schooling avenues

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schooling avenues

Postby babiesforRuby » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:35 am

I'm polling for opinions on schooling and what experienced mws consider the pros and cons of each route. Obviously, we all have to start somewhere, and all mws did :) With political and legal concerns and pressures facing midwives many are pushing more experience rather than less.

This is a new option that I'm starting to hear about, and I'd love some feedback: Sacred Mountain Midwifery School
It seems they offer an 8mo intensive designed to "take you to the next level, wherever you are starting from". What does that mean? That after their program you are at entry-level midwifery skills? Or does it require a 4 yr apprenticeship alongside to prepare the student fully for practice? Anyone know it's intent? I've heard rumors that you can be ready for the NARM exam in 1 yr through that route.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Re: schooling avenues

Postby MotherNurtured » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:12 pm

The first time I heard of Sacred Mountain Midwifery School was earlier this week, online... I think at MDC. Someone was asking about it (maybe you?) but I don't know that anyone knew responded yet. I know nothing about it and when I google'd it I only found one mention of it in regards to a WV retreat for birth workers. Is it brand new?

For me, the ideal route is a distance course while simultaneously apprenticing with a local midwife. Being able to stay in the state and not move away for schooling or apprenticing had been a must for me, and my family, for several reasons.

I think that is the beauty of direct-entry midwifery... multiple paths with the same destination. :mrgreen:
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Re: schooling avenues

Postby mammamidwife » Fri May 08, 2009 9:48 pm

I don't know if Sacred Mountain is accredited...that might be important. If you have a preceptor she can often be very helpful in finding direction, if not, that might be a good first step. Have you considered challenging NMI?
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Re: schooling avenues

Postby babiesforRuby » Mon May 18, 2009 2:37 pm

well, I'm at the end of my schooling journey :) I just like to keep abreast with current new schooling options, and was looking for more info on the Sacred Mountain one. Their online info did not give me much sense of how complete a schooling option it is and how comprehensive it is trying to be.

Also, i was hoping to get a discussion going on opinions of the basic amount of schooling necessary to make a new midwife solo-ready. I know there are strong opinions out there! I was hoping some of the older experienced midwives would give us newbies some feedback on their journey, and how they feel that a balance can be found of "getting on with life" and actually practicing before we're 80 versus making sure there is enough experience pooled at each mother's birth.

Thanks for your comments! i value the discussion, regardless of how controversial it becomes.
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Re: schooling avenues

Postby betts8 » Wed May 27, 2009 11:52 am

Hi, I am getting ready for the second session of SM. It is not accredited, but it is very comprehensive. I would guess what it meant by "taking to the next level" is that the course is individualized for each student. The sessions cover certain topics and skills, but the work that you do on your own is designed for the level of study you are at.

I very much enjoyed my first session. Sarita and Ruth Ann are wonderful, the food was great, the mountain was beautiful. It was a little on the rugged side staying in the dorms and making the trek to the showerhouse, but I got used to it! There were 8 ladies who attended the first session, so it had a small group feel. The teaching style is conversational.

I think this school could stand alone or could be a supplement to another home study course, it will be what you make of it.

I live in South Eastern VA and had to make a five hour drive to get to West VA. I feel it was worth it. I am not in an apprenticship right now, so the biggest benefit for me is that I can learn the hands-on skills in addition to my studies.

I hope I covered everything!
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Last edited by betts8 on Thu May 28, 2009 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: schooling avenues

Postby racm » Thu May 28, 2009 8:43 am

It is so wonderful to see interest in midwifery and schooling options! I am a co-founder of Sacred Mountain Midwifery School (SMMS) in West Virginia and thought I might offer some clarity. We are brand new and do not have our website up yet. Our address is smmidwfery.com and we hope to have it up soon. We are not accredited as of now. We are currently running our pilot program and we are continuing to fine tune our program. We currently offer a 3-day weekend per month for 8 months as intensive sessions, with private, personalized tutorial during session in some capacity and between sessions as needed and desired. Our program is focused on studying midwifery and practicing relevant skills in a small intimate group, learning through our own experience and exploration, both studying and absorbing midwifery as we believe it has been learned for centuries - women spending time together learning it. We are systematically moving through nearly all the skills in the Practical Skills Guide with accompanying lecture and discussion to flesh out understanding and application. Our goal in 'taking you to the next level, regardless of where you are starting from" is to offer a program to women at different levels and move them forward. For example, preparing a seasoned doula to attend births as a midwife assistant or student midwife. Or assisting a student curious about midwifery in figuring out her path and learning skills to assist her whether she decides to start as a doula or begin as student/apprentice midwife. Or, take a student midwife half done with her PEP process and give her the experience and oversight needed to complete more of her skills check off and prepare for the exam. We do not claim in any way to prepare anyone for the NARM exam in one year. We do not currently offer experience with prenatals, postpartums or birth. We offer hands-on skills experience, continuity of education for at least 8 months and opportunities for students that show proficiency in the skills to have them signed off. How many and how quickly very much depends on the student and their opportunities outside of class. For example, if we do not attend a birth together, we can not sign skills that clearly test a student's ability to catch a baby. However, for skills that are reasonably tested via simulation i.e. manual removal of placenta, we offer education and testing to ensure a student's grasp of that skill. Our Intent? We have very few homebirth midwives in West Virginia and a rising demand for them. We are midwives, like many, that needed to gain our education without moving, leaving our families or spending a ton of money. THis is our answer - to offer a low cost, high-intensity, high-quality program to interested students to create more midwives/birth assistants in a way that works for them and their families. By basing everything we do on personal relationships and building trusting and communicative relations between students and instructors, we also facilitate a learning-style in which women best learn, thrive and find personal and professional fulfillment. Please, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time - Ruth Ann Colby Martin, racm@artabuse.com. 304-567-3149.
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Re: schooling avenues

Postby babiesforRuby » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:28 pm

Racm--Thanks for your response!! That was a thoughtful response that added much to my understanding of SM's purpose and usefulness!!
I'm always on the lookout for schooling options, what they bring, what they miss :) and options for apprentices at all stages--with money, without, can't move, etc etc. My journey has been varied and not without its own problems. Things I would choose not to repeat are many :) So I really appreciate what you are offering and what you do. All the best!! Who knows, perhaps at some point someone I know will use your resources!!
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