Direct Entry Midwife is a two-year associate degree program that will train professional midwives who will qualify for certification and licensure in Wisconsin. Graduates of Direct Entry Midwife will provide hands-on holistic care for women of childbearing years and partner with women and other collaborative healthcare partners throughout the childbearing process.

This program emphasizes assessment in the low-risk pregnancy. A midwife conducts an initial assessment during pregnancy which includes nutritional assessment, overall health, risk level of the pregnancy, and then contracts and partners with the mother during the pregnancy to monitor fetal growth and development, overall health of the mother, and family support and resources available. The midwife will then assist the mother in labor and birth of the child in home or birthing center settings. The midwife follows the birth of the child with instruction on lactation technique, initial care of newborn and assessment of family support as mother and child transition in the out of hospital setting.


The Midwifery Program provides access to classroom learning virtually. Note that all students enrolled in “lab” classes will be required to be present on campus for two weeks per semester*. Southwest Tech also offers a CPM to ASM Pathway for Certified Professional Midwives (CPM)

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Do you have a committed interest in the Midwifery Model of Care? Are you tolerant of different lifestyles, values, beliefs, and cultures? Are you a self-confident, independent, and self-directed learner? You may find a career in Midwifery rewarding.

    Students entering the Midwife program should:

    • Be respectful of different lifestyles, values, beliefs, and cultures.
    • Be able to maintain confidentiality.
    • Have a committed interest in prenatal and reproductive care using the Midwifery Model of Care.
    • Have effective communication and interpersonal skills.
    • Be able to perform delegated tasks.
    • Be able to effectively delegate to others.
    • Have efficient writing skills.
    • Have good reading and comprehension skills.
    • Be in good physical and emotional health.
    • Be flexible, adaptable, and enjoy working with people.
    • Be self-confident, independent, and a self-directed learner.
    • Meet Wisconsin Caregiver Law requirements.

    Program Basics

    • Associate degree, requiring a minimum of two years to complete
    • Some online classes available
    • Financial aid available to students who qualify
    • May take some courses immediately upon program acceptance
    • Students must achieve a C or better in each course of the program curriculum to be eligible to progress
    • CPM to ASM Pathway available for the already Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
    • Virtual access available for students who do not reside locally
    • Program has a January start
    • Completion of all Midwife program clinical work needs to be accomplished within 5 years of original program registration
    • See details of enrollment and clinical course requirements found in the enrollment agreement

    Delineation between clinical time and clinical site employment

    While enrolled in and attending the midwife program there must remain a clear distinction between the student and employee roles; and to that end:

    • Students may not be employed or utilized at their assigned clinical sites as administrative staff. This does not include training/mentorship in business aspects of practice.
    • Students may not complete clinical coursework while working in an employee status, whether in a midwifery practice, a clinic, hospital or other facility.
    • Students may not receive/accept remuneration in exchange for work performed at their assigned clinical site.

    Delineation between role as student and role as employee in any birth-related profession

    While enrolled in and attending the midwife program there must remain a clear distinction between the student and employee roles; and to that end:

    • Students may only work in any birth-related or healthcare-related capacity providing direct patient/client care within a practice, clinic or facility which has a minimum $1million/$3million liability coverage.
  • FAQs
  • What is a Midwife?

    Midwives Are Trained Professionals

    Midwives are the traditional care providers for mothers and infants. Midwives are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period. Midwives provide women with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs. Midwifery is a woman-centered empowering model of maternity care that is utilized in all of the countries of the world with the best maternal and infant outcomes such as The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada.

    Midwives in the United States

    There are approximately 15,000 practicing midwives in the United States. Midwives may practice in private homes, clinics, birth centers, and hospitals. In most countries, midwives are primary health care providers and the central pillar in maternity care and women's health care. However, slightly more than 10% of births in the U.S. are attended by midwives. Countries that utilize midwives as primary health care providers are also those countries in which mothers and infants fare best. The United States continues to rank behind most of the developed world in terms of infant and maternal mortality.

    Midwives Foster Relationships with Women

    Midwives value communication and developing a trusting, working relationship with the women and families they serve. In the course of developing that relationship, midwives provide personalized and thorough care at many levels: preconception, pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and beyond. Many midwives provide primary health care, gynecological care, and care of the normal newborn. In addition to being trained to conduct comprehensive physical exams and order laboratory, screening and other diagnostic tests, midwives provide extensive health care education and counseling, as well as engage in shared decision-making with their clients and patients.

    What is a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife)?

    A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). CPM is the only international credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital birth.

    How do CPMs practice?

    CPMs are trained and credentialed to offer expert care and support to women and their babies for pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. CPMs practice as autonomous health professionals working within a network of relationships with other maternity care professionals who can provide consultation and collaboration when needed.

    The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events and includes:

    • monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle;
    • providing the mother with individualized education, counseling and prenatal care,
    • continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery and postpartum support;
    • minimizing technological interventions; and
    • identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention.

    The application of this model has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma and cesarean section.

