CAC has answer for job that’s rubbing you the wrong way

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Central Arizona College is relieving the stress of career changes and job searches by offering students an opportunity to earn a degree in the soothing art of massage therapy.

“We offer a comprehensive massage therapy program that leads to being licensed in Arizona once all of the required courses have been completed,” Susan Pomfret, the preceptor for the massage therapy program, said. “We have several unique features that compare favorably to other schools, including small classes rich in personal contact with experienced instructors and a curriculum that has been developed by leaders in the field.”

Where proprietary schools typically have limited resources compared to community colleges, students at Central Arizona College have resources such as computer labs, tutoring services and remedial classes, as well as a stimulating academic environment.

“We offer students college credits for their classes, in addition to their vocational training hours,” Pomfret explained. “They are able and encouraged to continue on after receiving their certificates.”

Beyond the certificate is an associate of applied science degree in massage therapy at CAC followed by a bachelor’s degree, thanks to a partnership between Central Arizona College and Northern Arizona University.

“Northern Arizona University advisors are on campus to help students further their education with articulation and acceptance into allied health classes as they work toward a degree in health sciences,” Pomfret said.

She also touts the reasonable tuition rates offered by Central Arizona College.

“CAC’s graduates do not enter the workforce with the burden of big student loans,” she said. “Even students who do not qualify for financial aid find the tuition to be affordable.”

And they find the staff at Central Arizona College experienced and professional.

Pomfret is a licensed massage therapist who has practiced since 1976. She has taught since 1977 while operating a continuous and successful private practice. She also has worked with doctors on medical cases, and at spas and in health clubs.

“The health careers department is staffed with professionals who understand the high standards needed to succeed in health care,” Pomfret explained. “They are experienced at developing programs that are practical and comprehensive. The massage program has grown over time in response to changes in the marketplace and an understanding of how best to teach students.”

Pomfret’s passions are Swedish Sedona, a style of massage she has developed, and elder and pregnancy massage.

Scott Mathe, also an instructor at Central Arizona College, graduated from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in 1998 and is a licensed massage therapist. He has had a private practice since the late 1990s while also working in health clubs and offering chair massage in corporate settings.

Mathe specialties include medical massage, sports massage and spa treatments. He excels at organizing events at locations such as retirement communities, races and wellness gatherings, and he oversees the workings of the massage therapy program’s two clinics located on the Superstition Mountain and Signal Peak campuses.

Class size is kept small so instructors and clinic supervisors can mentor the students personally. Classes and clinic provide a safe, professional environment for learning massage therapy.

With a wide-range of professional experience, Pomfret and Mathe have developed a basic program that prepares students to enter the workforce ready to succeed.

The massage classes instill adequate knowledge and skill to prepare graduates to work for spas, resorts, health clubs, medical clinics, cruise ships and private practice. With 180 hours of clinical time, students learn to work with a variety of body types and personalities.

“Contributing to the readiness of each of our graduates are classes such as medical terminology where students learn how to communicate with other healthcare professionals,” Pomfret explained. “The program partners with the biology department to provide in-depth understanding of the functioning of the body. This is supplemented with our applied anatomy course which focuses on the musculoskeletal system.”

The heart of the program is the core of massage classes. These include relaxing Swedish massage; event massages such as chair and sports techniques that are valuable for promoting a therapist’s practice; medical massage; techniques for working with elderly, injured, and pregnant clients; and spa treatments.

“Each of these classes provides a strong foundation to encourage mastery and growth in the field,” Pomfret said. “Since students practice on each other, our massage classes are popular because they are fun.”

For more information on the Central Arizona College massage therapy program, please contact Susan Pomfret by phone at (520) 494-5594, or by e-mail at susan.pomfret@centralaz.edu.

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