Aviva Institute vs AAMI - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 04-19-2010, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am currently going thru the certification process of becoming a birth doula with DONA. But I'm thinking about starting schooling next year to become a CPM. I have looked into Aviva Institute and it looks quite thorough and they help you find a preceptor in your area, but it's pricey ($17,000+ for 3 years).

I just learned about AAMI on these boards and it seems like several people had good experiences with them. The price is definitely much more affordable, but I'm worried about not getting the same level of support as I would with Aviva. Do they help you find a midwife to apprentice with? How available is staff to help you with the coursework? I'm also a bit concerned that it is self-guided, but I've heard good things about that aspect of the program.

Any feedback and info is appreciated! Thanks!
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#2 of 19 Old 04-19-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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AAMIer here! I love it, it's up to you to find a preceptor but since I wanted to do course work before apprenticing it's perfect for me, if they can help they will. They are very supportive, you can get a mentor, there are also study group for whatever part of the course you're working on. What I love about AAMI is that they want you to know as much as possible, they encourage you to question everything and really get the truth. Carla often says "the more you know the less you do." I think that defines the course well. The more knowledge a midwife has the less she will intervene It's very challenging, but so worth every effort.

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#3 of 19 Old 04-20-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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AAMI is great for self-motivated individuals who don't need any deadlines or much involvement from 'teachers'. If you do need those things, you are not likely to be happy with AAMI.

I've heard good things about Aviva, but for that price they should be MEAC-accredited IMO.
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#4 of 19 Old 04-21-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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I'm an Aviva midwifery student. I gotta tell ya', I've been able to afford it thusfar, because they let you pay class by class. You don't have to pay for it at the beginning of the semester.

Yes, it isn't MEAC accredited YET, but it is in the process, and by the time I graduate, it will be considered an accredited school, and it will "count".

I like the organization to the program. There are particular days of the week that you know there will always be assignments due, so you can plan ahead. Everything is outlined at the beginning of the class, so you know what to expect.

I'm not familiar with AAMI personally, so I can't compare. I just wanted to let you know Aviva is awesome.
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#5 of 19 Old 04-21-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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Yes, it isn't MEAC accredited YET, but it is in the process, and by the time I graduate, it will be considered an accredited school, and it will "count".
That is great! I was thinking it was MEAC-accredited, but when I looked at the MEAC website it wasn't listed. That explains why!
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#6 of 19 Old 04-24-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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I know MANY AAMI students who are midwives and they are some of the highest educated midwives I know.
MCU offers up a good education too.

Heart of Herbs Herbal and Aromatherapy School and Birth Arts International, educational solutions that work for you! Check out my new book
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#7 of 19 Old 04-24-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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you may want to consider too which option is most aligned w/ your personal birth philosophy. for that reason, i personally have a preference for AAMI. however, if you can wait, aviva is in the process of gaining acceptance for tital IV funding. (gov't financial aid) sometime by 2013-2014 (last i heard).

that said, i have yet to hear anything negative regarding AAMI. quite the contrary, from both the online community and my local midwifery circles.

edited to add--i wouldn't let how much one school helps in finding a preceptor weigh too heavily in your decision making. acquiring an apprenticeship is not hard at all, ime. you just have to put yourself out there. most midwives are in search of serious and committed apprentices.
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#8 of 19 Old 04-25-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Another AAMI lover here. It is a very self motivated course. In that respect its been hard for me but that is MY fault. lol. Carla is awesome and I think all the people that work there truly love what they do. Its awesome.

Randine , Wife to Chris , mama to Gracie (3) and to Soren (07/08/2010)
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#9 of 19 Old 04-25-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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AAMI ended up not being the best fit for me (and a few people I know as well). I don't know about the Aviva program, so I can't compare the two. For me, what didn't work well about AAMI is that I guess I was really looking for more of a "school". Lectures, articles, planned out modules.... that sort of thing. AAMI is more of a self-directed study program, which if that is what you are looking for then it is excellent! If you are looking for more of a "school" (like college classes) then you may want to look at some others.

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#10 of 19 Old 04-26-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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I have been a student with AAMI for about a year and LOVE IT! I left another program after spending 8 months feeling like it just wasn't cutting it and don't regret that decision at all.

AAMI is what you make of it. The support is there if you ask for it, in fact in my experience, being a student at AAMI is like having a family of women who you belong to. I agree with a previous poster that you should make sure that the school you choose is more in line with your birth philosophy, that is far more important that anything else.

There is a major difference in the women I meet who are AAMI students. They have a grasp on midwifery as a whole in an entirely different way than do most. AAMI students are very attractive as apprentices.

Good luck to you as you decide on the right course for you!

Bettie Sheets CPM

Full of Grace Birth Services

Gloucester, Virginia

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#11 of 19 Old 04-27-2010, 03:14 AM
 
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I'm also looking into options. Just HOW self-directed is AAMI? Are there reading assignments, or are you choosing your own? Are there specific goals to finish, or do you create them yourself?

I know I need some accountability but I also like the idea of working at my own pace (being that I have small children, and also that I have a lot of experience already and will be adding to that as I start apprenticing now). I do worry about having TOO much freedom being a negative for me, but somewhere out there, there is balance, right?

