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Beginning steps to develop midwifery degree program

This is an update to what is happening on our Journey to develop a midwifery degree program at the community college level in California. Happily we are now working with a faculty member at American River College in Sacramento taking incremental steps to move forward. There are no guarantees, however at least the midwifery program is scheduled on the Program Placement Council meeting agenda, which we were told is a great step forward.

We are delighted to discover that our dream of a midwifery program is on the way to becoming a reality.

We will keep you in the loop as much as possible about the progress.

This is a summary of the research we were tasked to provide…all these pieces of information move the program forward.

State Requirements

Business and Professions Code 2512.5 – outlines what midwifery curriculum must cover and states The midwifery education program curriculum shall consist of not less than 84 semester units or 126 quarter units.

California Code of Regulations 1379.30 – outlines midwifery education program

Curriculum Examples

Mercy in Action – 3 year program, not approved in California

National College of Midwifery – Self directed program, approved in California

Birthwise Midwifery School – 3 year community program, approved in California

National Midwifery Institute – Self directed program, approved in California

Southwest Tech – This is a 2 year midwifery program, not approved in California


An opportunity exists to create a well developed distant learning midwifery curriculum model for the community colleges in California that could be replicated. Currently, no midwifery degree program exist at the community colleges that are either traditional or distant learning programs. There is only one school in the entire state that trains licensed midwives, all other programs are outside of California. (see post about schools)

Keep in Mind

As curriculum is being developed it is important to also consider ensuring the midwifery program qualifies for accreditation through MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council)

Another important element is that the curriculum is structured so students fulfill the requirements to take the NARM test (North American Registry of Midwives)


The 2016 report on Maternity Care by the California Health Care Foundation shows that between 2007 and 2014 licensed midwives increased by 101% and the women they served also increased. The report demonstrates a need exists for more midwives to be trained to serve more women in California to provide quality maternity care and lower sky rocketing health care costs.

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