Child Life Students

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  • The university I am attending/will be attending does not have a Child Life program – what do I do? 
    • One of the many wonderful things about the child life profession is that you do not need to major specifically in child life to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). The university I attended for my undergrad did not have a child life specific major either – I majored in Family and Child Sciences and Spanish. Instead pick a major that relates to child life (i.e., child development, psychology, etc.).
      • “Applicants must have completed a total of 10 college – or university-level courses in child life or a related department/subject including a minimum of one child life course (defined below) taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). This is the form on which the CCLS instructor verifies that the child life-specific curriculum has been taught.” http://www.childlife.org/certification
  • Which classes specifically should I be taking in college that will count towards my eligibility assessment? 
    • This is a question I get asked VERY often. For such specific information, I always urge my readers to contact someone at the Association for Child Life Professionals (ACLP) so that they can give you the most precise answer. Email: certification@childlife.org  However, I can tell you that you need 10 college level courses that relate to Child Life including at least one course taught by a certified child life specialist. If your university does not offer a child life major or child life track, then they probably won’t have this course and you will need to take it elsewhere. I took mine as an online course from the University of New Hampshire. For more information on the 10 courses, click here: http://www.childlife.org/docs/default-source/certification/exam/cl-course-verification-form—final.pdf?sfvrsn=12
  • What is the “eligibility assessment”?
    • The eligibility assessment is basically the gate between all of the education and clinical work you have completed and sitting to take the child life certification exam. It’s great to begin the process of adding courses to your eligibility assessment form as soon as possible to make sure you’re on the right track. Once you have your Bachelor’s degree, 10 courses (1 of which was taught by a CCLS), and your internship completed, then you can submit your eligibility assessment. If approved, you may then register to take the certification exam. If not approved, then you will need to go back, fulfill the requirements and resubmit. For more information on the eligibility assessment process, click here: http://www.childlife.org/docs/default-source/certification/eligibility-assessment-process-pdf.pdf
  • Should I go to grad school right after I finish my Bachelor’s degree or should I begin my practicum/internship? 
    • This is another question that I often get asked which I cannot answer. Everyone’s adventure in child life is different. Personally, I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, then did my practicum, then my internship, then became certified, and a year into my career as a CCLS, I began my Master’s degree. This wasn’t the right path or the wrong path – it was just my path and what worked best for me at the time. For specific questions regarding your path, e-mail the ACLP – certification@childlife.org 
  • Do you need a Master’s degree to become a CCLS? 
  • Do you have any tips or suggestions on how I can stand out in the Child Life world? 
  • Why, yes! I do! In fact, I wrote all my tips on this post: https://adventuresinchildlife.com/2015/11/07/how-to-stand-out-in-the-child-life-world/
  • Do you have any advice on how to study for the child life exam? 
  • This is another frequent question I receive which I have also written about here and here.

 

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34th annual child life conference 

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As many of you probably already know, this year’s national child life conference was in Orlando, Florida. Only 4 hours away from where I live, I was very exited that conference was in my home state this year. Unfortunately due to a prior engagement I was only able to attend the conference Thursday and Friday, but thankfully I got a lot done in those two days and I have my All Access Pass purchased.


There were many exciting things going on this year at conference. One of the most things exciting being the reveal of the Child Life Council’s new logo and name! We are officially on the way to becoming “The Association of Child Life Professionals”!


Another fun surprise at conference this year is that I was able to meet some of my blogger friends like Child Life Mommy !!


Overall I had a fantastic time, learned a lot, and met some very inspiring child life-ers in the field.

I’m still not sure if I will be attending next year’s conference, but Vegas is always a fun idea!

Child Life Conference: Recap!

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Just last month I went to the Child Life Conference in New Orleans. This was my first time attending conference and it was MAGICAL! I don’t know why I had never gone as a student – I guess I thought that going to conference was more of a professionals thing to go to, but I was wrong! To all of you Child Life Students out there reading my blog, GO TO CONFERENCE IF YOU’RE ABLE TO! They have a little session for students and it’s such an amazing networking opportunity for future internships, jobs, and schools.

Here’s a recap of all of the fun:

Location:

New Orleans was a BLAST to visit. I’ve been to NOLA before but it’s such a fun city full of culture, delicious food, and child life specialists (during conference anyways)!

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Exhibit Hall:

Alright so, I love shopping just as much as the next girl… especially when it’s for Child Life things! The exhibit hall was full of vendors that tailor to Child Life Specialist. This was a great place to see what resources are out there in the Child Life world as a professional and for personal things like cute water bottles, child life badges, and postcards.

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Some of my favorites from the exhibit hall were:
(I was not paid by any of these companies/organizations to promote them – although, that would be really cool if I was.)

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http://www.alphabotz.com/ – no mess coloring play books

http://www.comfortkits.org/ – send free comfort kits to pediatric patients

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aquatic-Relief-Therapy/371079936335589 – fish tank on wheels!

http://www.monkeyinmychair.org/ – life size stuffed monkey to sit in (chronically ill patients) seat at school

http://www.projectsunshine.org/ – provide resources to children/families in hospitals

 

 

Conference:

Being able to choose sessions to go to and be surrounded by fellow CCLS was so exciting. I learned a lot from the sessions I went to and the CLC even handed out jump drives with all of the powerpoints/handouts from all of the sessions so you don’t miss out on anything. There were also many people at the CLC from around the world to participate in the international summit following the child life conference.

 

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Course Work Review —> Eligibility Assessment Service

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I’ve been having a couple of Child Life students e-mail me asking about the pre-practicum/internship process. Since the Child Life Council (CLC) is currently restructuring this process, it can be a little confusing. Here’s what’s going on:

Up until April of this year, the process went like this: you submitted a “course work review” to the CLC – a document listing 15 child-related courses you’ve taken, 10 of which need to be approved. They would then send you back the course work review document signed, dated, and (hopefully) approved. That would then serve as your “golden ticket” to apply to practicums/internships.

However, the CLC is currently changing the system and the “new version” of the course work review – the Eligibility Assessment Service – will not be available until mid-july. This link goes more into detail about the switch & what the new version entails: {http://www.childlife.org/Certification/Getting%20Certified/CourseWorkReview.cfm}.