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#12 of 19 Old 04-27-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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I'm also looking into options. Just HOW self-directed is AAMI? Are there reading assignments, or are you choosing your own? Are there specific goals to finish, or do you create them yourself?
You are given the curriculum with the full lists of everything you are supposed to do to finish and that is that. It is up to you to complete those assignments and send them in. No one will notice if you drop off the face of the earth after you send in for your curriculum though. There are specific goals to complete the course, but not on any specific time table.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#13 of 19 Old 04-27-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MidwifeErika View Post
You are given the curriculum with the full lists of everything you are supposed to do to finish and that is that. It is up to you to complete those assignments and send them in. No one will notice if you drop off the face of the earth after you send in for your curriculum though. There are specific goals to complete the course, but not on any specific time table.
I disagree I believe there is a pretty solid time table for the course, and what needs to be completed when.

From what I've read in everything I've recieved thus far they will contact you if you've "dropped off the face of the earth." You don't recieve everything all at once either (so you're not overwhlemed!) there are 4 phases and you are supposed to complete the first 3 in your first 12 months of enrollment. It's 42 month enrollment, you now have 30 months to complete the 250+ assignments in phase 4.

If the first few months there is a lot of contact. I'm just starting phase 3 and have a mentor to give advice, see if I need help, or just chat with.

You have assignments and projected date of completion for each phase and for the program itself. You can easily earn extentsions, pay for them, or get a complimentry (I got 3 extra months for having a baby).

There are also private study groups for the phase you're in so that you can have accountability with your peers. I find the study group is a great motivator for staying on track with the program.

While it's very much on your shoulders there is a community to keep you on task if you chose to stay connected with it.

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#14 of 19 Old 04-27-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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Thanks! That's just the kind of info I was hoping for.

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#15 of 19 Old 04-27-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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I disagree I believe there is a pretty solid time table for the course, and what needs to be completed when.

From what I've read in everything I've recieved thus far they will contact you if you've "dropped off the face of the earth." You don't recieve everything all at once either (so you're not overwhlemed!) there are 4 phases and you are supposed to complete the first 3 in your first 12 months of enrollment. It's 42 month enrollment, you now have 30 months to complete the 250+ assignments in phase 4.
I figured if I posted that then people would immediately disagree with me

I got to phase 4 and sent in a few assignments and then had no contact for another 2 years or so and no one ever noticed or contacted me in any form. That is what I meant by "dropping off the face of the earth". I didn't do my annual check-in or Friday check-in or move to the new yahoo group or anything and it went unnoticed. I am not saying this was good or bad, just sharing what my experience was. What I am saying is that once I sent in for my curriculum (phase 4) then I was on my own to finish it or not, to mail in assignment or not. Maybe things have changed since I enrolled (2006) in that respect, but that was my experience.

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#16 of 19 Old 04-27-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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I hope so, things are always changing and refining. It's good to share all experiences though so I'm glad you've added you're perspective.

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#17 of 19 Old 04-27-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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I figured if I posted that then people would immediately disagree with me

I got to phase 4 and sent in a few assignments and then had no contact for another 2 years or so and no one ever noticed or contacted me in any form. That is what I meant by "dropping off the face of the earth". I didn't do my annual check-in or Friday check-in or move to the new yahoo group or anything and it went unnoticed. I am not saying this was good or bad, just sharing what my experience was. What I am saying is that once I sent in for my curriculum (phase 4) then I was on my own to finish it or not, to mail in assignment or not. Maybe things have changed since I enrolled (2006) in that respect, but that was my experience.
This has been my experience as well. I am always hesitant to say anything on these threads because there are many many happy AAMI students who are quick to jump in and disagree with my experience. I don't mean to minimize anyone else's experience but I'm just sharing mine here.

I requested my curriculum and never submitted my orientation or course work. I never switched over to the new study groups. I have never been contacted about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwifeErika View Post
You are given the curriculum with the full lists of everything you are supposed to do to finish and that is that. It is up to you to complete those assignments and send them in. No one will notice if you drop off the face of the earth after you send in for your curriculum though. There are specific goals to complete the course, but not on any specific time table.
I would add to this that you are not really given a full list of everything that is supposed to be completed. I found the course to be very disorganized. Especially for orientation, you are required to search through countless emails searching for assignments and then create your own list of assignments that must be submitted.

Overall I was not happy with AAMI at all. I wonder how many students enroll and never submit work and essentially drop out of the course. I wish that I had thought to ask that before I enrolled.
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#18 of 19 Old 04-28-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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Just chiming in to say that I do not go to AAMI but I have heard with lots of people who were unhappy with how disorganized the curriculum is. Also, I have heard some other things about the school and the way it is run that made me personally decide against it. Talk to a lot of people before you enroll and make sure you will be happy with it.

However, I am happy for the AAMI students that love it!

There are many paths to becoming a midwife, and we should all embrace eachother!
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#19 of 19 Old 04-28-2010, 10:17 AM
 
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There is a nice discussion of how to choose a midwifery school on the MANAStudentsandNewMidwives yahoogroup.
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