Evanston, IL (Feb. 11, 2013):  The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Schools Summit concluded on Friday, February 8 with school owners, teachers, exhibitors and AMTA leadership having engaged in dynamic discussions on the current state of the massage therapy profession, where it is going, and how massage therapy schools and programs are changing. AMTA also announced to attendees the association’s new student scholarship program, which will culminate in a $5,000 scholarship to a massage therapy student in September.

On Thursday, AMTA President Cynthia Ribeiro and ABMP Education Director Ann Williams presented early information about the Entry Level Analysis Project (ELAP), which will be open for public comment in April. This project was as outgrowth of the Industry Summits attended by representatives of the various massage therapy organization and has a goal to map out a realistic, evidence-informed and quantified description of content and skill qualifications for an entry-level education in massage therapy. In introducing the early report, AMTA Executive Director Shelly Johnson said, “This project is a groundbreaking cooperative effort between sometimes competitors to serve the entire massage therapy profession.”

On Friday, AMTA released a school-oriented edition of its annual Massage Therapy Profession Report. Attendees examined and discussed how the research gathered directly affects their schools, their students, their instructors and how they will attract future massage therapists. This report will be available later this week, with the edition for massage therapists available later in the month.

AMTA also announced its new AMTA Student Scholarship program as an exciting new initiative to support the next generation of massage therapists. This program will invite students to participate in an essay contest where one applicant will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship. The Application Form is now available on the AMTA website and all entries must be received by May 31.

“We are very excited about this new scholarship,” says Cynthia Ribeiro. “Not only is it a great opportunity for one massage student, it creates excitement among many students to demonstrate their commitment to our profession. And, it engages them and their instructors in a challenge to excellence.”

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. 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.