"The self-paced and self-directed nature of the program's structure fits perfectly with my innate style of curiosity in learning." ~an NMI student

Student Life

NMI offers open enrollment year-round. NMI students complete coursework and clinical experience requirements at their own pace, but all must meet NMI's minimum academic and clinical progress policies (see Quarterly Progress, below). Students have up to seven years to complete the program (including leaves of absence), but they may graduate earlier, as long as they are enrolled for a minimum of one year and meet NARM’s requirement that clinical experience must occur over a minimum of two years.

Correspondence education affords students the opportunity to complete program requirements in their own communities. While NMI's correspondence format means that there are no brick-and-mortar classrooms, NMI students do have access to a vibrant online community for connection, shared experience, and learning opportunities. Students interact with instructors and each other through Virtual Group, a student Facebook Group, and an online Student Portal. Comprehensive student services are also provided by email, phone, and videoconferencing. 

More information about the following aspects of NMI student life can be found below:

“I have been very happy with my experience with NMI. I would recommend the school to anyone interested in midwifery.”

~ an NMI Graduate

  • Virtual Group

  • Student and Graduate Facebook Groups

  • Online Student Portal

  • Quarterly Progress & Check-In

  • Other Student Services

  • Office Hours & Academic Calendar


Virtual Group

NMI students are invited to participate in NMI's weekly Virtual Group, hosted by NMI Coursework Instructor Erin Ryan. Participants share information and resources during these student-driven study sessions using Zoom, a free online video conferencing platform. At the end of each session, students usually choose a topic for the following week's session. While sessions often focus in-depth on a particular midwifery topic or module, past sessions have also addressed diverse topics such as business management, student/preceptor relationships, and self-care for midwives. 

"Virtual Group is so valuable." ~ an NMI student

Students call in to Virtual Group using their computer, tablet, smartphone, or landline phone. Virtual Group takes place every Sunday at 5:30pm PST / 8:30pm EST. 

"There was bonding with other NMI students both in person and online that I appreciated. This part actually kept me going and enabled my to finish my studies."

~ an NMI graduate

Student and Graduate Facebook Groups

Enrolled students are encouraged to participate in NMI's closed Facebook Group. This lively discussion board is a place for students to interact with other students and NMI instructors, with opportunities to share resources, discuss coursework, network, and more. 

A separate, closed Facebook Group is also available to NMI graduates.

Online Student Portal

In the NMI Student Portal, enrolled students access Heart & Hands and Study Group Coursework modules as well as video, audio, and web resources for each module. The Student Portal also includes:

  • All NMI forms for download (writable pdfs): experience documentation forms, preceptor application

  • NMI orientation materials, including guides to graduation and preparation for the NARM exam

  • Digital journal subscription (Midwifery Matters)

  • NMI mp3 library: MANA and CAM conference session recordings 2008-present

Quarterly Progress

NMI's academic year is divided into quarters, with minimum coursework and clinical experience documentation submissions due for submission within each quarter.

Students must complete at least two modules per quarter with a passing rubric score of 7.5. Students have three tries to successfully complete a module, but if their score remains non-passing, remedial work will be assigned and the entire module must be resubmitted. Should a non-passing score occur at the end of a quarter, the student’s opportunity to achieve a passing score will extend to the following quarter. 

Without minimum academic progress for a period of two quarters, student is suspended. Reinstatement after suspension must occur within the next three quarters and requires a fee of $350 and completion of at least three modules, or the student is dismissed from the program. Students in full time apprenticeships or other clinical training (with mandatory experience filed) may waive submitting coursework for up to 2.5 years, but must then complete modules at a rate of three per quarter or request a formal leave of absence. 

During work with preceptors, documentation of training and evaluations of self and preceptor are completed for each quarterly cycle.

NMI Minimum Quarterly Progress Policies: 

  • Students submit at least 2 academic modules per quarter, with a passing rubric score of 7.5/10;

  • Students submit clinical experience documentation for every quarter of active apprenticeship at the end of that quarter;

  • Students and clinical preceptors submit clinical evaluations according to the following schedule:

    • For students acting as student-assistant under preceptor supervision: every 3 months.

    • For students acting as student-primary under preceptor supervision: evaluation cycles occur after every 5 births.

  • While students are not required to enter the program having already secured an apprenticeship, NMI maintains a minimum timeline for clinical experience requirements:

    • Within 36 months of initial enrollment: student must secure an apprenticeship.

    • Within 42 months of initial enrollment: student must begin filing documentation of non-primary experience.

    • Within 60 months of initial enrollment: student must begin fining documentation of student-primary care under preceptor supervision.

Academic Calendar

  • 1st Quarter: January - February - March

  • 2nd Quarter: April - May - June

  • 3rd Quarter: July - August - September

  • 4th Quarter: October - November - December

Quarterly Check-In

"The quarterly check-in process helps me re-assess my trajectory and review my approach the previous quarter...thereby giving me the information I need to move forward effectively." ~ a NMI student

NMI sends out quarterly reminders during the third month of each quarter, reminding each student of their academic and clinical status and what they have due by the end of the quarter. NMI also provides quarterly check-in questions to gather information about each student's experience in the program and to make any updates to their learning plan.

Other Student Services

NMI administrative staff and program instructors provide the following services upon request:

  • Access to the NMI student Facebook Group, weekly Virtual Group, and Student Portal of the NMI website

  • Roster of current student and graduate contact information

  • References for students during preceptor interviews

  • Updated transcripts

  • Informal meetings when attending conferences

  • Email and phone contact for questions

  • Tuition payment plans

  • Options for leave of absence

The NMI office is located in rural Vermont: it is not a public facility. The NMI Office is staffed by the Program Administrator and office support staff. Coursework instructors are available by phone or text Monday though Friday during regular business hours. 

Office Hours

The NMI office is open Monday through Friday. During busy office times, appointments are available for phone consultations and may be arranged by email or by leaving a phone message. NMI office hours may be reduced when other schools in Vermont are closed for break:

"I feel NMI is available always for any questions or concerns." ~ an NMI student

  • last week of December

  • third week of February

  • last week of April

  • July 1-September 1

  • The NMI office is closed on national holidays.

Besides their teaching obligations, instructors maintain professional responsibilities in the greater midwifery community: serving on advisory or executive boards, teaching at conferences, doing research or technical writing. Instructors will notify students if they are temporarily unavailable due to personal or professional commitments.


To learn more, view the NMI Handbook.