Child Life Specialist

Child Life Specialist Fundamentals

NOTE: The undergraduate Child Life Specialist program is no longer an option for incoming students. The graduate degree in Child Life remains and is being enhanced in accordance with the Child Life Council.

There is a Resilient Child certificate available for undergraduate students majoring in child life, nursing, nutrition/dietetics, psychology, sociology, special education, social work, and speech-language pathology and audiology. 

This program prepares students to help children and their families in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, hospice and other health care settings. It is one of fewer than 10 academic programs in the country offering courses specific to child life.

    • The bachelor’s degree program is for the student seeking a career as a child life specialist.
    • To become a certified child life specialist, you must complete the academic requirements, four field experiences with healthy and hopitalized children, and pass the certification examination of the Child Life Council. UA graduates consistently achieve a 95- to 100-percent pass rate on the certification exam.

    Our Faculty

    • are talented, caring, highly qualified
    • place a premium on personal attention and excellent advising
    • work side-by-side with students to help turn aspirations into accomplishments

      Akron Advantage

      Real World Experience

      To become a certified child life specialist, students must complete four field experiences and pass the Certification Examination of the Child Life Council. Level 1 field experience includes working with normally developing children in a nonmedical setting. Field level 2 (50 hours), 3 (128) and 4 (480 to 650 hours) experiences occur in a child life program at an approved pediatric facility under the supervision of academic and clinical certified child life specialists.

      Recognized Excellence

      The program is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

      Family and Consumer Sciences Student Organizations

      Interact with other students and professionals in the field through organizations such as:

      • American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences
      • Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society
      • Organization for Children's Health Care
      • University Association for the Education of Young Children

      Curriculum Guide

      Page maintained by the Department of University Communications and Marketing. Request a change to this page.

      For More Information:

      College of Health Professions

      Contact: Rose Resler

      Career Opportunities

      Students wishing to pursue careers as child life specialists typically work at hospitals, rehabilitation sites, hospices and other health care settings. As integral members of a health care team, they:

      •  Assess responses and needs of children and families related to health care experiences.
      •  Minimize stress and anxiety for children and families.
      •  Prepare children and their families for health care experiences.
      •  Provide essential life experiences such as play and peer interaction.
      • Create opportunities that strengthen children's self-esteem and independence.
      • Communicate effectively with other members of the health care team.

      Career Center

      The Career Center creates links among students, alumni and local professionals. You will have access to:

      • Career Resource Library
      • co-op/internships
      • computer stations for resume writing and employment research
      • UA Career Fairs

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      Phone: 330-972-7111
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