10/14/2020 1:16:00 PM Massage, Nutrition Programs Move To Con-Ed All about serving students better
Gaston College massage instructor Sarah Ross demonstrates massage techniques on student Jared White as students Bailey Tumas and Carol Cuthbertson observe. These are all second-year students, scheduled for graduation in May of 2021.
(Photo Courtesy Gaston College)
Gaston College is transitioning two programs from curriculum to continuing education.
In order to better serve students and to adapt to changes in enrollment numbers, the college is transitioning its therapeutic massage and nutrition/dietary management programs from regular curriculum for credit to continuing education, according to college spokeswoman Stephanie Michael Pickett. Moving these programs to the continuing education division will allow students to complete their certification in a more effective timeframe. Students can finish within a shorter period and enter the work force sooner, because the con-ed division does not require general education coursework, such as English and biology classes. The specific coursework for the two programs remains the same and faculty will teach with the same rigor. The programs can be more cost-effective for students, as well.
Gaston College’s therapeutic massage program competes with five proprietary schools that offer North Carolina Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy approved programs in counties neighboring Gaston County. These other schools do not require general education coursework, according to Dr. Allison Abernathy, the college’s dean of health and human services.
“Running the Gaston College massage program as a certificate option through continuing education would allow us to more closely compete with the proprietary schools,” said Abernathy. “Furthermore, completing the therapeutic massage program through continuing education will cost the student substantially less than the curriculum program.”
As for the nutrition program, it’s approved through the Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals. The program is geared to food service employees and managers in long-term care, retirement communities, hospitals, school nutrition, meals-on-wheels, prison nutrition and any other food service institution.
Program chairman Dana Rudisill says the program is also working in partnership with Gaston College’s Apprenticeship 321 initiative. Participants in the Gaston College Apprenticeship 321 program receive job-specific training and a cost-free education from Gaston College while earning a salary from local employers.