Forsyth Technical Community College Programs

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If you are looking to start a career in massage therapy, chances are you have been bombarded with the number of different programs out there. You have likely come across conventional associate degree programs, certificates, and part-time evening programs. There is so much to be considered: costs, classes, courses involved, and the type of schedule each program offers. In the following guide to Forsyth Technical Community College, we consider all of these factors and more to help you choose the massage therapy program that is right for you.

What Is Forsyth Technical Community College?

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Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Forsyth Technical Community College is one of the largest community colleges in the North Carolina Community College System. The College offers 75 Associate in Applied Science degrees and five college transfer degrees.

The College has two campuses in Winston-Salem and various learning centers throughout the surrounding area. Forsyth Technical has various programs dedicated to supporting student learning, including mentoring programs for minority students, both male and female.

Forsyth Technical Community College’s mission is to “provide students with guided educational pathways into a competitive workforce for the community and global economy.”.

The college’s core values are:

  • Excellence - holding students to high expectations
  • Learning - supporting formal and informal learning opportunities for students
  • Responsiveness - recognizing the impact of change and innovation
  • Diversity - honoring diversity in the college community and embracing all learning styles
  • Respect - valuing a work environment characterized by mutual respect

The massage therapy programs at Forsyth Technical Community College are accredited by the North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy. The college itself is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

What Is the Massage Therapy Program Like?

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Forsyth Technical Community College’s massage therapy program prepares students to work directly with clients in client-care settings after graduation. There are three ways in which the program can be completed. Students can pursue an Associate in Applied Science degree in Therapeutic Massage, enroll in the diploma program, or obtain a Certificate in Therapeutic Massage.

Forsyth Technical Community College’s goal is to prepare graduates to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) and to apply for licensure to practice in North Carolina. The College lists its broader goal as to prepare graduates to function as health care providers of massage therapy care and bodywork.

Associate in Applied Science

The Associate in Applied Science program’s curriculum prepares graduates to work in competitive settings including hospitals/rehabilitation centers, health departments, sports clubs, private practice, and medical offices. This program is available during the day. Graduates of this program may be eligible to take the MBLEx.

Completion of this program generally takes five semesters with a total of 69 credit hours. Students begin their first semester learning the fundamentals of massage and professional ethics. The program kicks into full gear by the second semester when students begin to learn the more technical aspects of therapeutic massage through classes like medical terminology and massage applications.

Students will gain hands-on experience through clinical work in their second and fourth semesters. The clinics allow students to apply the skills they have learned and their ability to treat patients in real-world settings.

Other required courses for this program:

  • Therapeutic Massage Management
  • General Psychology
  • Basic Anatomy and Physiology
  • Advanced Skills of Massage
  •  Fit and Well for Life
  • Human Relations
  • Outcome-Based Massage
  • Work-Based Learning

Diploma Program

The therapeutic massage diploma program at Forsyth Technical Community College is available for day and evening students. This curriculum is similar to the associate degree program but differs in that it is less rigorous in terms of the number of required courses and credits needed for graduation. Graduates of this program may be eligible to take the MBLEx.

Unlike the associate degree program, the diploma program can be completed in three semesters. 43 credits are required for graduation, while one clinical course is required.

Courses required for this program:

  • Fundamentals of Massage
  • Ethics of Massage
  • Medical Terminology
  • Massage Applications
  • Therapeutic Massage Management
  • General Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Certificate Program: Therapeutic Massage – Massage Practitioner I & II


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Students interested in obtaining a certificate for therapeutic massage can do so through Forsyth Technical Community College’s day and evening certificate programs. These certificate programs are broken down into two parts: Massage Practitioner I and II; each is one semester long with a total of 16 credit hours. Graduates of this program may be eligible to take the MBLEx.

For Massage Practitioner I, students will study the fundamentals of therapeutic massage and professional ethics before embarking on more advanced topics in massage techniques in Massage Practitioner II. Students will also engage in clinical work in their second semester.

Courses required for this program:

  • Fundamentals of Massage
  • Ethics of Massage
  • Medical Terminology
  • Massage Applications
  • Clinical Supplement I
  • Therapeutic Massage Management

How to Choose Between the AAS Program and the Diploma Program?

Students who wish to work in medical settings such as doctors’ offices and rehabilitation centers should pursue an associate degree. This program will teach students advanced medical massage techniques beyond the curriculum of the diploma and certificate programs. For example, students will learn how to perform manual lymphatic drainage and outcome-based massages, which are required courses for work in advanced medical settings.

In addition, the associate degree program provides students with more in-depth clinical opportunities than the other programs, as well as a work-based learning experience in real healthcare and wellness facilities within the community.

How Can Forsyth Technical Community College Help You Succeed in Your Massage Career?

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Forsyth Technical Community College’s massage therapy programs are tailored to each student’s individual and career goals. As the need for therapeutic massage professionals increases, there has never been a greater need for compassionate, knowledgeable, and competent graduates to provide quality care for the community.

While some massage schools in the Winston-Salem area charge over $13,000 in tuition, Forsyth Technical Community College’s program can be completed for under $4,000. Financial aid options in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans are available to students who qualify. Check the financial aid p age for more details.

Each of the massage therapy programs is designed to teach students the fundamental skills to become successful in their chosen career paths. Through a fast-paced curriculum, students will gain problem-solving skills and various other techniques as a part of a holistic approach to massage therapy. Each program is limited as far as the number of admitted students. With only 24 students admitted for the associate-degree program, 16 for the certificate program, and 24 for the diploma program, students will receive the benefit of small class sizes and more individualized attention from the faculty.

Forsyth Technical Community College has a 100% pass rate on the licensing exam. Career Services at the College are also available to help students succeed in their massage therapy careers. They offer self-assessment tools to aid students in making informed career decisions. The Office also offers individual help with resumes, cover letters, job searches, and interviewing skills.

Skills students will walk away with after completing the therapeutic massage program:

  • Interpersonal abilities in interactions with diverse individuals
  • Communications abilities in interactions with others in verbal and written form
  • Critical thinking abilities for clinical judgment
  • Physical abilities for movement around massage tables and treatment areas
  • Physical health for performing massages
  • Auditory and visual abilities for physical assessment and monitoring treatment
  • Tactile abilities for assessment and treatment
  • Critical thinking abilities for professional judgment
  • Cognitive and perceptual abilities to apply skills gained to professional levels


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The massage therapy programs at Forsyth Technical Community College prepare students for the challenges they will face in their chosen career fields. Whether it’s working with patients in traditional medical settings, sports rehabilitation in clubs or private practice, students will receive the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their massage therapy careers.

The Associate Degree in Applied Science program is the flagship program for massage therapy at Forsyth Technical Community College. This marketable degree can be completed in under two years, and unlike the degree and certificate programs, it is only offered during the day. The program is robust, with two semesters of clinical opportunities as well as more advanced learning about human physiology and client relations. In addition, advanced courses in the program teach students how to interact with and how to treat diverse groups of patients, including how to diagnose problems and critically arrive at appropriate solutions.

For students who have day jobs or are looking to gain basic knowledge in massage therapy, Forsyth Technical Community College offers an evening program in both its diploma and certificate programs. With either, students will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of massage therapy and basic human anatomy before they apply the skills they have gained in a clinical setting.

Forsyth Technical Community College’s massage therapy program is affordable and comprehensive. Students who wish to take the North Carolina licensure exam will receive the training and education they need to prepare for and ultimately pass that exam.

Massage Therapist Career Team

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