Child Life Concentration
The Child Life Concentration is for Child & Family Studies students interested in pursuing the healthcare career of a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). A CCLS helps to minimize the stress and anxiety that children and their families experience in healthcare settings through developmentally appropriate education for medical procedures, coping support, and therapeutic play. Students in the Child Life Concentration will be able to apply their child development and family systems theoretical knowledge to prepare for the complex needs of hospitalized children and their families.
The Child Life Concentration follows the coursework requirements from the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), the organization that sets the eligibility criteria for the CCLS profession, featuring courses on the following topics:
- Child Life Theory and Practice *Pre-approved by the ACLP!
- Development of Young Children in Context
- The Adolescent and the Family
- Family Dynamics
- Family Stress Management
- Developmentally Appropriate Play
- Developmental Perspectives on Death and Dying
- Research Methods in Human Sciences
- Human Physiology
Students intending to obtain a BS. in Child & Family Studies with a Child Life Concentration must be selected for the concentration after meeting the admission requirements and following the application procedures outlined below
- Child and Family Studies major
- GPA ≥ 3.0. Conditional approval of a cumulative and LSU GPA of 2.50–2.99 will be considered for admission to concentration with the expectation that students will work to increase their cumulative and LSU GPA to a 3.00 by graduation.
- Earned a grade of “C” or better in CFS 3055. Conditional approval of students who are currently enrolled in CFS 3055 will be considered for admission to concentration with the expectation the student earns a “C” or better in CFS 3055.
- 50 documented hours of healthcare experience: Students need to provide documentation of 50 hours of healthcare experience, preferably with pediatric patients. Conditional approval of students who have not earned 50 hours of healthcare experience will be considered for admission to concentration with the expectation that the student will earn their 50 hours.
The Child Life Concentration is a selective admission program. It is recommended that you apply for the Child Life Concentration in the spring of your sophomore year—or the semester after you have completed CFS 3055. Students should meet with their academic advisor prior to applying.
- Completed Child Life Concentration application
- Resume. Your resume should reflect your work, volunteer, service learning, and any practicum/internship experiences (if applicable). Please include your position, duties, start/end dates, and hours/week.
- Letter of intent: The letter of intent needs to address (a) the role of a child life specialist, (b) your career goals, and (c) your experience working with children and families (max. 500 words).
- 50 documented hours of healthcare experience: Students need to provide documentation of 50 hours of healthcare experience, preferably with pediatric patients. Documentation should be from the hospital/healthcare clinic where hours were completed and include the dates and total number of hours completed. Conditional approval of students who have not earned 50 hours of healthcare experience will be considered for admission to concentration with the expectation that the student will earn their 50 hours.
- Two recommendation forms: Two recommendation forms are required. It is recommended that one form come from the supervisor of where the student completed their healthcare hours. Recommendation forms can be submitted directly from the email address of the recommender or mailed to the address below. (Students cannot forward an email with a recommendation form).
Applications for the Child Life Concentration are accepted at any time, and may be submitted via email, hand-delivered, or mailed to Dr. Brittany Wittenberg.
Students should contact the College of Human Sciences & Education Office of Student Services with questions regarding admission requirements.
Child Life Concentration Disclosure
The Bachelor of Science in Child & Family Studies (CFS)-Child Life Concentration does not directly lead to the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) certification upon graduation. Upon successful completion of the BS in CFS-Child Life Concentration, graduates will have satisfied the course requirements set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). After degree completion, graduates will need to satisfy internship requirements set forth by the ACLP prior to receiving eligibility to take the child life certification exam. If you intend to pursue the CCLS certification, please contact the ACLP at their website to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements to earn CCLS certification. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact Dr. Brittany Wittenberg with questions in this regard and we will do our best to assist you in your career planning.