Introduction to Study Group, Studying and Completing Coursework


Shannon Anton initiated Study Group in 1994, in response to apprentice midwives in the San Francisco Bay Area who expressed a need for a midwife facilitated group learning process. Students who attended the first eighteen months of Study Group virtually defined the curriculum. Focus remained on the context of experiential learning, which moved the group from topic to topic. Study Group modules were created using the living outline that this evolving group made manifest.

Welcome to Study Group

Instructor: Erin Ryan LM, CPM - Study Group Course Work Instructor: After graduating from UC Berkeley, Erin started a midwifery apprenticeship in the Bay Area and enrolled in National Midwifery Institute in 1996. Erin graduated from NMI in 2000 and received her NARM CPM credential that same year. Since then Erin has been in private practice doing home births in Vermont. She spent 2 1/2 years in Bali working as a preceptor and clinic director at Bumi Sehat birth clinic. She has done approximately 900 births.  Erin recieved a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley in 2017 & works for Midwife to Midwife, a global midwife training program, as well as other international programs.

Getting Started:

As a follow-up to Heart & Hands Course Work, Study Group is intended to help students integrate didactic learning with clinical experiences in apprenticeship. Study Group Course Work begins after successful completion of Beginning/ Intermediate Heart & Hands Course Work, Advanced Heart & Hands Course Work, the Pre-test and the Cultural Competence Course. Study Group Course Work comprises the majority of NMI’s didactic curriculum. Course Work Study Group Course Work is comprised of fifty-five modules, each module demanding focus on a particular topic and its context. Completion of modules requires approximately 1080 hours of study. When Study Group Course Work is completed during apprenticeship, many students spread their work over twelve or more months. With a focus on integration of clinical and didactic knowledge, students set their own pace while satisfying NMI’s minimum satisfactory academic progress policies (2 modules submitted per quarter). See the Student Portal for more information on the order of module completion and test.

Once you have completed Heart and Hands, you should take the Pre-test and then begin the module work. All work is submitted to The Study Group Instructor in PDF format. Please be sure you put your name on your work and submit as a PDF. Title the work with your name and module name ie: B.Kind.FirstStage.PDF Your work will be returned within a month of submission. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact the Instructor by email, phone or text.

Getting Connected

Being in a distance program does not mean you need to feel isolated. NMI is committed to helping you stay connected to staff as well as other students. Below are a few ways to get involved.

  • Weekly Virtual Group:

    NMI students and graduates are invited to meet every Sunday evening for a virtual study group, using the free Zoom video conferencing platform to discuss a module topic. It is easy to join, fun, and informative. This group is open to all students regardless of apprenticeship of progress in the program. By the end of each session, students should be able to complete most of a module and have a deeper understanding of complex issues.

    If you are not on Facebook, you can use the information in the below to join each week. The link is the same every week.

    Weekly NMI Virtual Group: Every Sunday at 5:30pmPST/8:30pmEST/1:30pmGMT

    Zoom Link Or Telephone:: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 408 638 0968 Meeting ID: 898 834 146

    We hope to see you there!

  • NMI Facebook group:

    At the time of enrollment, students are sent an invitation to join NMI’s closed Facebook Group for enrolled students and graduates. The Facebook group is a great place to ask question about modules, apprenticeship and midwifery. Students and grads are supported to post case studies, current research and other relevant midwifery information. Each week, Course Work Instructors post about links about the weekly Study Forum session.

  • Start your own group

    While Study Group modules are well suited to independent study, students also have opportunity to organize discussions in their own communities. Following the experience of Study Group in the San Francisco Bay Area, these practical guidelines are provided for organizing local Study Group sessions. These student- driven meetings may be reminiscent of a one-room schoolhouse with students representing diverse levels of experience and expertise. Zoom video conferencing is available to any students wanting to create their own study group or student group.

  • How to Set Up A Study Group (PDF)

Online Resources