5 Tips in Choosing a Pilates School
Whether you have just started considering a career in Pilates or you are about to enroll in a teacher-training program, choosing a school that is right for you can be challenging. Decisions regarding your education are among the most important you will ever make. This page is a “decision tool” that will help you navigate the process of selecting a school. It explains the different steps you should follow and the questions you should ask.
1) Develop a list of criteria that are important to you
Think how far you are willing to travel, the money and time you can afford to spend, and the type of learning environment you like.
2) Compile a list of schools and start gathering information
Schools policies and procedures might not be your strong suit, so here is what you should be looking at:
School mission: by giving you a sense of the school’s learning environment, the mission statement will help you narrow down the list of schools that are potentially interesting for you.
Admission requirements: some schools may require diplomas or experience that you may not have, so make sure you understand the requirements before digging deeper into the program.
Costs: analyze all the costs. What is included in the price? In addition to the tuition, do you have to buy books? Book extra private sessions? Pay for studio time? Is there a fee to sit for the exams?
Refund policy: verify that there is a system in place in case you need to drop out. Check that the school offers a refund policy that can be applied even after you begin the program. The minimum you should expect is the following: if you have completed 25% or less of the program, you should receive 75% of you tuition back, less the cancellation charge. After 25% but within the first 50% of the program, you should receive 50% back, less the cancellation charge. After 50% of the program, the school is entitled to keep the money.
Faculty: take some time to review the teachers’ biographies. Where were they trained? How much experience do they have? Are they Nationally Certified Pilates Teachers (NCPTs)?
3) Narrow down your list
Eliminate the schools that don’t match your criteria and select a maximum of two or three schools.
4) Talk to at least two school owners
Talk to the owner and the faculty. Try to get a sense of the culture and the learning environment and see how comfortable you feel. Ask all the questions you have and remember that there is no need to make a decision right there and then.
5) Apply, review and sign all the appropriate documents
Remember that the enrollment agreement should be signed by you and a school representative, and that it should list all the costs, the refund policy and the requirements for graduation.