When filling out a state licensing application, you see on a requirement to provide “An Official School Transcript.” Not only that, but the “Transcript must be sent directly from the school to the Board office.”
Sometimes there are other requirements, like:
- Sealed in Envelope
- Counterfeit-Proof Paper
- Embossed Stamp
- On School Letterhead
However, you have one big problem with all of those requirements; your massage school has closed or been sold.
What do you do now? Who do you contact? Will your personal transcript copy be accepted by the state board?
The first thing I want to tell you is that massage schools close all the time.
All. The. Time.
Your situation is not uncommon.
The good news is that in helping thousands of people obtain massage licenses in other states, I have only talked to a handful who have never been able to track down their massage school transcript.
Sometimes it takes a lot of research, countless phone calls, and emails; but it can be done.
Here are just a few examples of emails I have received with situations that may be similar to yours, as well as some of my suggestions on what you can do next.
- “My school closed in 2015 and was sold to someone else and changed names. I am moving to Texas now and need a transcript. Who do I contact about sending my transcript to the board?”
- “My school closed down years ago, and the school that took over after closed down too. Who do I contact to get a copy of my transcript?”
- “My school closed due to the owner passing. I heard from another classmate that our records were sent two people. They did not know who those two people were. Do you have any suggestions to find my transcript?”
What happens when a school closes, or is sold?
Part of the money you paid for your tuition is for the piece of mind that when you need proof of your education, the school would be able to furnish that for you, whether it is open or not.
When schools close, or are sold, the generally accepted practice is for the school to make arrangements for all of their past student records. This person may be called a keeper of the records or records custodian. A records custodian may be:
- A new school owner
- A former owner
- A former employee
- A state department of higher education
- Just a note: Public schools have more requirements about what must be done with the records. However, most massage schools are/were private. This makes tracking down records harder.
- The state-licensing agency, such as the state board of massage where you went to school
You may need to track down old classmates, search for names on Facebook, or make phone calls to your state board office, but the above are the best places to find out where your school records are located.
I have a copy of my transcript, can I just use that?
Sometimes. It largely depends on the State board.
I most commonly work with people moving to Florida. Florida only accepts transcripts sent directly from the school, or the person that holds the records for that closed school. I have heard a just a couple of instances in Florida where they have accepted sealed (only sealed) transcripts from the applicant when every effort has been made to find records from their school.
Other states may be more lenient or stringent on this rule. If you have any questions about what a board will or will not accept, do not be afraid to call or email the State’s massage board office. Like I mentioned, they deal with closed schools regularly.
Places to Look for Your Transcript
To help you get started, I have just started to put together a list of a few specific states that post contact information for closed schools in their state. Some lists are for all schools (nursing, massage, cosmetology, and technical colleges).
- For private schools please contact the Commission for Independent Education at 850-245-3200. Transcript Request Form
- For public schools, please contact the Department of Education at 800-445-6739.
- Maryland Higher Education Commission – Click on Student Transcript Request Form for Closed Post-Secondary School
Are you ready to search, but don’t see your state listed above? Leave a comment on this post and I would be happy to look and add it to the list.
I have one more suggestion.
When you graduate, or eventually find your transcript, ask for an additional copy of your transcript and have it sent to you. Do not open it and keep it somewhere safe. I have one and it cost me $5. I likely will never need it, but it gives me a little more piece of mind.
Best of luck with your search!