What if I’m not sure I want to certify as a professional Massage Therapist?
Many prospective students are drawn to the bodywork industry, but are not sure they want to pursue extensive training, or make a career change to professional bodywork. It is recommended that these students enroll in T101 INTRODUCTION TO MASSAGE and T102 TOUCH DYNAMICS. These two courses give an overview of the massage and bodywork industry, as well as an understanding of our personal touch experience in society.  The classes are offered every quarter on Monday nights.  Students who complete these courses generally have a greater insight as to whether they wish to proceed with further training.

Is Cumberland Institute affiliated with any professional organizations?
Yes. Cumberland is affiliated with the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). Cumberland Institute specifically chose this affiliation for the high standards of professionalism and ethical integrity demonstrated nationally by ABMP in areas of education, legislation and therapist support networks.

What is the difference between certification and licensure?
Certification is a professional designation issued by academic institutions to individuals who have successfully completed training in required areas of instruction. Licensure is a government-sanctioned regulation of certified professionals. Cumberland Institute is the oldest state-approved academic institution in Tennessee providing holistic bodywork education, examination and certification.  Licensure is administered by the Massage Therapy Board, a division of the Health Related Boards of the State of Tennessee.

Will I need to take a certification exam at the completion of my training at Cumberland Institute?
No. Cumberland Institute examines and/or evaluates students after each individual course requirement has been completed. Students are required to achieve a minimum passing grade of 75% (C) for each required course, and a minimum cumulative grade percentage average of 85% (B) for certification. As of July, 2003, graduates applying for Tennessee state licensure are required to pass a state-approved licensure exam, currently administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards - MBlex. Cumberland Institute's pass rate for the MBlex from July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015 was 95%.

Is anything else required for licensure?
In addition to passing the state boards, an applicant for licensure must be fingerprinted and pass a background check administered by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and pay their exam and licensure fees. Persons with a history of a felony conviction or certain misdemeanors may not be allowed to be licensed as a massage therapist.  If you have such a history, please contact the Massage Board Administrator at 615-253-2111 for instructions on how to proceed before applying to school.  The details of fees and application process are available on the State of Tennessee website, under Health Related Boards, Massage Therapy Board.  You can view their website at http://tn.gov/health/article/ML-Applications.  Cumberland students receive assistance and supervision in assembling the documents required for the license application as part of the Intern Clinic curriculum.

Is an Associates Degree necessary for licensure?  Will it help me find a job?
An Associates Degree will not be necessary for licensure. To be licensed in the state of Tennessee, you must complete 500 hours of training in a board-approved program.  You can find a complete list of Board-approved educational programs at the Massage Therapy Board website at http://tn.gov/health/article/ML-edu. At the end of the list, you will find the state licensure exam pass rates for each school listed, which is a great way to assess the strength of a school's program.  An Associates Degree will not help you find a job.  The quality of your education and your massage skills will most likely determine your ability to get and keep your first job. If you want to find out which schools have the best reputations in your area, ask therapists or potential employers for referrals.  They will give you an unbiased answer.

As a bodyworker, where will I work?
Most graduates eventually establish a private practice, but many graduates will gain their initial employment experience in group practices, salons and day spas, chiropractic clinics, retirement homes, on-site massage services, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and in integrative psychotherapeutic practices.

Will Cumberland Institute teach me how to establish myself professionally?
Absolutely. The success of Cumberland Institute has been defined by its percentage of successful graduates. At this time, approximately 100% of our graduates are working in the bodywork industry within a year of graduation. This rate of graduate success is attributed to the required course T401 BUSINESS MARKETING, pre-graduate working experience in the Cumberland Institute Intern Clinic, one-on-one business strategy reviews available with the Directors, as well as monthly compilations of career positions available exclusively to Cumberland Institute graduates. 

Is there assistance available for job placement?
Although Cumberland does not have official job placement assistance, the reputation of our school, and the excellence of our graduates maintains a very high rate of placement.  Our current placement rate (as of July 2014) is 100%.  Cumberland Institute is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.  In order to view detailed job placement and completion information on the massage therapy program offered by Cumberland Institute, please visit http://tn.gov/thec/topic/authorized-institutions-data and click on the "Authorized Institutions Data button".

How much money can I earn as a professional bodyworker?
A full-time private practice can gross $30,000 to $60,000 per year, while a hospital or clinic or spa employee can gross between $20,000 and $30,000 per year.

How many students are enrolled at Cumberland Institute?
On average, Cumberland Institute has between 50 and 80 students enrolled per quarter.

May I contact any of your students and inquire about their experience while enrolled at Cumberland Institute?
Yes. Cumberland Institute maintains a current list of practicing graduates, student interns, and current students, who are willing to be contacted by prospective students. This list is available by request from the Academic Director, Mary McDaniel.  You can reach her via email at mary@cumberlandinstitute.com

What are the class sizes at Cumberland Institute?
Lecture class sizes vary by course between 8 and 25 students, while hands-on classes have a second instructor added at 13 students. Since half of the students are giving massage and half are receiving it during hands-on training, this makes a maximum 1:6 ratio of teachers to students during hands-on instruction.

How many classes should I take each quarter?
Quarterly course load is an individual consideration based on a student’s personal and work schedule, as well as the amount of financial resources they can comfortably afford to apply to their tuition each quarter. Cumberland Institute strongly recommends registering for the number of courses which preserves freedom from personal and financial pressure, thus avoiding burnout and financial overload. A curriculum track defining a student’s complete schedule of courses and a proposed certification date will be established during the student’s admissions interview. 

