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RULE §117.59Massage School Curriculum Outline and Internship

(a) Each massage school shall follow the curriculum outline prescribed by the department for the minimum 500-hour supervised course of instruction.

(b) A student must successfully complete the first 250 hours of the supervised course of instruction, including the successful completion of at least 100 hours of massage therapy techniques and theory, before the student is eligible to enter the internship program.

(c) A classroom hour or instructional hour shall include at least 50 clock minutes of actual instruction time and may include a maximum of 10 minutes of break time. Break time for hours which are taught consecutively in one sitting (i.e., in one evening) may be aggregated into a single break time during those consecutive hours, not to exceed 3-hour blocks of instruction, but not at the end of those hours. The 10 minutes of break time may not be accumulated and used in lieu of lunch or dinner breaks.

(d) An instructor must be physically present with the student(s) during any in-person classroom hours, including in-person make-up work. Any make-up work completed through distance learning must comply with the distance learning provisions in this chapter.

(e) An internship program must provide a student with a minimum of 40 hours of hands-on massage therapy experience at the location of the student's enrollment. A student enrolled at an additional location shall not be required to travel to another location to complete the internship. The internship may not be offered through distance learning. The internship must be completed at a massage school licensed under this chapter.

(f) During the hands-on experience during the internship, a massage therapy instructor must be available on the premises of the massage school and be immediately available to the student(s).

(g) A massage school shall not require a student to advertise for clients or to obtain clients as part of the internship program. At the student's option and with the massage school's permission, a student may obtain clients for the student's hands-on massage therapy experience.

(h) Unless otherwise agreed to by both the student and the massage therapy educational program, a massage school must provide all of the minimum 500 hours of the supervised course of instruction at the physical location of the licensed massage school where the student enrolled or, if otherwise allowed under this chapter and the Act, through distance learning.

(i) A massage school shall schedule instruction and internship clients so that the students will be able to complete the program during the length of time stipulated in the pre-enrollment information. No evening class or required instruction may be scheduled to extend beyond a reasonable time.

(j) Individuals who have completed the required minimum 500-hour supervised course of instruction, including the 50-hour internship, are eligible for examination and licensure.

(k) A massage school shall not allow a student to receive any form of compensation for massage therapy or other massage therapy services.

(l) A massage school shall not allow, authorize, or contract with a student enrolled in any course or portion of a course offered by the school to provide massage therapy or other massage therapy services to the public for compensation in excess of the internship.

(m) Distance learning.

  (1) A massage school must verify the identity of a student receiving instruction through distance learning.

  (2) A massage school must accurately track the hours each student completes through distance learning.

  (3) A massage school must monitor each student's participation in distance learning to ensure that the student is receiving instruction.

  (4) Any class, lecture, or recitation, whether offered through live instruction or not, must offer an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and the student. The direct interaction may be synchronous or asynchronous. If the direct interaction is asynchronous, the instructor must respond within a reasonable amount of time.

  (5) When distance learning is provided through a method other than live instruction, the instruction must involve academic engagement. Academic engagement is active participation by a student in an instructional activity related to the student's course of study. It includes but is not limited to:

    (A) participating in an activity where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and the student;

    (B) completing and submitting an academic assignment;

    (C) taking an assessment or an exam;

    (D) participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;

    (E) participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned by the school; and

    (F) interacting with an instructor about academic matters.

  (6) A massage school must document compliance with paragraphs (1)-(5) for each student who receives instruction through distance learning.

  (7) A massage school must ensure that students receiving instruction through distance learning have the educational materials necessary to fulfill all course requirements.

  (8) A massage school may not use distance learning to provide the instruction required by Section 455.156(b)(1)(A) of the Act.

  (9) A massage school using a time clock or similar technology to track student hours completed through distance learning may not alter the time clock records, except in a documented case of technological failure or other situation which is documented by the school.

(n) As part of the minimum 500-hour supervised course of instruction, a massage school shall provide information in protecting the safety of a massage therapist, including steps to take if a client initiates any verbal or physical contact with the massage therapist that is intended to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either person. This information may be provided at any time in the 500 hours.

Source Note: The provisions of this §117.59 adopted to be effective November 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 4991; amended to be effective February 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 543; amended to be effective January 1, 2022, 46 TexReg 9029

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