To set the standard for educating excellent entry-level and continuing practitioners of the midwifery arts and sciences within the biodynamic model, integrating a solid framework of traditional knowledge and practices with a variety of therapeutic approaches.
Birthingway was a spring-time baby, born in March 1993. We began as a six-month structured study group held in the home of our founder, Holly Scholles. Soon after, this group became the Birthingway Midwifery School, a private business offering a two-year program of classroom and independent study. Holly taught all of the courses with the occasional help of guest speakers.
In 1996, Birthingway made the decision to seek accreditation by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). In order to meet MEAC accreditation requirements, the program expanded to three years and increased the clinical requirements for graduation. A year later, Holly turned control of Birthingway over to a Board of Directors and we became the Birthingway Midwifery Center, a non-profit, charitable corporation.
A Growing Community
During the fall of 1998, Birthingway moved out of Holly’s home into a large house in North Portland. By this time, a growing number of teachers and preceptors were becoming a part of the Birthingway community. We were only in this new location for a short time, however, because in August 1999, Birthingway moved again, this time to our current home in Southeast Portland.
In spring 2000, the State of Oregon gave Birthingway a choice: become approved as a private career school or offer, as a college, a Bachelor Degree. After much community discussion, Birthingway applied to the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) for approval to confer the Bachelor of Science in Midwifery degree. In March 2001, we were first granted approval and officially became Birthingway College of Midwifery.
During fall 2010, Birthingway received approval from MEAC and ODA to offer our second degree program: the Associate of Science in Lactation Consultation.