MCU's Strategic Plan

The Blueprint: Innovation for the Future

Strategic Pillars

Midwives College of Utah’s strategic pillars serve as the foundational blueprint for the institution’s five-year plan. All the goals identified within this strategic plan are aligned with at minimum one strategic pillar, while some goals are aligned with all three pillars. The MCU Strategic Planning Steering Committee was charged with creating a sustainable five-year strategic plan. The development of MCU’s strategic plan took place during FY23, which allowed for all stakeholders, including students, staff, faculty the opportunity to be a part of focus groups that gave vital feedback to steering committee. Qualitative analysis revealed three overarching themes across all the participants of the focus groups. Based on these findings, the strategic pillars were developed to address academic integrity, commitment to social justice, student success, cost of attendance, and transparency.

Academic Excellence

Promoting an innovative curriculum design and rigorous andragogy while investing in our faculty and academic programming. Over the next five years, MCU will develop its academic programming that will reflect the current and future needs of the midwifery community. As the leader of midwifery education, the academic programming at MCU will attract and retain future generations of midwifery students, who are working towards fostering their academic and professional growth as midwives.

Student Success & Greatness

MCU will deliver on the commitment to social justice and students’ success through supporting the academic, social, professional, and emotional needs of our students. Through the optimization of our purpose-driven recruitment and enrollment process, we will see an improvement of our retention efforts that will ensure their successful academic progression at MCU. Additionally, we will be intentional in ensuring all students will receive stellar academic and support services resulting in a world-class and holistic midwifery collegiate experience.

Financial Expertise

By modeling excellence in the institution’s operational practices MCU will pursue inclusive, efficient, and further financial transparency in all our practices and standards. Our performance-based metrics will serve as an institutional effectiveness core component ensuring the institution’s future financial and operational vitality. MCU commits its stewardship of financial resources as well as fundraising efforts with a clearly defined and structured focus leading to the long-term sustainability of key institutional priorities and other significant investments, including the enhancement of student, staff, and faculty experiences at MCU.

About Midwives College of Utah

Midwives College of Utah was created around a kitchen table forty-three years ago. In 1975 Dianne Bjarnson knew she wanted to become a midwife and that healthy, pregnant people could thrive with the care of a well-trained midwife. However, after searching she found that there was no university program in the country that could provide her with the education she would need to competently care for those who wanted to have a community birth outside of a hospital. Her solution? She would have to do it herself.  She scraped and scratched for every bit of information she could obtain. Many financial, political, and social roadblocks confronted her. Forty-three years later, Dianne is a retired midwife having cared for well over a thousand women and babies and having taught hundreds of student midwives.  She still attends the occasional birth assisting her daughter who is now a CPM.

In 1980 Dianne felt a call to develop a training program that could increase the number of midwives available to serve pregnant people and babies. This was her inspiration for becoming the founding “mother” of the Utah School of Midwifery, which later became the Utah College of Midwifery, and finally the Midwives College of Utah (MCU). To further expand MCU’s educational reach, MCU pioneered one of the first distance education programs in the country.

The program allowed for flexible study and the completion of both academic and clinical requirements in a student’s own community. The distance education option became so successful that it eclipsed MCU’s on-campus program. In 2004 the on-campus program was discontinued and MCU turned its full attention and resources to online education and local clinical placement. 

Since its founding, MCU has become one of the largest direct-entry midwifery programs in North America. In 1996 MCU was accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.