Approval for Alternate Route Courses

Getting Approved... and Staying Approved

Attention Alternate Route Educators!  Are you creating a new course, revising an existing course to meet standards, or thinking ahead to re-approval?  This brief video tutorial will walk you through the ADTA application and approval process and offers some tips and resources for designing courses that meet the revised ADTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training.  It outlines the specific changes to the standards that apply to alternate route courses and offers some great resources to help you update your syllabi and submit a strong application for course approval. You may access this video tutorial via the ADTA learning management system, here:

Presented by the Subcommittee for the Approval of Alternate Route Courses (SAARC).

Would you like to offer an Alternate Route Course?

ADTA offers an approval process for Alternate Route courses. Approval indicates to students and the public that courses meet high standards for DMT education by complying with the ADTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training. Approved courses also ease the application process for Alternate Route R-DMT candidates.

The DMTCB requires that all Alternate Route Dance/Movement Therapy coursework be approved by the ADTA. The ADTA, Subcommittee for Approval of Alternate Route Courses (SAARC) will review courses according to published guidelines upon receipt of an application, accompanying documentation, and the $25 USD application fee (unless applying for revisionary approval; see below). Here are some resources you will need:

5-Year Reapproval Process for ADTA Approved Courses

Starting in 2020, all ADTA Approved Alternate Route Courses are initially approved for five years. SAARC conducts comprehensive five-year reapproval reviews to ensure continued compliance with standards. All approved courses must submit the application for approval, $25 USD application fee, syllabi, and educators CVs in accordance with the Application for Approval of Alternate Route DMT Courses (above) during the fifth year of approval.

Implementing Revised Standards
Revisionary Approval: The Education Committee conducts periodic revisions of the ADTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training.

All alternate route courses must come into compliance with the revised standards by January 2025. Educators must revise their syllabi following the guidelines found in Section I-B of the Standards, as well as incorporate the competencies from Section IIThere is NO fee for revisionary approval to come into compliance with updated standards.

  • All NEW Alternate Route applications received after January 1, 2020, must follow new guidelines as described on the application form.
  • Deadlines for alternate route course revisionary approval
Courses approved in 2016 or earlier Due for revisionary approval by December 31, 2023
Courses approved in 2017, 2018 and those approved in 2019 using the old standards Due for revisionary approval by October 15, 2024
  • Educators of alternate route courses may opt to submit for reapproval prior to the deadlines listed above. For more information: Alternate Route Implementation Plan (revised)
  • Any approved alternate route courses that have not submitted their application for revisionary approval by October 15, 2024 will lose their ADTA Approval status

Questions Regarding Approval of Alternate Route Courses:

We are here to help you with your course approval. Refer to the standards, the application form, the Guide to Approval and the R-DMT Applicant Handbook as primary resources. Further questions about approval or course development can be directed to the Chair of the Subcommittee for Approval of Alternate Route Courses (SAARC) at [email protected] or the Chair of the Alternate Route Educators Subcommittee (ARES) at [email protected] respectively.

FAQs Regarding Approval of Alternate Route Courses:

What content areas, courses, and topics should be included in an AR approved course?

Educators may develop courses and organize course topics in many different ways, as long as specific DMT competencies and content requirements are the primary focus of the course. Any single course is not expected to include all competencies or requirements listed in the standards.

When courses are evaluated for approval, there are a number of the assessment criteria including:

  1. A detailed review of the syllabus
  2. The credentials and training of the educator
  3. Compliance with standards as listed in the ADTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training. Further details and tips can be found in A Guide to Approval for Alternate Route Educators.

At the completion of their AR course requirements, AR students will be expected to have both a broad and nuanced understanding of DMT history, theory, practice, and professional development. 

Who is qualified to teach AR courses?

This varies by course category. All ADTA approved AR courses are taught by educators who have been deemed qualified to teach the courses.

  • DMT Theory and Practice courses and Group Processes in DMT courses must be taught by a BC-DMT credentialed educator.
  • Movement Observation courses must be taught by someone who is either credentialed or has significant advanced training in a movement observation system such as LMA or KMP.
  • General Training courses have no specific qualifications stipulated for educators.

Are the requirements different for courses being offered outside of the US? 

No, courses offered outside of the US are evaluated in the same way that all AR courses are evaluated. The only difference is that International AR courses’ syllabi need to address language differences related to reading and written assignments. (For example, will students need to have access to translated readings, and what language should be used for written assignments.

What can I do if my course was not approved?

Notification of course non-approval is accompanied by a grid identifying specific issues, areas, and concerns that would need to be addressed to ensure approval.  Non-approved courses must be resubmitted, after revision, as a new course and with the requisite fee. If the educator has additional questions, they may also contact the current SAARC chair at [email protected].

I am revising/updating/adapting my already approved AR course; at what point should it be submitted and re-reviewed as a new course?

Approved courses are approved for a five-year period, provided that there are no substantial syllabus changes. Substantial changes are defined as changes beyond updating and refining the course, and include a change in any or all of the following: course credit, course title, course description or course objectives; method of instruction (e.g. from in-person to partially or fully on-line, or vice versa); hour allocation; or a collapse of this course into another. In the event of substantial change, the instructor agrees to cease using the approval related language and to re-submit the course for approval.

Can the course be offered by the instructor at a different site or by a different instructor? 

Yes, once a course syllabus has been approved, it can be taught at different sites or with a different instructor as long as the syllabus content, course objectives, hour allocation, and format remains the same. A different instructor must still meet the educational requirements for credentialing and training in order to teach the course.