Evanston, IL (Dec. 6, 2010) – The American Massage Therapy Association will hold its 2011 Massage Therapy Schools Summit February 17-18, 2011 in San Francisco, CA. This annual meeting of massage schools, owners, administrators and teachers is designed to provide the latest industry information and foster open dialog among those responsible for charting the course of massage therapy education. With the theme, Thriving in Change, the event will include discussion and networking focused on innovative solutions to the many issues facing both the financial health of massage therapy schools and the future of massage therapy education.

One highlight of this year’s meeting will be a panel presentation and discussion on the opportunities and challenges of moving all massage therapy schools to meet minimum standards for accreditation by a national accrediting body recognized by the USDE.

As in past years, there will be a presentation and open dialog on AMTA’s annual state of the profession research report. Attendees will receive the report in advance of the Summit to foster open dialogue on its content at the meeting. All other AMTA School members will receive the report after the Summit.

AMTA invites all massage schools to send representatives to the Summit. With the massage therapy profession and education in a period of rapid evolution, the Summit will seek input on school-related issues and provide a venue for frank, inclusive dialogue on how schools can flourish and on the need to educate massage therapy students for successful practice. There will be specific interest tracks for educators/teachers, as well as massage school owners and administrators.

The Summit format will include speakers and topics important to all attendees, as well as break-out sessions specific to both owners and educators. For more than a decade, AMTA annual school meetings have examined practical skills for massage schools. Beginning in 2010, the Schools Summit approach has also included focus on developing massage school teacher skills.

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest nonprofit association representing the massage therapy profession in the U.S., with more than 56,000 massage therapist and massage school members. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. Approximately 300 massage schools are represented in AMTA membership. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.