Child Life Practicum
A Child Life Practicum is one of the first steps in a student’s journey to becoming a Child Life Specialist. The Child Life Practicum is a highly valued experience as it provides the opportunity for the student to observe and learn from practicing Certified Child Life Specialists. A Child Life Practicum is a unique opportunity that allows students to discover more about the Child Life profession and the role of a Certified Child Life Specialist within the medical team without providing direct patient care.
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s comprehensive Child Life Practicum program provides students with the opportunity to learn from practicing Certified Child Life Specialists within a 16-week semester for a total of 128 hours. Students are assigned inpatient and outpatient unit rotations with Certified Child Life Specialists who serve as their Preceptors for shadowing, processing and instruction. This allows students to observe Child Life clinical interventions with a variety of patient populations and needs. Additionally, students have readings and in-services on topics relevant to the Child Life profession, as well as assignments and a case study. The Child Life Practicum experience aligns with the student’s academic curriculum and focuses on the student’s further development and understanding of the Child Life profession.
Child Life Practicum Prerequisites
Qualified applicants should meet the following criteria:
- Enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s program at an affiliated* college/university during your Child Life Practicum experience and must be degree-seeking (i.e. getting credit specifically toward the completion of a degree). Independent students are not accepted.
- Majoring in Child Life or a concentration in Child Life, Child Development or related field.
- Completed courses in:
- Child Development
- Child Life Theory & Practice (or class equivalent; must be taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist)
- A 3.0 GPA or higher in your major as demonstrated from your academic transcript(s) from your college/university.
- Completed related experience hours in the following areas:
- A minimum of 75 hours of experience in a pediatric hospital setting with direct contact with pediatric patients and their families.
- A minimum of 50 hours of experience with healthy infants, children, youth and/or families.
*An Educational Affiliation Agreement between your college/university and UHRBC is required but can be initiated after an official offer is accepted.
Child Life Practicum Application Process
For questions and to learn more about the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Child Life Practicum prerequisites, application process or to request a Child Life Practicum application packet, please contact our Child Life Student Coordinator. There are no fees for the application process or the Child Life Practicum experience. The UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Child Life Clinical Student Program follows the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) application deadlines and offer dates. Applications must be postmarked by the ACLP’s deadline dates for the specific session in which applying. Applications postmarked after the ACLP’s postmarked date will not be considered. Please visit the ACLP website for more information.
Child Life Practicum Selection Process
Upon receipt of your completed UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Child Life Practicum application packet, you will receive an email confirmation. Applications will be reviewed by the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Child Life Student Committee (the review of an application does not guarantee an interview). The Child Life Student Committee will conduct two rounds of interviews. From the pool of applicants, a select number will be contacted for a first phone interview. Applicants will be contacted if they are selected to advance to a second interview. Second interviews are conducted preferably in person, or via zoom if needed. The final selection for the Child Life Practicum experience is based on the students’ completed application packet, application essays, letters of recommendation and personal interviews.
If selected, all arrangements for transportation and housing are the responsibility of the student. Parking is provided.
For further questions and to request a Child Life Practicum Application Packet, please contact:
Lissy Zaremba MA, CCLS
Clinical Educator | Child Life Student Coordinator
Phone: (216) 844-1353