I did apprenticeship without a formal school. I read tons of books and spent lots of time on the internet reading about birth. Read lots of midwifery journals, obstetrics, everything. I am very comfortable reading academic and scientific stuff and spent lots of time with those things. In my state you have to know pharmacology and IVs and some other stuff beyond the CPM for licensure. I participated in a monthly midwife student group for years, did lots of hospital doula births and asked tons of questions to the CNMs and doctors. I had one preceptor for several years but also assisted several other midwives at births. I had to take the California Challenge exam in the end because in CA you have to go to an 'approved' school to become licensed. I think the 'self study' way of going works great along with a long term apprenticeship.