LGBTQIA2+ Policy Statement
Research by The Williams Institute in 2011 estimates there are 9 million people in the United States who self-identify as LGBTQIA2+: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, questioning, intersex, asexual, two-spirited, and others who have gender identities and/or sexual orientations that differ from heterosexual and/or cisgender. Additional research reveals that serious health disparities exist between LGBTQIA2+ populations and cisgender and heterosexual populations.
LGBTQIA2+ people who experience barriers to accessing and receiving health care identify those barriers to include the intersectionality of issues and personal concerns regarding racism, homophobia, transphobia, gender, misogyny, education, literacy, income, and economic class.
LGBTQIA2+ people seeking midwifery care may have already accumulated the experience and effects of micro-aggression and marginalization. As midwives, we are responsible for providing culturally appropriate midwifery care to the people we serve. Providing competent midwifery care for LGBTQIA2+ people requires a midwife to be aware, sensitive, informed, and prepared to respond without unintentionally or unconsciously inflicting additional harm.
For LGBTQIA2+ people seeking to become midwives, barriers in accessing midwifery education may include the same bias, prejudice, and micro-aggression they have encountered throughout their lifetimes, but with the added impact of limiting choice of career path. The lack of LGBTQIA2+ midwives impacts consumer access to choice of care provider and diminishes the wealth of experience and knowledge within the professional midwifery community. LGBTQIA2+ midwives continue to experience bias and prejudice from professional colleagues, just as LGBTQIA2+ student midwives may also experience bias and disregard from individuals within the professional midwifery community.
As an institution, the Program Directors, Administrators and Faculty of National Midwifery Institute, Inc. adopt the following statement, and urge all midwifery and student midwife communities to consider, support, and integrate these principles into their practices:
In support of families, birthing women, and birthing people, we affirm that:
We know that our personal perspectives are limited by our own experience.
We will commit time and attention to listen to individuals and avoid making assumptions.
We seek to dismantle and neutralize stereotypes.
We accept and protect the personal rights of people to determine for themselves and express their gender, sexual preference, sexuality, and family structure.
We believe humans are best served through kindness and consideration.
We will work to preserve the personal privacy and autonomy of gestating, pregnant, birthing, postpartum, and parenting people.
We support the expansion of the midwifery profession to fully include, respect, and acknowledge the existence and contributions of LGBTQIA2+ midwives and student midwives.
We further affirm that the institutional tone of NMI, as expressed through the behavior of Program Directors, Administrators and Academic Faculty, is one of complete acceptance of diversity as regards human gender and sexual identity, expression, and experience, and pledge to support and protect our peers and students who encounter dismissive, devaluing attitudes and treatment.
Understanding the Health Needs of LGBT People - March 2016 publication by the National LGBT Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute
LGBT Health Disparities - May 2013 publication by the APA Public Interest Government Relations Office
Improving the Health Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Understanding and Eliminating Health Disparities - publication by the National LGBT Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health - publication by healthypeople.gov, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
"Like Walking Through a Hailstorm": Discrimination Against LGBT Youth in US Schools - 2016 Human Rights Watch publication
The Root of All Cruelty? - Paul Bloom - The New Yorker, November 2017
Academic Integrity Policy
Honesty is a core value within National Midwifery Institute. The members of its community both require and expect one another to act with civility, personal integrity, and respect for each other’s dignity, rights, and intellectual property. Thus every member of the NMI community must help to create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. An environment of academic integrity is requisite to cultivating respect for self and others. NMI requires that each member of the NMI community adhere to the principles and rules articulated in the Academic Integrity Agreement, pursuing academic work in a truthful and straightforward manner, free from deception or fraud.
In order to complete their enrollment at NMI, every student must sign the Academic Integrity Agreement. This agreement includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. The NMI Handbook provides further details regarding specific actions that NMI considers to represent academic dishonesty, as well as our procedure for addressing violations.
Access to Student Records (FERPA)
Policy on Access to Student Records, under the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (as amended).
Guidelines and Statement of Policy:
I. Scope of the Act
II. Access Rights of Students
III. Access by or Release to Others
I. Scope of the Act
(a) General: The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and its implementation regarding federal regulations affords to persons who are currently, or were formerly, enrolled at NMI as registered students, a right of access to their "educational records" that contain information directly related to them. Persons who unsuccessfully applied for admission to NMI are not covered by the Act. The Act also restricts those persons to whom NMI may disclose a student's education records without the student's written permission.
(b) Records Covered: "Educational records" of a student include records, files, documents, and other materials regularly maintained by NMI that contain information directly related to a student and that are maintained in connection with the student's enrollment at NMI.
There are a number of types of records that are specifically excluded from the scope of the Act. For example, a student is not entitled to examine the following:
Records maintained personally by faculty members that are not available to others.
Records, such as those that might be maintained by the school’s legal counsel, the confidentiality of which is protected by law.
Records containing financial information about the student’s parents, such as information submitted in connection with a student loan application.
