Program Requirements

Associate of Science in Lactation Consultation

Associate of Science in Lactation Consultation consists of:

57 quarter credit hours (Program specific)
10-13 quarter credit hours in (Clinical Training)
23 quarter credit hours (General Education)
90+ quarter credit hours of coursework


Graduates of Birthingway's Pathway 2 program must meet requirements from a variety of organizations including IBLCE and our accreditors.  See the Program Coordinator for specific Graduation Requirements for the current year, or refer to our Student Handbook. 

General Education Requirements
An official transcript from an approved college must be submitted to document the following coursework in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a grade of at least C/2.0. The Program Coordinator reviews the transcripts for appropriate transferable courses.

  • 9 quarter credit hours of English Composition (cannot be Technical, Grant, or Creative writing)
  • 15 quarter credit hours in any Humanities, Social Sciences, or Natural Sciences coursework

The above requirements are in quarter credit hours. Students transferring credits using other systems (units, clock hours, etc.) should contact the Lactation Program Coordinator for assistance in planning their program.

According to State of Oregon standards, liberal arts and sciences do not include “professional and vocational courses” such as:

  • agriculture and forestry
  • wildlife management
  • architecture and design
  • business and public administration
  • communication (journalism)
  • computer technology
  • education
  • religious services.

Also excluded are artistic performance or physical activity courses, nor practical and general information courses such as personal health, career planning, human relations, public speaking, writing, elementary mathematics, and computer fundamentals.

Transfer Equivalencies

Some past college credits may transfer for coursework here. Please see the Program Coordinator for specific criteria around Program Transfer Equivalencies.

Qualifications to Practice

With successful completion of all Lactation Consultation Program components, you should have sufficient classroom and clinical knowledge to meet examination and experiential requirements for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE) certification. Licensing is not required to practice as a Lactation Consultant in Oregon. Specific employers may require additional credentials for employment. Credentialing is not conducted by Birthingway.

Technical Standards for Student Lactation Consultants

An Associate in Lactation Consultation diploma from Birthingway signifies that the holder is prepared to meet the Clinical Competencies set forth by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). Candidates for graduation must have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgment to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of client care. Therefore, the following abilities and expectations must be met, and maintained, from matriculation through graduation, by all students. Failure to maintain Technical Standards may result in dismissal from the program. Students or applicants who have questions regarding these standards are encouraged to contact the Lactation Program Coordinator.

  • You must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences.
  • You must have sufficient use of the sensory, visual, hearing, and motor systems, and the somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination.
  • You must be able to perform clinical care activities, such as palpation of the breast and newborn palate assessment. A complete list of required skills can be found in our Lactation Program Clinical Competencies Checklist.
  • You must be able to communicate in English with accuracy, clarity, efficiency, and sensitivity both verbally and in writing.
  • You must have the skills to analyze and synthesize information, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.
  • You must be able to acknowledge evaluation and respond appropriately.
  • You must possess the interpersonal skills to develop rapport and positive relationships with clients, midwives, other lactation consultants, pediatricians, and other care providers and colleagues.
  • You must have the perseverance, diligence and consistency to complete the lactation consultant school curriculum. Therefore, you must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads; to function effectively under stress; to adapt to changing environments; to display flexibility and to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems and needs of many clients.