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Child Life Concentration

Child Life Specialist 1

The child life concentration prepares students for careers working with children in healthcare settings. It rose primarily out of a need to prepare those students seeking further education as Child Life Specialists. Our program is in line with expectations of the National Child Life Council who regulates curriculum expectations for those entering graduate school. Since 2013, we have had a certified Child Life Specialist as part of our adjunct faculty, so that students who are interested in CLS can get to know someone in the field as they discover their career calling. This track provides a solid foundation for graduate school, particularly in areas pertaining to children and medicine.

Outcomes and Careers

This track adequately prepares students to go on to gain certification as CLS. According to the CLC, Child life specialists “promote effective coping through play… provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization… They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress.”


Prerequisites—9 hours Child Life Specialist 2

  • SOC 225 Introduction to Studying Families
  • SOC 214 Social Statistics
  • PSY 213 Introduction to Psychology

Core—21 hours

  • SOC 325 Families Across Cultures
  • SOC 333 Parent-Child Relations
  • SOC 422 Research Methods
  • SOC 425 Strengthening Marriage & Family
  • SOC 426 Family Policy and Advocacy
  • SOC 430 Theoretical Frameworks for Studying Families
  • SOC 411 Internship or 498 Senior Capstone Seminar

Interdisciplinary Component—15 hoursRachel Ryan on the job

  • SW 307 Faith-Based Social Services
  • CHR 243 Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • COM 235 Interpersonal Communication
  • ECO 400 Personal Financial Management
  • PSY 219 Developmental Psychology or 324 Child Growth and Development

 Child Life Concentration—9 hours

  • SE 230 Learning in Diverse Classrooms
  • SOC 332 Hospitalized Child
  • SOC 215 Nutrition Across the Lifespan or SOC 322 Medical Sociology
Excellence-Driven Christ-Centered People-Focused Future-Directed