About Alpha School of Massage
Are you looking for a massage school or school for esthetics?
Well you found Alpha School of Massage, the oldest massage school in the city of Jacksonville, Florida. We have been providing massage education since 1992 in the same great location on Jacksonville's Westside near Ortega. And now we are bringing our 25 years of experience to the world of Esthetics and Facial Specialty.
Massage and beauty schools can be expensive. Not just financially, but it will cost a fair amount of time and energy as well. You want to make an informed decision before investing money or time. You'll want to know what to expect from the school you choose and if it meets the state's requirements so that the end result is licensing and a career.
The following will help you learn Alpha's answers to most of the common and important questions asked by prospective students.
Let's get started.
1. What does Florida require?
The state of Florida requires a specific 500-hour program as its minimum requirement. The program is as follows:
- Massage Therapy Anatomy and Physiology 150 hours
- Basic Massage Theory and History 100 hours
- Massage Clinical Practicum 125 hours
- Massage Allied Modalities 76 hours
- Florida Statutes/Rules and History 10 hours
- Theory and Practice of Hydrotherapy 15 hours
- Massage Medical Errors Prevention 2 hours
- HIV/Aids Education 3 hours
- Business Aspects of Massage 15 hours
- Ethics of Massage 4 hours
We offer this program at Alpha, but it is not our most popular program. Our most popular program is our 900-hour program that includes all of the above training plus some. It provides more advanced training and a great deal more hands-on experience, but more on this later.
Florida requires 260 hours for Facial Specialty Registration. We do not want to send students into the workforce with just 260 hours of training so we designed our program for 500 hours.
2. Is Alpha School of Massage approved to offer the training in Florida?
Yes. Alpha is approved by the Florida Board of Massage and licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, a division of the Department of Education, Lic# 1870, to offer both massage and facial specialty training. Each year we are audited by the Commission to ensure we are in compliance with their standards. Training at Alpha will allow you to sit for the MBLEx and receive a license to practice massage or obtain a registration to practice esthetics. Our transcript for the 900-hour program is also accepted in the state of Georgia. Graduating from Alpha allows you to be licensed in both Florida and Georgia for massage.
3. What are the basics you should know about Alpha?
Is Alpha easy to get to?
We are located on San Juan Avenue between Roosevelt and Blanding Boulevard. We are just 10 minutes away from the I-10 and I-95 intersection downtown and just 15 minutes from the Buckman bridge. We are just 25 minutes from the Jacksonville International Airport and 40 minutes from the Jacksonville Beaches. We are easily accessible from any part of town.
Is Alpha in a safe area?
We sit on a major road just one building off the intersection of San Juan and Blanding providing a lot of traffic. Our area is well lit at night, as are our parking lots for our night students. We see as many as 130 clients on any given day with another 40 to 60 students, between our day and night schedules, all safely and with no issues. Many of our students walk to nearby stores and restaurants. On a personal note, my son works our night shift until 10:30 p.m. and I never worry about his safety.
How is Alpha's campus?
We have over 10,000 square feet between our two buildings. Each professionally cleaned twice a week with staff making sure things stay clean between visits. Our staff works hard to ensure everyone feels welcome at Alpha. I hope you'll visit to judge for yourself.
Is the staff friendly and helpful?
We have a staff of ten including our administrators, instructors, clinical staff, and managers. Each has a heart for making your time here enjoyable and productive. Our clinic staff works very hard to make massage clients feel they are being treated just like they would at our cities best spas and to treat student therapist like professionals. Again, like above, I hope you will visit the school to determine if this is your experience at Alpha.
Can you easily obtain information about Alpha?
I hope you find this to be very true. I work hard to make Alpha transparent by providing lots of information on our website. There you can learn about each of our programs and download our catalog. You can learn about instructors, hours and schedules, our massage clinic, and contact us for more information and tours. My staff and I can email informative flyers and catalogs to prospective students and we are open to walk-in tours where you can collect a hard copy of our flyers and catalog. Interviews are available every weekday at Alpha to obtain answers to as many questions as you might have. Interviews can be scheduled most weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
4. Now that you have the basics out of the way what more should you know?
What does it cost to attend Alpha?
Our 900-hour program is by far our most popular program. Cost and the experience gained are reasons for its popularity.
Our 900-hour Massage Program and our 500-hour Facial Specialty Program cost just $99 per month and just $200 to enroll. Depending on your schedule, full-time or part-time, the massage program can last between 8 and 19 months. Our facial program can be completed in 5 to 10 months. As for supplies, you will need to purchase an estimated $400 worth of supplies for our massage program and $380 for our facial program. Most supplies are purchased by the student who is encouraged to shop for the best price. This includes the text books. Our intentions are not to give you an affordable program only to break the bank with supplies. We want to make the cost of school as inexpensive as possible for our students.
