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Lactation Consultant: Pathway 2

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About the Lactation Consultant: Pathway 2 Program

Applications for Spring 2022 will be accepted between October 18 - November 30, 2021. Please note the following:
With the exception of the Lactation Education Counselor (LEC) course, all prerequisites must be completed at the time you submit an application. The LEC course must be completed by the time the Pathway 2 program starts in March, 2022.
Spring Pathway 2 Lactation Consultant Program will be offering clinical hours with the use of technology. For this reason, we will be accepting international students, Pathway 1 students that would like to convert to the Pathway 2 program, and students who are comfortable completing their clinical hours using technology.


This Lactation Consultant Pathway 2 professional certificate program expands the clinical knowledge of the breastfeeding professional who interfaces with the breastfeeding client by understanding problems of clinical management.

Certification as a lactation consultant is approved preparation for healthcare providers who interact and triage infant nutrition problems and concerns. The course of study is based on objectives, guidelines and competencies established by LEAARC.

Although UC San Diego does not issue the credential of Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), this program complies with the IBLCE guidelines.

Pathway 2 Qualifications:

Pathway 2 candidates are defined as having completed all of the requirements below, prior to the start of the program in September:

Pass Rates

Testing Date Number of Candidates Number Passed Percentage Passed
April 2019 10 10 100%
September 2019 54 48 89%
September 2020 10 9 90%


logo-mycaa.pngMilitary spouses are eligible to use My CAA $4000 scholarship. Apply at MyCAA.

Students who complete this certificate will:

  • Expand their clinical knowledge as a breastfeeding professional who interfaces with the breastfeeding clients by understanding problems of clinical management

  • Receive a professional certificiate of completion in lactation consultant education, which is approved preparation for healthcare providers who interact and triage infant nutrition problems and concerns

  • Study objectives, guidelines and competencies established and approved by LEAARC

  • Lactation Consultants typically interact with patients in a role similar to nurse practitioners, as advanced practice clinicians. They generally work independently to triage and manage a clinical lactation concern for mother, baby, and family unit. In most areas, they are paid an hourly rate that seems to parallel the RN salary range which is from $20-$45 per hour.

  • Lactation consultants do not have to be RN’s to function in their role, although some hospitals may have an additional requirement that the IBCLC be an RN.

  • May be employed in hospitals and manage hospital breastfeeding centers and boutiques. In this role they may facilitate other lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, triage phone calls and warm lines, and manage breastfeeding stores that rent breast pumps and sell breastfeeding clothing and products.

  • Frequently hired by WIC, the federally funded Women, Infant, and Children program. These lactation consultants are usually also dieticians, although that is not a requirement.

  • Some UC San Diego Extension Lactation Consultant graduates have chosen to establish private practices. In this role they do lactation consultations with patients and their families either in a business setting or in the patient’s home. The fees are set by the individual lactation consultant. The business may also include retail products, breast pump rentals, support groups and classes.

Lactation Consultants are generally employed part time although more full time positions are becoming available. Currently, UC San Diego Extension does not offer job placement assistance, however most graduating students who have sought employment as Lactation Consultants have secured positions.

Contact
Department
Healthcare & Behavioral Sciences
Phone
858-246-2312
Email
ucsdlactation@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid

Lactation Education CounselorRMED-40029

Units: 4.50

$735

This comprehensive 45 hour course prepares health professionals and other interested individuals to become lactation counselors. It furnishes the basic information necessary to promote breastfeeding a...

Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Pathway 2: DidacticRMED-40032

Units: 12.00

$4,400

The Pathway 2 professional certificate program expands the clinical knowledge of the breastfeeding professional who interfaces with the breastfeeding client by understanding problems of clinical manag...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Clinical Competencies Internship IRMED-40033

Units: 15.00

$95

150 clinical hours...

Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Clinical Competencies Internship IIRMED-40034

Units: 15.00

$600

150 clinical hours...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Pathway 2 students additional CE subjects required for IBCLE exam

Medical Terminology: An Anatomy and Physiology ApproachFPM-40632

Units: 1.50

$295

Using an anatomy and physiology systems approach, this course reviews common terms associated with medical practice, research, and different healthcare settings. The goal: to better prepare individual...

Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Anatomy & Physiology for Allied HealthFPM-40320

Units: 4.50

$495

This course is designed to develop an integrated understanding of human structure and function, and an appreciation for the close interrelationship between anatomy and physiology. Clinical examples u...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Occupational Safety & Security for Health ProfessionalsFPM-40554

Units: 1.00

$225

This course is specifically designed for general healthcare personnel in healthcare or healthcare-related organizations. Students will receive a broad, comprehensive exposure to safety and health req...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Fundamentals of Infection Prevention/Clinical EpidemiologyFPM-40577

Units: 1.00

$145

The concepts of Fundamentals of Infection Prevention and Clinical Epidemiology will be communicated through a series of web-based sessions, with each session building upon knowledge and principles com...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

CT: Practical Clinical Statistics for the Non-StatisticianFPM-40233

Units: 2.00

$475

This course presents the statistics essentials for the non-statistician involved in clinical trials. Topics include study designs, hypothesis testing, sample size calculations, assumptions, controls, ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Foundations of Nutrition I: Introduction to Nutrition ScienceBIOL-40320

Units: 3.00

$395

Over the ten-week length of the course, students will study nutrition science principles on the following topics: The importance of nutrition research, research study designs, the scientific methodPl...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Introduction to PsychologyPSYC-40028

Units: 4.50

$745

Gain an Introduction to Psychology This undergraduate-level online course is designed to introduce students to the exciting field of psychology. Students explore a range of topics including cognitio...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Human Growth and DevelopmentPSYC-40029

Units: 4.50

$745

Human Growth and Development This course provides an introduction to the major theories, models, and research related to human development throughout all stages of the lifespan from birth to death. S...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Medical DocumentationFPM-40676

Units: 1.50

$295

This course is intended for those who wish to expand their knowledge of medical documentation. The goal of this course is to present material on an introductory level covering multiple facets of the s...

Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Medical Ethics for Allied Health ProfessionsFPM-40675

Units: 1.50

$295

This course is designed to familiarize the student with medical ethics in a way which will allow for personal expression and further growth as a critical thinker. This course will discuss theories, co...

Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

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Industry Certification

CAAHEP.pngThe Lactation Consultant Program provided by UC San Diego, Extension is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC). The program earned its initial accreditation on November 17, 2017 and is current until November 30, 2022.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
727-210-2350
www.caahep.org

UC San Diego Extension supports IBLCE as the credential and certification board for practicing Lactation Consultants. The IBLCE Exam is given twice a year in September and April. Students must complete the IBLCE requirements as currently defined at www.IBLCE.org.

Students may meet the certification exam requirements by any Pathway, however, UC San Diego only supports Pathway 1 and Pathway 2. All UC San Diego Extension students who successfully complete the training program and its requirements are eligible to sit for the IBLCE exam.

Conditions for Admission

Please see the application for specific admission requirements for this program. Although a college degree or professional experience in the field are not required, applicants with such experience may receive preference for admission when program capacity is limited. All students are required to complete the application (click on "Apply Now").

Next Steps Experience

Connect your classroom education with real-world knowledge through a Next Step Experience. These specially designed programs allow students to gain hands-on experience by working closely with instructors and/or peers on real-world projects.

The Lactation Consultant specialized certificate program expands the clinical knowledge of the breastfeeding professional who interfaces with the breastfeeding client by understanding problems of clinical management. The Pathway 2 Next Step Experience includes a supervised in-person clinical rotation with a current IBCLC as well as crucial test preparation for the IBCLE Exam.

Special Notes

Applications for Pathway 2 will be accepted March 29 - May 15, 2021. The Pathway 2 program will begin in Fall 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All

How do I become a Lactation Consultant?

What are the UC San Diego Extension application requirements of Pathway 2?

Pathway 2 Candidates: The UC San Diego Extension Lactation program for Pathway 2 meets the IBLCE 95 hours of didactic education requirement for the IBLCE exam. The UC San Diego Extension course is 95 hours in length. The UC San Diego Extension Lactation program requires that all Pathway 2 applicants have met the professional educational prerequisite requirements of the IBLCE before taking the UC San Diego Extension Pathway 2 education program. These requirements can be reviewed below or at IBLCE.org.

What are the “pre-requisites” for the UC San Diego Extension Pathway 2 program?

Pathway 2 Candidates: Completion of “General Education Requirement” of the IBCLE is required before the start of the UC San Diego Extension Lactation Consultant Pathway 2 program.

1. General Education Requirement: Candidate must be a Licensed, Registered or Recognized Health Professional. For the UC San Diego Extension hybrid lactation program pathway 2 application you will be required to identify your health profession, and required to submit a copy of your license, registration, diploma or unofficial transcript.

Health professionals include: physicians, nurses, midwives, dietitians, occupational, physical and speech therapists, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists and chiropractors. If your profession is not on this list, please see IBLCE.org for more information about whether or not your professional training will satisfy the General Education requirements.

If you are not a licensed, registered, or recognized health professional you will be required to submit proof of completion of the 8 academic college courses and 6 CEU courses as described by the IBLCE.org. These courses must be from an accredited college or university.

**See next FAQ for the list of 8 academic college courses and 6 CEU courses as described by the IBLCE.org.

2. Completion of a 45-hour lactation education training program (preferably UC San Diego Extension’s program), within the past 5 years. The course is LEC – Lactation Educator Counselor RMED-40029. The LEC – Lactation Education Counselor course is offered online each quarter or in a classroom setting at various locations throughout California.

What are the Required 8 College Subjects and 6 Continuing Education Subjects?

