Child Life

The child life concentration is designed for students interested in the field of child life and in pursuing certification as a Child Life Specialist through the Association for Child Life Professionals. The goal of this concentration is to provide students a foundational study of children’s development in order to provide developmentally-appropriate care in clinical settings.

Students in the child life concentration experience a curriculum uniquely crafted to prepare them for working with children and families in the hospitalized setting. For more information, here is an example of the child life concentration degree plan. Courses in this concentration include:

  • Child Life Theory and Practice
  • Family Transition, Stress, and Resilience
  • Medical Terminology
  • Death and Dying Education

Beyond classroom instruction, students in the child life concentration gain over 60 hours of skills-based practice at the Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development, our lab-based environment for developmentally-appropriate and best practices in the field. Beyond the lab environment, all Child and Family Studies students complete a 150-hour practicum in a field setting suited to the student’s professional goals.

Students who successfully complete the child life concentration degree plan will be able to:

  • Understand the impact of stress and health-related events on children and families,
  • Provide support to children and families in the clinical environment, and
  • Meet the academic course requirements to pursue certification as a Child Life Specialist through the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Students in the Child Life concentration are encouraged to check with the Child and Family Studies division director related to non-academic requirements for becoming a certified Child Life Specialist.