What is internship?
Internship is a 73-hour course requirement for certification, which provides an onsite venue in which the student intern integrates all preceding coursework into professional form, giving the intern experience in the daily management of a therapy practice. Internship is performed within the Intern Clinic at Cumberland Institute.  Student interns work one day per week for a five-hour shift, seeing two clients each shift.  The clinic experience gives our students the opportunity to overcome first job jitters before they leave school, and enhances their professional demeanor and therapeutic skills while still under faculty supervision.

How does Cumberland define a clock hour?
Cumberland Institute defines a clock hour as 60 minutes of in-class or in-clinic faculty-supervised instruction. A 5-minute break is scheduled in addition for each clock hour scheduled. A 2-hour class is actually scheduled for 2 hours, 5 minutes; a 3-hour class is scheduled for 3 hours, 10 minutes; a 4-hour class is actually scheduled for 4 hours, 15 minutes.

Does Cumberland Institute accept course credit from other schools?  Will Cumberland Institute course credit transfer to other schools?
Yes. Cumberland Institute will accept and transfer course credit from other comparable curriculum on the following basis: (a) an official transcript from the school where training was received is provided, (b) the transcribed hours of course instruction equal or exceed that of a comparable Cumberland Institute course, (c) the transcribed course has been successfully completed no more than 5 years prior to entry into Cumberland Institute, and (d) the transcribed course was completed at an accredited academic institution. Cumberland Institute does not accept transfers for T402 INTERNSHIP, and we may ask a prospective student to take a final exam from a transfer science class, or pass a faculty assessment on a hands-on class, before credit is accepted.

Disclosure Statement Required of all Post Secondary Educational Institutions by Tennessee Higher Education Commission:
Contact hours earned at Cumberland Institute of Holistic Therapies may not transfer to another educational institution.  Contact hours earned at another institution may not be accepted by Cumberland Institute.  You should obtain confirmation that Cumberland Institute will accept any contact hours you have earned at another educational institution before you execute an enrollment contract or agreement.  You should also contact any educational institutions to which you may want to transfer contact hours earned at Cumberland Institute to determine if such institutions will accept contact hours earned at Cumberland Institute prior to executing an enrollment contract or agreement.  The ability to transfer contact hours from Cumberland Institute of Holistic Therapies to another educational institution may be very limited.  Your contact hours may not transfer and you may have to repeat courses previously taken at  Cumberland Institute.  You should never assume that contact hours will transfer to or from any educational institution.  It is highly recommended and you are advised to make certain that you know the transfer credit policy of Cumberland Institute of Holistic Therapies and of any other educational institution to which you may in the future want to transfer the contact hours earned at Cumberland Institute of Holistic Therapies before you execute an enrollment contract or agreement.

How does Cumberland Institute’s tuition compare to other schools?
Tuition cost is in the median range comparable to that of other local schools.

What is the cost of textbooks?
Required textbooks are included in the cost of course tuition.

Will I have to purchase equipment, supplies, or insurance?
Students will be required to purchase a professional-quality massage table, to be approved by the directors.  Linens and supplies for out-of-school practicum will also be needed. Cumberland Institute provides all equipment, linens, and supplies for in-class work. A student-level comprehensive liability insurance policy is required for the duration of a student’s training, and application for it will be completed during the admissions interview.

Can I purchase equipment and supplies at Cumberland Institute?
Yes. A complete retail area is provided for students as well as non-students to purchase massage tables, massage chairs, medical-grade aromatherapy essences, massage tools, fleece table pads, massage music and environmental sounds on CD, lotions and oils.

Does Cumberland Institute offer or administrate federal Title IV funding in the form of Pell Grant or Stafford Loans?

Are other loans available?
Periodically loans and grants are available to certain students from governmental programs or private consumer loan sources.   Please contact Teresa Greene at 615-370-9794, ext. 10 for more information.

Is Cumberland Institute approved for Veteran’s Education Benefits under the GI Bill?
Yes. Cumberland Institute is approved for Veteran’s Benefits under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, and 1606 of the GI Bill. Pro-rata refund and withdrawal policy for students under the GI Bill is in compliance with Title 38 USC 21.4255.

Does Cumberland Institute offer student tuition accounts or payment plans?
Yes. Cumberland Institute offers interest-free tuition accounts for students desiring to distribute each quarter's tuition costs over a period of 90 days. The first third of tuition is due upon registration. The second third of tuition will be due within 30 days of registration. The last third of tuition will be due within 60 days of registration. Tuition payments may be made with cash, checks, and check cards or credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover).  All students are provided with a "Tuition Account Payment Schedule" which indicate each payment date.

If you have any additional questions regarding Cumberland Institute that have not been answered here, please contact the school’s Administrator, Teresa Greene, at (615) 370-9794, extension 10 or teresa@cumberlandinstitute.com

Frequently Asked Questions

To answer your calling is as natural as growing toward the sunlight.

How long does it take to complete training at Cumberland Institute?
Students may complete the 500-hour Massage Therapist Certification in their choice of the following time periods:  The 15-month fast track or a self-paced track of 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, or 36-month programs. Classes are offered  Monday through Thursday of each week; with most students attending twice per week.

Evening classes are scheduled between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.  Weekend classes are generally 9:00 a.m to 5:30 p.m.  Students may choose a combination of day and/or evening classes, subject to availability each quarter. The majority of our students are following the 18-month track.  Cumberland classes meet one day or night per week, and an 18-month track requires students to be in class 2 days or nights per week per quarter.  This pace allows our students to maintain a full-time job while they attend classes at Cumberland and still have time left for family or social time.  There are homework and offsite massage practicum requirements for each class in the curriculum, so a two-course per quarter track requires a full-time, but not overwhelming work load to the enrolled student.  With the self-paced option, students can slow down or spreed up their track to suit their needs.  For more information on tracking, please contact the Academic Director, Mary McDaniel at 615-370-9794, ext. 11.

Welcome to Cumberland Institute

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