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U.S. Department of Education

Staff Report
to the
Senior Department Official
on
Recognition Compliance Issues

RECOMMENDATION PAGE

1.
Agency:   Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (2002/2012)
                  (The dates provided are the date of initial listing as a recognized agency and the date of the agency’s last grant of recognition.)
 
2.
Action Item:   Petition for Continued Recognition
 
3.
Current Scope of Recognition:   The accreditation of institutions and programs in the United States that award postsecondary certificates, postsecondary diplomas, academic Associate degrees and occupational Associate degrees, in the practice of massage therapy, bodywork, and aestetics/esthetics and skin care.
 
4.
Requested Scope of Recognition:   Same as above
 
5.
Date of Advisory Committee Meeting:   December, 2015
 
6.
Staff Recommendation:   Renew the agency's recognition for five years
 
7.
Issues or Problems:   None


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 
 

PART I: GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGENCY

 
The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) was created in response to massage therapy and bodywork educators’ desire that rigorous standards be applied to institutions of massage therapy and bodywork. COMTA has conducted accrediting activities since 1992. In 1996, an elected commission was seated. Since 1996, COMTA has granted accreditation to 61 institutions and six programs located in 25 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. As an institutional accreditor, whose accreditation enables the institutions it accredits to seek eligibility to participate in the federal student financial aid programs administered by the Department of Education, the agency must meet the separate and independent requirements.

 
 
Recognition History
 
The agency was originally recognized in 2002 and last recognized in 2004. At that time, the Secretary granted the agency recognition for a period of five years and granted the agency’s request for an expansion of scope to include its accreditation of academic associate degree programs in massage therapy.

COMTA requested in April 2009, in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, that distance education be added to its scope of recognition.

In December 2010 the NACIQI reviewed COMTA's petition for continued recognition and recommended to continue the agency's recognition and require the Commission to submit a compliance report in 12 months that demonstrates the agency's compliance with 13 issues.

At the NACIQI December 2012 meeting the NACIQI accepted the agency's report and recommend that the agency's scope be revised to no longer include the evaluation of distance education. The NACIQI recommended to grant the agency recognition for a period of three years.

Should the agency want to have distance education included in its scope, it will need submit an application for an expansion of scope as provided under 602.31(b). [§602.16(b)(c)].

COMTA's petition for continued recognition is the subject of this report. The Department received no complaints this recognition cycle regarding this agency's accreditation activities








PART II: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

 
The agency meets the requirements of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition.
 
 

PART III: THIRD PARTY COMMENTS

 
The Department did not receive any written third-party comments regarding this agency.