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Child Life Specialist

Students learn skills to help normalize the hospitalization experience for children and families. Graduates qualify to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), as designated by the Child Life Council, the governing organization that oversees the profession. These specialists provide services that include preparing families for the stress of medical procedures, teaching coping skills to children having difficult health-care experiences, supporting a young patient’s siblings and parents, demonstrating therapeutic medical play, and planning and implementing activities to enhance a child’s growth and development. In addition to core courses in the Child and Family Studies program, students in this concentration take courses in child life, biology, psychology, early childhood education and health. Volunteer experiences and practicum placements in children’s hospitals are also a required element of this concentration.