Why Choose NCM?
NCM encourages you to stay grounded in your own community
When students choose their preceptors, it often allows for more continuity in students’ and their families’ lives by eliminating the need to uproot. Students who identify with and who understand the nuances of their community’s needs hold the insight and passion to effectively meet those needs. We believe that culturally competent relationships are one of the keys to bridging health disparities.
NCM understands that diverse learners have distinctive needs
Many midwifery students are juggling family life, financial responsibilities, and other interests that compliment their midwifery studies while completing NCM’s program. Students from different populations have varying hurdles to overcome in order to access midwifery education. Even those with life circumstances allowing them to focus all of their attention on their studies often hold rigorous clinical responsibilities.
This is why NCM has designed a program that allows for vast flexibility. With our rolling enrollment, students can start whenever they are ready. They may take as little as two years and as much as five years to complete the program, which for most takes 2 and a half years. By choosing their own preceptors, students can match their own unique educational needs and goals with their preceptors’ abilities, experience and practices. Preceptors and students make one-of-a-kind agreements, which allow for varying levels of commitment to accommodate diverse circumstances. The academic portion of NCM’s program is offered through a self directed and self-paced distance learning program. Online Learning Coordinators are provided by NCM to guide and assist students through their academic learning. Asynchronous online learning allows students to remain in their communities and maintain a schedule that is flexible and conducive with on-call clinical experience, family life, and varying life circumstances.
Elizabeth Gilmore founded NCM in 1989 as a larger expression of her conviction, "We must remove barriers to midwifery education in order to improve outcomes for mothers and babies." Now we are more aware than ever of how maternal health outcomes in certain populations are affected by by institutional racism and oppression. The value of providing accessible midwifery education to students from underserved populations is clear; these are the students who identify with their own communities, who understand the subtleties of their own people’s unique needs and who hold the insight and the passion to effectively meet these needs. NCM is committed to making midwifery education as accessible as possible.
The Mission of the National College of Midwifery is to provide aspiring direct-entry midwives with access to superlative clinical and didactic education. The college’s diverse apprenticeships, in which students are provided online academics and choose their own clinical preceptors, allow for multiple approaches to learning while requiring a high degree of initiative and discipline from the student. The degree programs of the National College of Midwifery emphasize maternal and infant risk reduction through a health equity framework of care and culminate in accredited degrees.
National College of Midwifery Equity Statement
Elizabeth Gilmore founded NCM as a larger expression of her conviction, "We must remove barriers to midwifery education in order to improve outcomes for mothers and babies." Now we are more aware than ever of how obstetrical health outcomes among certain populations are affected by poverty, lack of services, cultural isolation, institutional racism and oppression.
NCM consciously considers how internal, self-mediated and institutional oppression is experienced based on race, color, national or ethnic origin, ability, religion, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, economic status, formal education, language, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic and/or ancestry information, political affiliation and other characteristics.
We believe that the Midwives Model of Care© when delivered with an equity consciousness and a culturally versatile approach holds the potential to undo systemic discrimination and oppression within our obstrical healthcare systems and in turn bridge the health disparities experienced by so many. We understand that bringing this potential to reality starts with our own commitment to the continual, lifelong effort of actively dismantling internal, self-mediated and institutional racism and oppression.
NCM takes seriously its responsibility in this realm and commits to:
Protecting the apprenticeship model and creating opportunities for midwifery students to choose their own preceptors while remaining in their communities so that they can learn and serve within their unique cultural contexts.
Continually working to increase access to midwifery education for all aspiring midwives. This includes maintaining an active scholarship program which opens opportunities for students who originate from and/or identify culturally with populations affected by institutional racism/discrimination as they relate to maternity care and who hold the intention to serve these populations as midwives.
Engaging in ongoing examination and revision of our internal practices, policies and procedures (including recruitment of students, admissions and hiring of staff and faculty) to ensure that they genuinely reflect an ethic of equity and a commitment to social justice.
Creating a College culture in which all students, preceptors and staff have an experience of feeling heard, respected, represented and included.
Maintaining a staff structure that eliminates hierarchy and encourages equality, consensus building, cooperation and self responsibility.
Ensuring that all staff is working with a lens of equity and inclusivity by providing ongoing education, including anti-racism training to all staff members.
Continually updating NCM’s written materials to ensure that inclusive language is used and that birth justice and equity themes are woven through the curriculum.
Teaching midwifery students to offer compassionate and effective care across cultural differences, to engage in healing from racism and discrimination and to work towards dismantling internalized, personally mediated and institutionalized racism and oppression.
Ensuring that the delivery and assessment methods used in NCM’s curriculum are versatile and inclusive of different viewpoints and ways of knowing.
Creating methods to use student assessment data to improve the versatility and inclusivity of the delivery and assessment methods of our curriculum.
Providing training to all of our preceptors and students in dismantling and healing from racism and discrimination. This includes education and self reflective exercises woven through all aspects of the curriculum that relate to implicit bias, privilege, health disparities, social determinants of health, history of midwifery from various perspectives, midwifery practices within diverse cultural contexts, and other themes of inclusivity.
Providing guidance and support for healthy student preceptor relationships including training in nonviolent communication, anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies.
Intentionally making connections with, supporting and learning from other individuals and organizations involved in birth justice work, thus taking an active role in the birth justice movement.