II. Access Rights of Students
a) Procedure: All students are entitled to full disclosure of their didactic and clinical records. Students have access to these records by submitting a written request to the Program Administrator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; requests will be met within five working days. Students may also discuss with Program Administrator the types of records available for inspection and review.
Instructors maintain student transcript information and provide course work transcripts and letters of reference on request. Student/Preceptor documentation is kept on file in the NMI office, and an updated record is provided as confirmation of receipt of these documents. Student transcripts are available on request from the NMI office.
Students sign a release in the NMI Enrollment Agreement, granting NMI access to student/graduate NARM test scores and CPM application status. Rosters of student and graduate contact information are made available to other students and graduates unless NMI is notified in writing that a student will not allow this.
(b) Confidential Letters of Recommendation: A student may have access to confidential letters and statements of recommendation that are part of the student's education records.
By signing an NMI waiver form, a student may also choose to relinquish their right to inspect confidential recommendations placed in the student's education records respecting (1) admission to any educational institution; (2) an application for employment; or (3) the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition. Students may choose to waive their right to inspect confidential recommendations if, for example, they feel that their former instructors will write more candid and helpful letters of recommendation if these are not available to the student to view.
(c) Photocopying: A student will ordinarily not be provided with photocopies of any part of their record other than the transcript, unless an inability to obtain photocopies would effectively prevent the student from exercising their right to inspect and review the education record. In cases where photocopies will be provided, NMI may impose a charge for making such copies at a uniform rate of $.10 per page. There is no charge for copies of transcripts or electronic copies of records.
(d) Other Rights: A student may request that their record be amended to eliminate any information contained therein that they believe is inaccurate, misleading, or violates their privacy or other rights. If NMI chooses to refuse this request, the student is entitled to a hearing to challenge the content of their education records to insure that the information contained therein is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. Normally, an informal hearing with an administrator or director of NMI, who has authority to make changes in a student's records, will suffice.
If, after a hearing, NMI decides that the student's records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights, the student has the right to utilize NMI’s Grievance Mechanism. They may also make a written statement, to be placed in their education records, commenting upon the information in question and/or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of NMI.
III. Access by or Release to Others
a) General: NMI will not generally permit access to, or release of, educational records or personally identifiable information contained therein to any party without the written consent of the student. NMI may, however, as provided in the Act, release such data to certain persons including:
Faculty or staff who have a legitimate educational interest (including persons with whom NMI has contracted) in obtaining access to the records. Such access will be granted if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility. However, it is within NMI’s discretion to determine what is a legitimate educational interest and determine whether student privacy interests outweigh such interest.
Persons who require access in connection with the student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
Parents of a student, provided the student is a "dependent" of the parents for federal income tax purposes. In general, NMI does not make education records available to a student's parents. If NMI believes that it is in a dependent student's interest, information from the student's educational records may be released to the parents of a dependent student.
NMI may also release information in compliance with a judicial order or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena. As a general policy, before any information is so released, NMI will notify the student by all possible means of contact. However, in compliance with the Act, some judicial orders and subpoenas issued for law enforcement purposes specify that NMI cannot disclose to any person the existence or contents of the order or subpoena or the information furnished in compliance with it.
In connection with an emergency, NMI may release information from education records to appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.
(b) Release with the Student's Consent: Upon written consent or request by a student, NMI will release information from the student's education records to third parties. The student must make this request in writing (postal letter or email), addressed to the Program Administrator. NMI may impose a charge for copying a student's records in connection with this release.
(c) Transfer of Information to Third Parties: It shall be a condition of the release by NMI of any personal information on a student to a third party that the party to which the information is released will not permit any other party to have access to this information without the written consent of the student. An institution to which this information is released may permit its officers, employees, and agents to use such information, but only for the purposes for which the disclosure was made. These restrictions do not apply to certain subpoenas and court orders.
(d) Directory Information: Rosters of student and graduate contact information are made available to other students and graduates without student consent. NMI is required to give notice of the categories of information that it will treat as "roster" information. Accordingly, NMI hereby gives notice that it has designated the following categories of information as directory information with respect to each student: name, local and permanent address, electronic mail address, and telephone listing.
Any student enrolled at NMI who does not want to have roster information relating to themselves released should notify the NMI administrative office in writing that they will not allow this. Requests must be made within the first 90 days of enrollment.
IV. General: a) The full text of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website: www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
(b) The NMI administrative office keeps within each student's file a record of all parties who have requested access to the student's education records or other information, other than custodians of these files such as NMI staff who normally deal with these files in performance of their duties. The record shall include NMI staff who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in obtaining access to the records, parents of a "dependent" student, parties who have received "roster information," parties who have received records or information pursuant to the student's written consent, and the recipient of records or information pursuant to certain subpoenas and court orders. The record will also indicate the legitimate interest that each party had in obtaining access to the student's records and whether or not the request was granted. Students may inspect this record at any time.
(c) Questions about the interpretation of the FERPA Guidelines should be referred to a Program Director.
(d) Complaints regarding violations of a student's rights under the Act may be filed with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-5920