    Development of the Credential The CPM credential was developed by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) in collaboration with the Alliance of North America (MANA), Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), Citizens for Midwifery (CfM) and diverse stakeholders from across the US. The credential issued by NARM is nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) which is the accrediting arm of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). NCCA accredits many health professions.

    Are CPMs legal?

    Thirty-six states now recognize direct-entry midwives in statute, 35 through CPM licensure or equivalent. Before the advent of the CPM credential in 1994, individual states that licensed midwives each had their own requirements and standards. Since the availability of the CPM credential, the trend has been to use the CPM as the basis for state licensure. The credential also establishes a national standard for quality assurance within the profession.

    Completion of this certification does not necessarily convey legality which is determined by state and territorial governments.

    How do I obtain fulfill the clinical requirement for this program?

    • Clinical courses are designed to meet both NARM requirements and MANA core competencies.
    • Every effort is made to place students with preceptors within their home region. The program maintains a list of potential preceptors in a number of states, with a focus on Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota. Students from other states may be asked to assist in identifying appropriate clinical preceptors in their local region; if none are available, students may be asked to travel and/or temporarily relocate to obtain clinical experience. (See information for Out of State Students)
    • Clinical placement may be up to three hours from a student's home.
    • Preceptors will inform students of expected clinical hours and days and the student will be expected to match the preceptor's schedule.
    • Students are expected to be on call 24/7 throughout the program, including summers. Absences will only be permitted on a very limited basis.
    • Students are responsible for all costs associated with clinicals including transportation, housing, gas, food etc.

    What equipment is needed to start the Program?

    • Computer or tablet with webcam and hard drive or portable drive
    • Stable internet access (preferably via Ethernet)
    • Scanner or photo-to-pdf application

    What midwifery supplies am I going to need to purchase for the first semester?

    • Sterile and non-sterile gloves- non-latex and powder free
    • Stethoscope (of good quality)
    • Blood Pressure Cuff
    • Otoscope/Ophthalmoscope
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • All incoming students, including the CPM to ASM students must read and understand the Direct Entry Midwifery Program Student Handbook .

    Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech (email, or mail to Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809)
    • Admissions Meeting: Schedule by clicking "Make an appointment" in the Advisor block on this page or by calling Admissions 608.822.2354.

    Health Requirements listed below need to be submitted early in the first semester

    If you are unable to access documents here, please contact Gin Reynolds (, 1.608.822.2648)

    NOTE: Students are responsible for all associated costs.

    The following will need to be completed by the end of the first-semester ‘Introduction to Midwife Clinic’ course; you can get a “head start” by taking them within your community:

    • CPR/BLS for the Healthcare Provider (must include hands-on component)
    • Neonatal Resuscitation (AAP-approved; must include hands-on component)
    • Childbirth Classes for the out-of-hospital parent (6 hours minimum)
    • Childbirth Classes for the in-hospital parent (6 hours minimum)
    • Breastfeeding Support series (6 hours minimum)

    Applied Pharmacology (10-510-153) and Nutrition (10-510-140) online courses are now being offered for the Fall semester. Incoming students may opt to take these classes prior to starting the Direct Entry Midwife program.

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Previous college-level coursework in the life sciences

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    1. Acquire a foundation of theoretical knowledge, clinical assessment, critical thinking skills, and shared decision making
      • Use critical thinking to evaluate clinical findings
      • Optimize intuition as authoritative knowledge
      • Demonstrate effective communication and written skills
      • Apply care principles, support and information regarding reproductive health
    2. Create the plan of care for the woman in the childbearing year
      • Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the whole picture
      • Use conscious analysis of the challenges and goals in creating the plan of care
      • Identify with the woman the goals and challenges of her care
      • Maximize the teaching and learning process to maintain health and nutrition of clients served
      • Construct clinical decisions to assure positive outcomes for mother and newborn
      • Summarize how to incorporate high quality, culturally relevant, and holistic midwifery care in a variety of settings
    3. Demonstrate holistic, competent care for women and families during the childbearing year
      • Function within the Midwives Model of Care
      • Uphold professional standards for the Certified Professional Midwife
      • Assume responsibility for collaboration with other team members and healthcare professionals
      • Anticipate the need for referral to local and regional resources and services available to families in community
      • Demonstrate assessment skills of preconception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum and newborn
      • Perform assistance with the natural birthing process as indicated
      • Facilitate continuity of care within the context of the midwife setting

    Completion Rates

    Enter Program Start Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total
    Number of students who originally started in the program 13 15 19 31 10 88
    Number of students who meet exclusion criteria 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Number of students who transferred out of this program and into another MEAC-accredited program within your institution 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Number of students who transferred into this program from another MEAC-accredited program within your institution 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Adjusted Count 13 15 19 31 10 88
    Number of students who withdrew from the program (excluding students reported as transferred out, above) 9 6 12 18 2 10
    Number of students whose enrollment was terminated by the program 0 1 4 1 1 -
    Number of students who are still enrolled as of the date of reporting 0 0 0 0 1 0
    Number of students who graduated within 150% of normal time for completion 3 7 1 5 5 -
    Number of students who graduated after 150% of normal time for completion 1 1 2 7 1 -
    Total of rows 15-20 (should match adjusted count) 13 15 19 31 10 88
    COMPLETION RATE* (within 150% of normal time for completion) 23% 47% 5% 16% 50% 0%
    Percent still enrolled or ever completed** 31% 53% 16% 39% 70% 0%

