Assignment: Please familiarize yourself with NCM's Mission, Objectives and Values.
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.
NCM encourages students to stay grounded in their own communities. 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. Students can start wherever they are ready between the months of January and October with our rolling enrollment. They may take as little as two years and as much as five years to complete the program, which for most takes two and a half years. By choosing their own preceptors, students can match their own unique educational needs and goals with their preceptor's ability, 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 self directed and self-paced.
NCM is working to bridge health disparities by encouraging diversity. 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 minority groups are affected by poverty, lack of services, cultural isolation and institutional racism. 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 to students from underserved populations.
The Apprenticeship Model
NCM believes that apprenticeship is the most appropriate model of education for learning the art and science of midwifery because it fosters the qualities of intimacy, individuality, empowerment, compassion and service that are so integral to the midwives model of care. When built with intention and discipline, satisfying and meaningful relationships can develop between preceptor and apprentice that inspire a solid understanding and commitment. These are the types of relationships that set the foundation for a comprehensive and rewarding educational experience where preceptors and students are genuinely invested in each others’ success.
1. To improve care for mothers and babies through midwifery education.
2. To provide a degree-granting, educational route for the training of midwives in their community setting in order to contain costs.
3. To provide accessible midwifery training to student midwives in any location and at any level of training under the guidance of an approved preceptor(s)
4. To promote community involvement and keep the student’s family structure intact
5. To provide a core curriculum for each of the degrees offered
6. To provide an Associate of Science in Midwifery and a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery.
7. To stimulate, encourage and reward research by midwifery practitioners
8. To provide courses and guidance to professional and state entities to fill expressed needs for specific courses or subject areas
9. To allow the student to choose her/his own preceptor(s) according to a mutually acceptable agreement based on College guidelines
10. To provide a faculty board made up of volunteers in the field of midwifery education and related disciplines for reviewing proposed research projects
11.To address the following concerns about midwifery apprenticeship nationally:
a. Consistency from preceptorship to preceptorship in academic content
b. Guidance for the preceptor and student through materials to be covered
c. Credibility for the academic program