July 18 & 20, 2016 Commission Meeting
To view this information as a pdf, click here: COMTA Actions – July 2016
The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) has concluded its July 18 & 20, 2016 Commission conference calls. By action of the Commission, the following schools have received:
Deferral of Initial Accreditation Decision
- Mecca School of Massage (Indianapolis, IN) – Institutional – Deferred until November 2016
Deferral of Renewal of Accreditation & Continued Show Cause
- Academy of Natural Therapies (Greeley, CO) – Institutional – Extend grant of accreditation to November 30, 2016 – See below
Continued Probation & Placed on Show Cause:
- International Professional School of Bodywork – (San Diego, CA) – See below
- Rizzieri School for the Healing Arts – (Voorhees, NJ) – See below
Substantive Curriculum Change:
- Cortiva Chicago (Chicago, Crystal Lake, Joliet, IL)
The Commission approves the change from clock hours to credits, pending final state approval. The Commission will now record the Professional Massage Therapy Program as 750 hours/38 quarter credits.
- Cortiva Pennsylvania (King of Prussia, PA & Wall Township, NJ)
The Commission approves the change from clock hours to credits. The Commission will now record the Professional Massage Therapy Program as 650 hours/33 quarter credits.
- Cortiva Seattle (Seattle, Federal Way, WA)
The Commission approves the change from clock hours to credits. The Commission will now record the two programs as Professional Massage Therapy Program: 750 hours/38 quarter credits; and Extended Professional Massage Therapy Program: 1000 hours/50 quarter credits
Change of Ownership Approved:
Remove provisional accreditation and transfer accreditation of the following institutions to the new owners:
Steiner Education Group (SEG) Institutions:
- Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy (Newington, Groton, Westport, CT)
- Cortiva Institute – Boston
- Cortiva Institute – Chicago (Chicago, Crystal Lake, Joliet, IL)
- Cortiva Institute – Seattle (Seattle, Federal Way, WA)
- Cortiva Institute – Pennsylvania (King of Prussia, PA; Wall Township, NJ)
Steiner Education Group’s parent company, Steiner Leisure Limited, is now owned by Nemo Investor Aggregator, Ltd.
Notification of Voluntary Withdrawal and Teach-Out/Closure:
- Montana School of Massage (Missoula, MT)
Voluntarily Withdrawal of Accreditation effective June 15, 2016
Reported Teach-Out/Closure effective November 2016
Please note: Renewal schools placed on show cause, probation or deferral are considered accredited institutions.
Continued Show Cause: Academy of Natural Therapy – (Greeley, CO)
The institution was initially put on Probation in August 2012 for failing to meet financial stability measures. The institution was required to create and implement a comprehensive improvement plan to bring itself into compliance within two years. In October 2014, the Commission granted an extension for good cause based on measured improvements and internal financial statements submitted, pending evaluation of the final 2014 audit. In July 2015, the Commission reviewed the school’s 2014 audited financial statements and placed the school on Show Cause for continued low financial stability and low completion rates for the 1,000 hour program. The school was required to implement a plan to develop a shorter program and draft a Teach-Out Plan for the longer programs.
At its April, 2016 meeting, the Commission reviewed all of the institution’s materials for renewal of accreditation and acted to defer the decision on renewal for three (3) months and extend the current grant of accreditation until July 31, 2016 with the continued Show Cause order. The school was required to submit an interim report and undergo an unscheduled one-day site visit for the purpose of further evaluating standards that were not verified during the regular renewal visit.
At is recent July 20, 2016 meeting, the Commission reviewed the school’s interim report and the unscheduled site visit report and acted to defer the renewal of accreditation for another four (4) months and extend the current grant of accreditation until November 31, 2016 with the continued Show Cause order in place. The institution has failed to demonstrate compliance with the following Standards:
- Program Length (Standard II(B)(2)): The school has yet to provide the Commission with consistent and accurate clock hours/credits for the longer programs.
- Clinic (Standard II(E)): The school’s clinic operations and hours do not demonstrate compliance with COMTA requirements.
- Faculty Development (Standard III(C)): The school has failed to document compliant professional development for three instructors.
- Student Outcomes (Standard VIII(C)): The school is requested to provide additional graduate completion and placement outcome data for evaluation.
- Financial Stability (Standard XII(A)): The school has failed to demonstrate financial stability and is now required to update and implement the Teach Out Plan for the 1,000 hour and AAS degree programs.
- Title IV Compliance (Standard XV(A)): The school has been on Heightened Cash Monitoring 1 status by the Department of Education and is requested to update the Commission with its renewal approval status.
The Commission, therefore, directs the school to discontinue all enrollments into the two longer programs (1000-hour and AAS degree programs) effective immediately and only enroll into the new 750-hour program. The school should teach-out those currently enrolled in the HHP and AAS (per Title IV regulation), and only enroll new students into the 750-hour until the Commission can review the interim report in November 2016.
Continued Probation & Placed on Show Cause: International Professional School of Bodywork (San Diego, CA)
At its April 2016 meeting, the Commission acted to place the school on Probation for failure to submit audited financial statements, timely payment of sustaining fees, and failure to meet COMTA completion rate threshold for the HHP and AS programs.
At its recent July 20, 2016 meeting, the Commission reviewed the school’s interim report, including the late audit report and submitted fees. Upon review of the information available, the Commission has acted to continue Probation and add Show Cause status with conditions on Standards for Management Capacity (Standard XI(B)), Financial Stability (Standard XII(A)), and Title IV Compliance (Standard XV(A)). The school has failed to demonstrate that it has adequate management capacity in place after its School Director and Financial Aid Director resigned. The school’s latest audit fails to demonstrate financial stability, and the FSA Compliance Audit demonstrates multiple findings on Title IV participation resulting in being placed on Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 Status by the Department. The school is required to submit an additional interim report with evidence that it has brought itself into compliance with these Standards to be reviewed at the November 2016 Commission meeting.
Probation: Rizzieri School for the Healing Arts – (Voorhees, NJ)
At its April 2016 meeting, the Commission reviewed the school’s renewal of accreditation application and acted to accredit for a period of seven years with conditions. The school was required to submit an interim report to demonstrate compliance with unverified Standards.
At is July 18, 2016 meeting, the Commission reviewed the schools report and acted to remove one condition (Standard II(G) Library) and place school on probation for (1) failure to ensure qualified instructors to teach anatomy & physiology per COMTA requirements (Standard III(B)(3)) and (2) providing tuition discounts mispresented as “scholarship” thereby failing to guarantee students are charged consistent tuition (Standard XII(B)). The school is required to submit an additional interim report with evidence that it has brought itself into compliance with these Standards to be reviewed at the November 2016 Commission meeting.