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COMPUTER-MEDIATED DISTRIBUTED LEARNING; An Innovative Program Design in Midwifery Education


  • Lauren Hunter CNM, MS,

  • Judith Treistman CNM, PHD,

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    • Judith Treistman is professor and director of the Pathways to Midwifery Nurse-Midwifery Education Program in the State University of New York, Stony Brook (SUNY-SB) School of Nursing. She received her doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University, the master of science in nursing and certificate in nurse-midwifery from Yale University. Dr. Treistman was formerly director of the Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing and the Community-based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program (CNEP).

  • Doc Watson BA,

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    • Doc Watson is the technical director of the SUNY-SB Pathways to Midwifery Program. Mr. Watson received a BA in philosophy with honors from SUNY-SB. He has been a systems analyst for 15 years, with almost 10 years' experience in computer-aided education. He designed and developed the Lotus Notes groupware application being used by the SUNY-SB Pathways program and oversees its evolution, as well as user training and technical support.

  • Judith Fullerton CNM, PHD, FACNM

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    • Judith Fullerton is the evaluation consultant to the SUNY-SB Pathways to Midwifery Program. Dr. Fullerton received the master of science and certificate in nurse-midwifery from Columbia University, New York City, and the PhD in health education/health administration from Temple University, Philadelphia. Dr. Fullerton is professor and associate dean for the Graduate Program, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. She is a Fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Address correspondence to Judith Treistman, cnm, pHd, School of Nursing, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794–8240.


The State University of New York, Stony Brook (SUNY-SB) Pathways to Midwifery Program offers a distributed learning curriculum that is unique among American nurse-midwifery education programs. The Pathways to Midwifery Program provides asynchronic, computer-mediated instruction. Community-based faculty coordinate, supervise, and evaluate the clinical education of students. The SUNY-SB model offers an opportunity to increase dramatically the number of students who can receive the curriculum. It also provides distinct advantages in maintaining a curriculum database that reflects rapidly changing clinical science and that takes advantage of vast educational resources available through related computer networks. By creating a classroom without walls, the program is cost-effective.