Recommended Course Sequence

The current recommended course sequence can be found in the Birthingway College Catalog and Student Handbook downloadable from our Documents and Forms page. The newest catalog is at the top. Previous catalogs can be found at the bottom.

Course Offerings

Core courses are offered only to students admitted to the midwifery degree and certificate programs. The first year core courses focus on normal aspects of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, including normal variations, as well as some basic deviations as they relate to identifying and managing “normalcy”. The second year expands upon the first year’s learning, and includes management of normal variations as well as care for complicated situations. The third year covers a variety of professional topics and skills.

Supplemental and elective courses are offered on a more flexible time frame and are available to the general public as well. They may be taken at any time. Supplementals are scheduled according to the recommended course sequence, while electives are scheduled as demand and opportunity allows. Completion of all supplemental courses and three electives is required to graduate. 

Credit Hours

Birthingway's academic hours are measured in quarter credit hours. For all courses, one credit hour is based on a total of approximately 30 hours of student effort divided between classroom hours and out-of classroom work (homework). For each hour spent in a theory course, you are generally expected to study two hours outside of class. Clinical Training Credits are calculated based on 30 hours of student work per quarter credit.

Clinical Training Credit

The clinical experience is a crucial part of midwifery education. The specialized training provided through working with an experienced midwife is a significant source of student knowledge which can’t be replicated in a classroom.

A total of 30 clinical training credits with an approved preceptor are required to graduate. These credits may be divided under any number of terms, as appropriate to the student’s specific preceptorship workload. At the time of registration for a term, students in a preceptorship indicate if they wish to register for clinical training credit.

The student’s preceptor agrees to provide a minimum amount of appropriate work to the student during the registered term. Direct client care must constitute at least 75% of the work performed. The number of credits assigned for that term is determined by Birthingway based on a minimum number of hours worked. 20 hours of work equals one quarter credit hour. The credit to be awarded cannot be retroactively adjusted.

While Birthingway makes every effort to assist students in locating an appropriate midwifery practice for clinical training, the College does not guarantee availability of preceptor for every student. Due to the limited number of clinical training sites in Portland, Birthingway strongly encourages students to seek preceptorships in other areas. Our Faculty Coordinator is available to help answer any questions students may have.

We believe it is important for students to have foundational, theoretical knowledge of the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum periods before beginning clinical training. Delaying clinical training helps students transition into college-level academic learning, as it can be difficult to juggle both the clinical and classroom components of the program. We also consider Clinical Training Credits to be upper division work; it is our goal to limit the amount of upper division work completed in the first year of the program.

For these reasons, students may not work with a preceptor in a clinical training setting during the first year of the program. If you have questions about or concerns with this policy, please contact the Midwifery Program Coordinator.