Most students will finish with a total financial investment of under $2000 for massage and less than $1000 for our esthetics program.
Does Alpha have experienced instructors?
Our daytime class is taught by Michael L. Garcia RN, LMT. Mr. Garcia was teaching anatomy at Alpha as an RN in 1995 before he graduated from us to become an LMT in 1996. He has been with us ever since. Michael was a past president of the local chapter of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and a past officer of the American Massage Therapy Association.
Our evening class is instructed by Neal Delaporta, LMT. Mr. Delaporta graduated with honors in 2001 from the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, CA. He served as a volunteer for 10 years with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork where he served as chairman of the board from 2008-2010.
Our third massage instructor is Edward L. Driggers, LMT. Mr. Driggers graduated from Alpha in 1995 and has been an LMT since 1996. Mr. Driggers serves as our hands-on instructor for our evening class where he and Mr. Delaporta share that distinction. He specializes in body mechanics which allows him to instruct our students on how they can have a long and healthy career.
Our daytime facial specialty teacher is Candace Barker. She is a licensed cosmetologist specializing in advanced skincare practices. Candace has been certified as a Medical Esthetician, Laser Technician and MLSO since 2000.
Our evening facial specialty teacher is Gilenid Ramos. She has 20 years experience in the spa industry including full specialty (nails and facials), Body Wrap Specialty and Spa Directing. Gilenid brings advanced training in Microdermabrasion, Micro-Needling, Dermaplaning, Chemical Peels, LED Photo Facials and other advanced techniques.
What is Alpha's licensing exam pass rate?
Through December 2017 our first time pass rate is 89.1% with a total pass rate of 97.83%. (These number represent 46 students taking the exam). This far outperforms both the state and national averages on the same test. We obtain official reports from the FSMTB each year at the end of June. We share that report with each prospective student. Our last official report dated December 2017 shows Alpha with an 89.1% first time pass rate compared to the state's average of 69.9% and a national average of 72.9%.
What is the Alpha's drop rate?
Our drop rate as of July 1, 2016, our last official report, was 21.76 percent. Our largest number of student withdrawals comes in the first few weeks as some people realize how much touching is involved in massage. I know that sounds funny but it's true. Many people can touch but don't like to be touched. They struggle with it and many drop very early in the program. (2017 numbers will be available soon)
What happens if you drop from Alpha?
This is a great question that I love to answer because the answer is nothing. At Alpha you are not bound by a contract that forces you to pay even if you don't attend. Each month you attend you will pay $99, once you drop you stop paying. No debt, no collection calls and no hits to your credit reports. We do not want to force people who don't want to be a massage therapist to become a therapist because they don't want large debt for no reason. We don't want them to stick around just so they can avoid collections on debts they incurred with nothing in return. If you decide that massage therapy isn't for you or that now isn't the right time, you will owe nothing more than what you have already paid.
What is Alpha's placement rate?
As of our last official report, July 1, 2016, our placement rate is 94.1%. Our students get hired because of the amount of real world experience we provide. Our school raises revenue by selling massages performed by our students. These massages are just like any massage you will be doing in any spa you will be working in. With the experience you get here you will walk into any job with confidence and ready to work. I'll give you a way to measure this below.
Let's wrap everything up with a few more answers to some very important questions.
How much experience will I get at Alpha?
We touched on this above, but I want to be clear about our mission here at Alpha in serving our students. We want you to be successful in the industry. We want you to leave Alpha with confidence that you can compete with anyone across the state. How do we do that? By designing a program that's heavy with hands-on work for a career that is primarily hands-on. If the program you are looking at doesn't offer extensive hands-on training and the ability to provide you with clients to practice on, ask yourself how well are they preparing you for the field. Your first job interview will include a massage on a skilled massage consumer, how will you do? If you attended Alpha it will be just another day at the office. Another opportunity to show off the skill you have honed with hours of training on real clients. At Alpha you will do 300 or more massages plus the practice you get on your fellow students. Sandy Fritz, author of our Massage Theory textbook says massage is "Science and art" and we agree. Alpha's mission is to provide you with the hands-on experience to become an artist at your trade; you'll spend the rest of your career mastering it.
Does it work?
Does all that hands-on training work when it comes to finding a job in the industry?
I think that's a question for the employers to answer. That is why I encourage our prospective students to call around and speak to the people who are doing the hiring. Sometimes it's the owner of a spa and other times it's a hiring agent either way, call around and ask to speak to the person in charge of hiring massage therapists. Ask them what's important and where they suggest you go to get what they are looking for. I know you won't hear Alpha every time but I'm confident enough in what we offer at Alpha to believe you will hear us enough to convince you to give us some serious consideration.
Thank you for reading and my sincerest hope is that I help you choose the right place for you. I hope you'll reach out to us with any questions you have. If you choose to visit the school you can make an appointment by email or phone call but feel free to stop in anytime, if that works better for you.