    *Mean Completion Rate: 23%

    **Mean percent still enrolled or ever completed: 39%

    Retention Rates

    Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total
    Number of students who started in the program 19 31 10 9 23 92
    Number of students who met exclusion criteria prior to day 30 of year two of the program 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Adjusted count 19 31 10 9 23 92
    Number of students still enrolled on day 30 of year two of the program 10 17 7 7 14 55
    RETENTION RATE 53% 55% 70% 78% 61% 60%

    NARM Certification Exam Pass Rates

    Report date
    Latest qualifying date
    Year of exam # of graduates taking NARM exam # of graduates passing NARM exam (via score) Pass Rate
    2021 6 6 100%
    2020 4 4 100%
    2019 3 3 100%
    TOTAL 13 13 100%

    Graduate Placement Rates

    Report date
    Latest qualifying date
    Graduation Year # of graduates Working as midwives Working in related fields Total job placement Job Placemeent Rate
    2019 2 1 0 1 50%
    2018 4 4 0 4 100%
    2017 5 5 0 5 100%
    2016 9 8 1 9 100%
    TOTAL 20 18 1 19 94.1%

    Licensure Information

    The Midwife program is designed to lead to a license for Wisconsin Certified Professional Midwife. More licensure information can be found on the Program Accreditations and Licensure page.

  • Career Opportunities
  • A midwife is a trained health professional who helps healthy childbearing women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies, and provides care for newborns in the first six weeks of life. Midwives may also provide reproductive healthcare for non-pregnant clients. They deliver babies and handle medical emergencies or complications that occur during labor and during the postpartum period of the childbearing cycle. Licensed Midwives deliver babies at birthing centers or at home, and are considered to be the experts in community, out-of-hospital birth.

    What Does a Certified Professional Midwife Do?

    Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) practice in a variety settings, but usually in birth centers and homes. They are certified by the North American Registry of Midwives and must meet specific educational criteria before taking an exam to gain the CPM credential. Each state has its own regulations of CPMs, but most require certification for licensure.

    Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) focus on providing care for the healthy pregnant client during the childbearing cycle, as well as healthy newborn infants. Their wide-ranging work includes monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the expectant client throughout the pregnancy, birth and after the baby is born.

    Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) provide a variety of care, the details of which can depend on where they work. However, their job duties typically include but are not limited to:

    • Providing care during pregnancy
    • Providing support during labor and childbirth
    • Providing care and support during the postpartum period of the childbearing cycle
    • Educating parents about what to expect when raising a child
    • Providing a detailed education on best practices for good nutrition and exercise

    Job Growth

    Certified professional midwives (CPM) are in high demand. The number of births in the United States continues to grow, as does the percentage of those opting to birth outside the hospital. Those who work in midwifery provide an essential service to expectant mothers. Graduates of the SWTC Direct Entry Midwife program meet all requirements to sit for their national certifying examination, and go on to work in clinics, birth centers, and independent midwifery practices. They work in both rural and urban settings.

    More information on career opportunities as a midwife can be found at the links below:

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Midwife Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    10-510-148Midwife Clinic Lab IYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-152Midwife Clinic Lab IIYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-155Introduction to Midwifery PracticeYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-156Midwife Science LabYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-157Physical Exam for the MidwifeYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-158Introduction to Midwife ClinicYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-159Midwife Clinic 1Yes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-160Antepartum TheoryYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-161Antepartum LabYes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-162Midwife Clinic 2Yes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-163Midwife Clinic 3Yes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-167Midwife Clinic 4Yes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-168Midwife Clinic 5Yes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-169Midwife Clinic 6Yes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-510-170Midwife Clinic 7Yes
    Current Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification
    10-801-195Written CommunicationYes
    College Composition CLEP test would also be accepted for credit. However, the challenge exam is the preferred method.
    10-801-196Oral/Interpersonal CommunicationYes
    10-804-123Math with Business ApplicationsYes
    10-809-172Introduction to Diversity StudiesYes
    10-809-198Intro to PsychologyYes
    CLEP Test - Introduction to Psychology
  • Accreditation & Professional Disclosure
  • The Midwifery program is accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC).
    Accreditation status can be found on the MEAC Accreditation Status webpage.

    MEAC Logo, MEAC Accredited

    Professional Disclosure

    The Direct Entry Midwife program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College incorporates the rules and regulations for Wisconsin Licensed Midwives (LM). The program does not teach to any other state requirements/rules. The program is a pathway towards the Certified Professional Midwife credential but does not guarantee licensure to any state. Students are responsible for understanding their state licensing requirements and identifying the state rules and regulations per state on the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). See the link below for the legal status for each of direct entry midwives.

    Students that move between states while studying at SWTC must inform the clinical site coordinator and program director prior to relocation with a minimum of fourteen days in advance in order to receive assistance in understanding the rules, laws and regulations of the state.