Thousands Desperate After Massage Schools Unapproved
This photo was taken the day I received my diploma. I was feeling so proud of my accomplishments and ready to go to work – only to have my dreams shattered.
Shattered Dreams After Massage Schools Unapproved
To date, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) has placed nearly 100 massage schools on the Unapproved and Related Categories list, leaving thousands of students desperate. Most likely, you’re reading this post because you attended one of the massage schools unapproved by the Council. You are not alone. I am one of those students, and this is my story.
After waiting over a year for an answer from the CAMTC, they officially denied my application in March of 2017. I wasn’t officially notified until the end of May, 2017.
Massage School Unapproved 7 Months After Application Received
I attended Advanced Beauty College (ABC) and in February of 2016, graduated from their 600 hour massage therapy program (only 500 hours are required for certification). ABC became an officially unapproved massage school by the CAMTC in September of 2016. They determined that educational hours earned from ABC after July 1st 2016 wouldn’t be accepted. My hours were completed and application submitted 7 months prior to that determination. At that time I was never made aware that ABC was being investigated. Because they were being investigated by the Council, my application was held in question. After waiting over a year for an answer from the CAMTC, they officially denied my application in March of 2017. I wasn’t officially notified until the end of May, 2017.
Franklin Evan Kiley Speaking at the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on Monday, April 24th, 2017.
Consequently, I was notified by the CAMTC one month after I had testified – that my application was officially denied. The effective date of denial was determined to be a month before I had testified. I guess I finally got their attention and you can see why I felt like I had painted a target on myself.
Click on the play button above to watch the short film we made about this situation to raise awareness.
Senate Bill 314 Passes Unanimously
On April 24th, 2017 Senator Nguyen went before the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee to propose Senate Bill 314. This Bill was an effort to protect students like myself who had been caught in a middle ground, grey area. That is to say, those having already earned their educational hours before July 1st, 2016 from a school that joined the list of unaproved massage schools after that date (read SB 314 here). I was invited to fly to Sacramento that day and testified on the senate floor in favor of SB 314 and it ended up passing unanimously.
Consequently, I was notified by the CAMTC one month after I had testified – that my application was officially denied. The effective date of denial was determined to be a month before I had testified. I guess I finally got their attention and you can see why I felt like I had painted a target on myself. By backdating the denial to two months earlier, they made it so that the very Bill I went there to support, wouldn’t even apply to my case anymore. The CAMTC could just simply tell me that I had already been denied – and have to wait two years to apply again.
The Absurd Two-Year Wait Policy
The CAMTC has an absurd policy that if your application is denied, you must wait two years before you can apply again. Further, you must pay all fees over again. Now that 2 years has passed since I was officially denied, I am able to reapply. I hesitate to do this because I don’t feel confident that I have a fair chance of getting approved by the CAMTC. They are obligated by law to accept the hours I earned from ABC, but will require me to pass an educational hearing. The Council can simply deny me for the same reasons as before.
Any faith I ever had in the CAMTC to do the right thing is long since lost. Certainly, I followed every step exactly as required by them, passed each one, and submitted an application I was proud of. I never doubted for a second that I would be approved and licensed – and yet here I am. And I am not alone. In fact, there are thousands of people like me that have been negatively affected by the action/inaction of the CAMTC.
Denied And Desperate – What’s Next?
So where do I go from here? Like many of you who are reading this, I too had felt like giving up on this dream of becoming a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT). Most of my fellow classmates did give up and I don’t blame them a bit. I too felt it was impossible to overcome these obstacles built by the all-powerful CAMTC. Seriously – the CAMTC is some kind of private, non-profit, publicly-funded, hybrid organization that only has one governmental body to answer to (the Senate).
However, over time the realization came to me that – I just can’t let this one go. I cannot allow them to steal my dreams like that. As it is, they’ve already prevented me from working in this industry that I’m qualified for and passionate about for over 3 years. Additionally, I can’t stand by and watch them do the same to so many other people. If you only knew the sacrifices people made to earn those educational hours and pursue their dreams – spending all that money, spending that time away from their families which they’ll (we’ll) never get back. Maybe some of you do know that experience all too well – let’s unite and try to right this injustice.
Raising Awareness About This Tragedy
The video above was created as means to spread awareness. We want to connect with other students whose educational hours were discredited, with the unapproved massage schools whose reputations were destroyed, with businesses who suffered, and with Senators who can help. Our goal is to create a full documentary film that sheds light on this tragedy and those who have been negatively impacted.
Support Our Cause
If you would like to support our cause there are many ways you can help. Please engage with us. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Leave your comments. Write us and tell us your story. Join our email list. We need to raise funds in order to create our documentary film. Your donation will help make this happen. We deeply appreciate any and all forms of support we can get in our effort to improve the lives of thousands. Thank You.
This painful experience has taught me a lot about the process of becoming a certified massage therapist in California. I’ve since written a post designed to help people navigate the challenges effectively. It’s the info I wish I would have had before I began my journey. Learn How to Become a Massage Therapist in California here.
How to Become a Massage Therapist in California Maybe How NOT to Become a Massage Therapist in California would be a more fitting title? Don't get me wrong. You want to know how and I'm very qualified to answer this question. I say that, because I went through the...