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Maria Scott - Hands on Learning

Maria Scott says the Massage Therapy program has helped her connect to her classmates, her long-term goals, and to the human body.

Although she always wanted to study massage therapy, Scott, 29, took a winding road to Columbus State. She graduated Westerville South High School, then moved around a lot. She decided to move back to Central Ohio to start a family, and her professors helped her juggle schoolwork and childrearing.

 “My first quarter in school, I was still pregnant,” Scott says. “I had my book bag and my breast pump in class. Everybody’s been really great.”

Columbus State offers both a two-year associate degree and a certificate in massage, and they’re surprisingly rigorous, she says. Students not only learn techniques, but they learn the mechanics behind each move. Students take an anatomy class that’s as rigorous as the one pre-nursing students take.

“Everyone I speak to who’s finished the Columbus State program says they’re more than prepared for the (state massage therapy certification exam,” Scott says.

The first two quarters of the program are all academic coursework, but during the next two quarters students must work in the school’s massage clinic. That’s six hours a week for 20 weeks, and they’re seeing real clients – massages are $10 for C-State students and employees.

 “By the time you’re in there for your fourth quarter, things come so naturally,” Scott says. The other students in the clinic have become like a second family.

Scott graduated Sept. 9, and then she plans to get into athletic massage.

“No matter what direction I go in, I definitely want to work with athletes,” Scott says. “I like the fact that they push their bodies to the limit.”