Today’s hospitals, clinics, and schools need qualified Child Life professionals to work with children having chronic or life-threatening illnesses, as well as with their families. From performing assessments to applying coping strategies, Certified Child Life Specialists play an important role in providing care to children and their families facing difficult health conditions. In addition to hospitals, child life specialists are employed in hospice programs, camps, early intervention programs, courtrooms, dental practices, support/bereavement groups, programs in the community, private practice, etc. Child life specialists continue to advocate for and apply their skills in many venues, wherever their knowledge and expertise can protect the emotional integrity of children facing severe stressors.
This program is designed for any individual wishing to learn more about child life and wishing to study specific subjects.
This Professional Certificate Program provides:
- An overview of child life theory and practice, including the therapeutic role of play, the nature of suffering, stages of grief, medical terminology, community outreach, and technology.
- Valuable information and practical skills that can be applied when working with children, adolescents and their families in healthcare settings and other challenging environments.
NOTE* The Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential is the exclusive certification offered by the Association of Child Life Professionals. For more information, visit http://www.childlife.org/certification.
UCSB Extension/Division of Professional and Continuing Education offers courses that have been reviewed, earned pre-approval and are listed on the Association of Child Life Professionals Programs Offering Pre-Approved Courses or Academic Programs Offering Child Life Course
Our certificate is a stepping stone to help you reach the next step towards becoming a CCLS.
The program requirements are defined in the Program Course Schedule. If planning to apply for an internship, please read: Does the Child Life program offer support for securing an internship/practicum?
Program Course Schedule
Required at least 5 courses (20 units):
- ED X370.2- Child Life: Introduction to Theory and Practice (F/W/Sp/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.2 course is taught by a CCLS and meets the six (6) required topics of study set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals.
- ED X370.3- Therapeutic Role of Play in Pediatric Care (F/W/Sp/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.4- Death, Dying, & Grief in Pediatric Care (W/Sp/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.5- Assessment, Preparation and Medical Terminology (W/Sp/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.10- Child Development: Birth to 18 (W/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.11- Pediatric Palliative Care & Hospice (F) - 4 units
- ED X370.12- Family Systems (F/Sp/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.13- Children with Special Needs (W/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.14- Research Methodologies in Child Life (Sp) - 4 units
- ED X370.15- Child Life & Trauma (F/W/Sp) - 4 units
- ED X370.16-Development, Theory and Approach of International Child Life Programs (W) - 4 units
- ED X370.17- Challenges in Global Maternal and Child Health (Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.18- Child Life in Non-Traditional Settings: Beyond the Hospital (F/Sp) - 4 units
- ED X370.19- Early Child Development: Birth to 8 (F/W/Su) - 4 units
- ED X370.20- Medical Ethics (Sp) - 4 units
- ED X370.21-Adolescent Development (F/Sp) - 4 units
- ED X370.7- Child Life Internship (when requested) - 4 units
Courses are offered across 4 academic quarters: fall, winter, spring, and summer. For more information visit Approved Academic Calendar.
***All courses are offered in an interactive online asynchronous format. Students are required to complete weekly assignments through GauchoSpace, UCSB's Moodle course management system. Students are not required to be in front of the computer or online at any particular time.
The approximate cost of completion of this program is $2,650. Individual course fees are paid upon enrollment. Estimated costs are subject to change and do not include fees for course materials. For more information visit our Help Center.
For more information visit Frequently Asked Questions - Child Life in our Help Center.