Thursday, March 5, 2015

I want to be a Child Life Specialist, but I majored in...

Do you think that if you didn't major in child life that you can't be a Child Life Specialist?

Think again!

Some great other majors that go hand and hand with child life are:

Art Therapy
Therapeutic Recreation
Child Development
Family Development
Family and Consumer Sciences
Early Childhood Education

The best advice we can give is to....Volunteer, Volunteer Volunteer! 

Volunteering will allow you to know whether or not you think this route is for you and will give you the hours you need to apply for a practicum or internship. 

Check out our post on volunteering: Child Life Mommy talks about Volunteering

The next step is to take a class taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist in order to fulfill the ACLP's requirement. There are several schools who are offering this course online for your convenience! 

Finally you are eligible to apply for a Child Life Internship. You may also need to do a practicum, depending on what the hospitals require that you are applying at. Check out our former blogs for advice on applying and interviewing for an internship. 

Boom! You are now a child life specialist and ready to take the certification exam... and you didn't even major in child life.

This biggest thing to take note of is the fact that in the coming years, the Association of Child Life Professionals is exploring the requirement of a masters of Child Life. So if you are part of our high school or younger readers, make sure you keep up with the ACLP guidelines and timeline! 

Child Life Council's Timeline for Masters programs

We want to know...What are you majoring in?



Unknown said...

I graduated in May with a degree in psychology. I had no idea that I wanted to be a child life specialist until my encounter with one during my brothers battle with cancer. I took an online class taught by a CCLS over the summer, volunteered in the Fall, currently in a practicum, and have been accepted into an internship this summer. I will be taking my exam in the Fall. I was so discouraged in the beginning knowing how competitive it is. My advice for anyone in this field is to keep the flow going and to never give up. It is worth it in the end!

Child Life Blog said...

That is awesome Jessica! We are so proud of you! You are a textbook perfect story of this situation! Keep up the great work and keep us updated on your journey of your internship!

Anonymous said...

Hi thank you for your blog! I am graduating in May with a BS in Art Therapy and am having a very tough time obtaining a 480 hour internship. I am a childhood leukemia survivor, who credits child life specialists for helping me through my treatment. I am graduating in the top 1% of my class despite being a student with a learning disability. I also serve on a childhood organization for many years, and volunteer in my community. I am in a metropolitan area and applied to 15 hospitals. I was told they selected internship candidates that had masters degrees even though the CLC doesn't require a masters until 2025. I want to take my CLC exam but am prevented from doing so until I find a 480 hour internship. Any suggestions of what to do? I am working 5 part time jobs currently and obtaining a masters degree right now is not an option. Thank you so much for reading all this!!!