Cammi Montieth, director and instructor for Colorado Northwestern Community College’s massage therapy program, poses with a massage table in her home. CNCC will host an open house Wednesday to introduce potential students to the 10-month program.

Photo by Michelle Balleck

Cammi Montieth, director and instructor for Colorado Northwestern Community College’s massage therapy program, poses with a massage table in her home. CNCC will host an open house Wednesday to introduce potential students to the 10-month program.

Massaging the thought of a new career

Even if residents are only toying with the idea of a new career, Dan Minor invites them to explore their options.

Minor, dean of instruction for Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus, and program director Cammi Montieth, are hosting an open house for the massage therapy program next week.

“If anybody has just an inkling or a thought this might be something they’re interested in, we’d sure enjoy them coming here and learning more about it and finding out if that’s something they’d like to pursue,” Minor said.

The open house, set for 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in room 202 at the college, 50 College Drive, will highlight the 10-month, state-accredited program that prepares students for state or national licensing tests and, ideally, Minor said, a new career.

“It is a great opportunity to get some skills in a reasonably short period of time and be able to apply those skills,” he said.

Montieth said the program, in its fourth year, is designed for individuals looking to learn the trade and then go to work. And the commitment necessary to the program reflects that, she said.

Classes take place every Tuesday and Thursday night, every other Friday night, and all day Saturday throughout the 500-hour program, which begins Aug. 23 and runs through May 2011.

Wednesday’s open house will give those curious about the program a chance to learn about requirements, tuition and fees, and the classes offered.

The program covers various massage methods, including Swedish, deep tissue, pregnancy and sports massage, as well as reflexology. Courses include anatomy, kinesiology, nutrition, aromatherapy and many others.

To qualify for the program, applicants must pass a background check and pass placement exams in English, reading and math, or take courses in those subjects while enrolled in the massage program.

Minor said these skills are an essential complement to the massage courses, as students will be managing a business and communicating with clients.

The past three classes of massage students have included about 10 each year. This year, the college can accept up to 12 students.

Minor said he understands that massage is a discretionary expense that many customers may cut from their personal budgets in times of recession. But, given the decade or more of growth the industry has seen, Minor is optimistic.

“Our view is … we’re preparing people for the future, and that future is hopefully a stronger economy,” he said.

And with a career that offers flexible hours and a way to help heal others, Montieth said now is the ideal time to look into a new career.

“Come learn how you can help people and be your own boss and make a good living,” Montieth said.

For more information about the open house or the massage therapy program, call Dan Minor at 824-1111.

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