Academic Progress

California law pertaining to midwifery licensure requires graduation from an approved midwifery education program that is a minimum of three years in duration, unless the student completes a challenge process approved by the Medical Board of California.  Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery recognizes that, because of personal illness, pregnancy, family emergencies or other considerations, a student may need additional time to complete all graduation requirements beyond the three-year minimum specified by California state law.  Students are allowed up to six years from the original date of enrollment to complete the program.  After completion of the thirty-seven month didactic portion of the midwifery education program, students who need additional time to complete academic and/or clinical program requirements are required to:

a . Maintain current records with their clinical preceptor regarding progress through the program, including clinical skills satisfactorily completed.

b. Meet by phone, electronically or in person with the Executive Directors once each month to discuss their progress through the program.

c. Participate in a formal review of progress with the Executive Directors once each quarter.

Failure to complete the midwifery education program within six years of the original date of enrollment results in automatic withdrawal from the program.  Students who must withdraw for failure to complete the program within six years and who still desire to pursue studies at Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery must apply for readmission and will be required to retake the entire program.  These students are not eligible for advanced placement.

Academic performance may be assessed via a standard percentage grading system, i.e., 90-100% is an A, 80-89% is a B, etc. or as “Passed” or “Not Passed.”  “Passed” is equivalent to a grade of 80%.  A student who does not achieve a score of 80% or above or pass an assignment in a module does not pass the module and must complete an Individualized Learning Contract (ILC) for that module.  Refusal to comply with the terms of an ILC is grounds for the student to be withdrawn from the program.

A student who demonstrates exceptional scholarship or achievement in a module may be assigned a grade of Honors for an assignment, equivalent to a grade of 95%.

Examinations on course material are given periodically. Open-book examinations may be administered electronically or as non-proctored pencil-and-paper exams.  Examinations are also administered periodically as closed-book, timed tests within the classroom setting.  Closed-book examinations are graded and results are made available to the students.  A passing examination grade is 80% or higher.  If a student does not pass an examination, the exam will be retaken once at a time agreed upon by the student and faculty member.  If the student does not pass the examination a second time, the student must complete an ILC and fulfill its terms in order to receive credit for that module.

Academic evaluation is based on assessment of the learning activities specified within each module:

a. Class participation

b. Examinations

c. Student research projects

d. Simulation exercises and group processes

e. Oral presentations

f. Written presentations

g. Skills demonstrations

h. Diagramming, labeling and construction projects

i. Problem-based learning activities

j. Case studies

Student clinical performance is assessed as “Passed” or “Not Passed” using the skills defined by Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery, the North American Registry of Midwives, the Midwives Alliance of North America and the Medical Board of California.  A student is deemed to have passed a clinical skill when s/he can perform or demonstrate a skill with confidence and without guidance from the preceptor.  A clinical skill should not be assessed as “Passed” if the student requires step-by-step direction or correction of the skill in order to perform it correctly.

Academic progress is tracked within the program and is confidential.  Results are available electronically or by paper to students within at the end of each module.  Information regarding an individual student’s academic progress includes scores and grade point average for the most recently completed module, cumulative grade point average, calculated percentages of classroom and clinical attendance where applicable, current academic status (Good Standing or Academic Probation) and feedback regarding recommendations for improvement.  Annual performance evaluations are conducted between the students and the Executive Directors.  Evaluations are signed by the student and evaluator(s) and documented in the student’s academic file.