See IBLCE Health Sciences Education Requirements

If you are not a licensed, registered or recognized health professional, you will be required to submit proof of completion of the 8 academic course and 6 CEU courses as described by the IBLCE.org. These courses must be from an accredited college or university.

Health professionals include: physicians, nurses, midwives, dietitians, occupational, physical and speech therapists, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists and chiropractors. If your profession is not on this list, please see IBLCE.org for more information about whether or not your professional training will satisfy the General Education requirements.

1. 8 College Subjects must be from an accredited college or university and at least one academic term in length. Candidates must have received a passing grade in each course of "C" or better in each of the courses.


2. 6 Continuing Education Subjects available at UC San Diego Extension ONLINE:

In addition, UC San Diego Extension requires completion of the following course:

  • Lactation Education Counselor (45 hour) RMED-40029 ($735)

When will the Pathway 2 course be completed?

The UC San Diego Extension program works closely with the IBLCE. For the UC San Diego Extension Pathway 2 candidates, all of the homework and clinical will be due by May 1, of each year. This deadline will allow ample time to apply for the IBLCE exam in September of that year. 

In regards to Lactation Consultant program Pathway 2 program for fall: will all the course requirements be met by May?

In the past, the IBLCE allowed for a Moratorium of Understanding to be completed stating that exam requirements would be met by the time the exam was taken. As noted at IBLCE.org, the IBLCE no longer allows for a MOU and all requirements to sit for the September exam must be completed by the May deadline. 

What is the application deadline for the UC San Diego Extension Pathway 2 course and when is the IBLCE test date?

The UC San Diego Extension Pathway 2 program application is open from March 29 - May 15, 2021. The IBLCE test application deadline is May with a test date in September, annually.

What if my LEC or equivalent is older than 5 years?

Required course is UC San Diego online 10-hour refresher course. This course will update the educational points of the LEC – Lactation Education Counselor course. Course Number: RMED-40026, Credit: 1 unit ($125).

What is the estimated time commitment for the Hybrid Lactation Pathway 2 program?

Clinical: Interns are required to do 12-14 hours per week of clinicals. 300 clinical hours are required.

Weekly Time Commitment:
Video Viewing: Approximately 7-8 hours per week
Homework: Approximately 5-6 hours per week
Intern can work ahead on hours and homework. Intern is subject to removal from program if they get behind in requirements.
 

What are the IBLCE Exam dates and IBLCE test application dates?

April IBLCE Exam - Application due previous November
September IBLCE Exam - Application due previous May
 

What are the costs associated with this program?

Cost of Program
Pathway 2 Hybrid course: Didactic education and clinical $4995
Application Fee $50
Clinical Placement Fee $500
P2 Didactic $4400
Clinical Competencies I $95
Additional Costs
Clinical background document fees between $50-$250
Cost of books approximately $250
Cost of Complio Tracking Package $22
Cost of IBLCE Exam --
Cost of Specialized Certificate $95
Cost of homework printing and supplies $150 for the year
Cost of babysitting and travel to the course as applicable

For financial aid or student loan information, please review UC San Diego Extension’s financial aid information. There are no scholarships for this course from UC San Diego Extension.

There may be scholarships available from your local breastfeeding coalition. In addition, you may have educational funds available as part of your employment package at many hospitals.

How do I enroll in a class?

To enroll into a class, click on the class link in the matrix and that will take you to that class page. There you can find a course description, prerequisites, and the start date for that course. To enroll in the course click on “Add to Cart” which will lead you to complete the registration/payment process.

How are online courses formatted?

Online courses are asynchronous. Students do not need to meet at a specific time online, but will need to log in each week to view the lessons, participate in course discussion, and complete and submit coursework/quizzes/tests.

When will I have access to my online course?

You will have access to an online class on the official start date of the class. Access will be available at 7:30am Pacific Time. Enrollment to online classes can take up to 24 hours to process and sync with our online classroom platform. For example, if a class started on Tuesday and that is the day a student enrolled, they will likely not have full access to the class until 24 hours later on Wednesday.

Advisory Board

Kristina Chamberlain, CNM, ARNP, IBCLC, Lead Instructor

UC San Diego Extension Lactation and Perinatal Education

Sandra Cole, RNC, IBCLC

Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns

Rose deVigne-Jackiewicz, RN, IBCLC

UC San Diego Extension Lactation and Perinatal Education

Jamie Felice, BSN, RN, PHN, IBCLC

County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency

Michelle Lee, Ph.D., RN

Kaiser Permanente

Maryann O'Hara, MD, MPH

Seattle Breastfeeding Medicine

Ruth Pletcher, MSN, RN, IBCLC

UC San Diego Health

Christina Tenorio, IBCLC, CLC, ICCE

Huntington Memorial Hospital

Nadette Torres, MSN, RN, PHN, IBCLC

Kaiser Permanente

Nancy Wight, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP

San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $50 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.