Lactation Program

Lactation Consultant Training Program (Certificate)

The LCTP is a comprehensive, CAAHEP accredited Pathway 2 training program administered through the College of Business and Professional Studies Health and Human Performance Department at Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Program Goal

Help diversify the field of lactation to include more people of color, positively impact health outcomes and help address breastfeeding and health disparities and inequities


    Program Structure

    Provides supervised breastfeeding support education in the context of clinical lactation services and public health practice. Students receive didactic and clinical training and earn a minimum of 300 clinical hours and 90 didactic hours required for program completion and to comply with the requirements of an IBLCE-Approved Pathway 2 Program. Content considers equity, population and program-based applications, the social determinants of health, and factors and barriers specifically affecting people of color. 

    This program requires you to be a North Carolina resident.

    • Didactic Courses: Completed within a 10-month school year (with a summer and winter orientation)
      • Weekly three-hour interactive session (class is a hybrid setting with a monthly in-person on-campus class) from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
      • Includes: topic review, experiential sharing and debriefing, homework assignments, projects, presentations, small group discussions, in-class exercises, case studies presented by students, examples from the public health literature, and exams
    • Clinical Practicum: Completed simultaneously with the didactic courses
      • At least 1, 8-hour day per week at a designated clinical site (in Charlotte, NC or surrounding area hospital, outpatient clinic, or WIC office.

    • Attendance at breastfeeding conferences, support groups, prenatal classes and other pre-approved events will also be an important part of each student’s experience

    Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of eligibility to then sit for the IBLCE exam to become an IBCLC.  

    Required Prerequisites »

    The required courses are NOT included in the program but all courses are offered at Johnson C. Smith University. 

    These courses include:

    1. Biology
    2. Human Anatomy
    3. Human Physiology
    4. Infant Child Growth and Development
    5. Introduction to Clinical Research
    6. Nutrition
    7. Psychology or Counseling Skills or Communication Skills
    8. Sociology or Cultural Sensitivity or Cultural Anthropology

    The Program Director or Manager cannot inform a student if their prerequisites will be accepted by IBLCE. Please visit their website and review the criteria for acceptance.

    It is highly recommended that students only take 1-2 of these during the course of the program and complete the rest beforehand. 

    The required subjects are included in our program: 

    These subjects include:  

    1. Basic Life Support (CPR, ADE)
    2. Medical Documentation
    3. Medical Terminology
    4. Occupational Safety and Security for Health Professionals,
    5. Professional Ethics for Health Professionals
    6. Universal Safety Precautions and Infection Control

      Program Fees

      School Year Fees subject to change. Payment plans are available. Financial aid is available if the student is also enrolled in a degree-seeking program.


      Semester 1

      Semester 2

      Tuition ($610 per credit hour)

      $3,660 (for 6 credit hours)

      $3,660 (for 6 credit hours )

      Program Fees



      Clinical Fees






        First Time Pass Rate

        57% , N=4/7** 

        **1 pending not included in the overall count 

        This program began in 2019. The numbers above reflect exam results since the program was initially accredited in 2019. 

        To Apply

        Application submission does not guarantee acceptance. All applications must undergo review by a selection committee.

        To apply, please click here. We are accepting applications year-round on a rolling basis.

        • Online Application - A degree is not required for admission to the program. Non-traditional students in social work, psychology, education and technology are encouraged to apply.
        • Transcripts – Unofficial or official transcripts can be submitted by email to, or mailed to the Program Coordinator's attention to the address at the end of this web page.

        Students must have completed the majority of the prerequisite courses as outlined by the Pathway Two Program guidelines set forth by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).

        Prerequisite courses: 

        • Biology
        • Human Anatomy
        • Human Physiology
        • Growth/Development
        • Nutrition
        • Psychology/Communication
        • Introduction to Research
        • Sociology/Anthropology

        An applicant may still be considered for admission if one or two of the listed prerequisite classes has not been completed prior to the beginning of the program. It is expected that individuals in this situation provide evidence of enrollment in the remaining prerequisite classes prior to beginning the LCTP, and must show proof of successful completion. Failure to successfully complete the outstanding class will result in dismissal from the program. It is imperative to recognize that transcripts submitted are reviewed only for application and admissions purposes, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that his or her prerequisite classes meet the requirements of IBLCE for the IBCLC exam. 

        • Two Letters of Recommendation – can be professional or personal and should speak of your character, qualities and capabilities that would make you the ideal candidate for the Lactation Consultant Training Program. Letters must be submitted by email attachment in PDF file format with a handwritten signature on the organization’s letterhead, if applicable.
        • Essay - A personal statement highlighting related experiences in maternal-child health, your life achievements and challenges. Tell us how enrollment in the LCTP can help you achieve your goals. Submit essay by email to Program Director, TaHysha McClain in PDF file format with a minimum of 250 and a maximum of 650 words single-spaced.