I’ve been dealing with a lot of sorrow over the past few days. I received the news from friends (verified by FB) that the Boulder College of Massage Therapy was closing pretty much effective immediately. I really hung my heart on that school. I was so excited to be going to one of the best schools in the country for my chosen field and out of nowhere it closes. I really have taken this personally. I know that there was nothing I could have done but what freaking luck to have an institution CLOSE before I can attend. I felt that I was failing before I got started.
The old insecurities of not being good enough to have something of value came back. I remembered my drive and passion to finish my Veterinary Science program at USU only to be financially turned away when test anxiety failed me out of a math class. I worked so hard, produced quality results and had a great working knowledge but it wasn’t enough. Without financial aid the dream of finishing school died. ( That’s just the reality of it). I remember knowing the field was for me and working so hard to get great grades. and then it was pulled out from under me.
I moved to knowing I still wanted to be in the healthcare field and completing a phlebotomy program with perfect grades and not being able to be hired anywhere because of a mistake I made at the hospital resulting in my termination. Nearly all healthcare is run by a big hospital system in Utah and being outed from them made a job impossible.
I tried to be okay with just working, and trying to focus on building my identity outside of what I did. It kind of worked. I tend to throw myself into anything I do. Finally a career in Massage Therapy came up and I chose to go back to Colorado. At first I chose a school located in Colorado Springs so that I could live with family there. During my orientation I find out that the State of Utah upped their requirements and the program I was accepted into wasn’t enough. The academic requirements didn’t match up and I had to choose a different school. I spent months matching up schools, re-looking at programs in Utah, combing through governing board requirements to finally choose BCMT’s Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Degree in Massage Therapy. It fulfilled many state academic requirements, as well as international and had programs I was really excited about. I stressed for weeks as I waiting for my acceptance and when it finally came I felt a little more whole. That I was doing the right thing, that I finally found my path. I was being offered positions before I even started my program based on the merit and reputation of BCMT. I was finding groups of people that I resonated with, spiritual paths and confidants that finally clicked with me. Once again the rug has been yanked out from under me I feel.
BCMT in their closure announcement recommended the Colorado School of Healing Arts (CSHA)for students to continue their education. It’s AoS degree is similar and contains programs that are of the same caliber as BCMT. They have certifications in Cranial Sacral, Trama Touch Therapy and Oncology among others. As well as having access to a cadaver lab. It costs about $19,000 for the program and associated tools( books, table, sheets, etc). Schooling costs are covered by financial aid entirely. I will be interested to see how CSHA absorbs the incoming students from BCMT over the next few months.
The only other school in the west I can find with a 1,000 hour program is one in Bozeman, Montana called Health Works Institute. It is a newer school (est. 2000) It doesn’t have the extra certificates but is a comprehensive massage program. It is closer to Utah geographically and similar in state requirements. The cost of living seems to be closer to Logan and wouldn’t be as much of a financial stress. It costs about $13,000 for the program and associated tools. (books, table, sheets, etc) Schooling costs are covered by financial aid entirely.
I’ve not decided anything yet, my heart is still very heavy. For now, Utah still doesn’t offer the caliber of education that I would like.