality of massage education. Those who attend will have two important opportunities to provide input and perspective that will be used by the Alliance in key projects that will influence the future direction of massage education.

AFMTE will present an overview of its National Teacher Education Standards Project, which is a long-range endeavor to create a culture of teaching excellence. Launched at the end of 2010, the project is in its first phase, which is focused on establishing the Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Teachers. These standards — the first of their kind in the massage therapy field — will outline the foundational knowledge, skills and attributes (KSAs) needed for teachers to produce successful and consistent outcomes with adult learners in a variety of educational settings.

Developed by AFMTE’s Professional Standards Committee, the first draft of the Core Competencies will be the subject of a special half-day discussion forum that will give Conference attendees an opportunity to provide direct feedback on the document. This valuable input from school directors, teachers and continuing education providers alike will be used by the Committee in the next stage of revisions before the standards are released to the full massage therapy community for comment later this year.

Those who are attending the AFMTE Conference in Charleston, along with all AFMTE members, will receive an advance copy of this draft document for review. A white paper on the National Teacher Education Standards Project, which describes the five phases of the project, is available from the Alliance website.

AFMTE is also active in the arena of standards for continuing education. As announced earlier this year, the Alliance will be partnering with the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) in the development of a new national program for the approval of CE courses and providers. The upcoming AFMTE Conference in Charleston will feature FSMTB Executive Director Debra Persinger, PhD in a special workshop session that will provide the scope and rationale for this new approval program. She will also give CE providers (and other interested participants in this session) an opportunity to share their experiences with existing approval processes in the field, and to provide ideas about what they would like to see in a new national process. This input will be used as FSMTB and AFMTE begin work on this important effort.

Complete descriptions of the Conference educational program, logistical details, as well as information on the new 2011 AFMTE membership options may be found in a free 16-page booklet available from the AFMTE website or by clicking this link. Conference participants can earn up to 15 contact hours of CE credit.

Registration is still available for this event, and can be done through the AFMTE website at http://www.afmte.org/conference or by calling the office at 703-506-2888.

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About the organization:

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education is the voice, advocate and resource for the community of massage therapy schools and educators. It serves the entire education sector – from entry-level training programs through post-graduate studies. The National Headquarters are located at 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Virginia 22102, and the general office email address is admin@afmte.org.

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