Course Description

This online course is designed for those interested in learning more about the profession of Child Life and aspects of pediatric healthcare. Topics covered include Child Life theoretical foundations, assessment, preparation, play, coping, the therapeutic relationship, family-centered care, documentation, grief and loss, and the role of Child Life within the interdisciplinary medical team. Attention is given to understanding children and teens in the context of their development as it relates to interventions in medical settings. Interest in or pursuit of Child Life Certification is not required. 


Course Outline

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Explain current research as it relates to the of the Child Life profession
  • Describe how certain training and experience inform his/her career as a Child Life professional
  • Apply Child Life theory and research through direct service to children and their families coping with medical needs





**NOTE: This course satisfies requirements for becoming a Certificated Child Life Specialist. This course is taught by a CCLS and meets the six (6) required topics of study set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals. (Child Life documents, Scope of practice, Impact of illness, injury and healthcare on patients/families, Family-Centered care, Therapeutic play, and preparation). Upon successful completion of the course, a Child Life Course Verification Form will be issued.

Certification Disclosure: Completion of the UCSB PaCE Child Life certificate program does not result in Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Individuals seeking certification must meet specific academic and clinical experience requirements in addition to passing the Child Life Professional Certification Exam. While courses in this certificate program count toward the educational requirements for becoming eligible to take the examination, completion of this certificate program will not, in itself, result in Child Life certification. For more information about certification, visit https://www.childlife.org/certification.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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Jan 11, 2023 to Mar 17, 2023
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee credit (4 units) $600.00
Available for Credit
4 units
Reading List / Textbook
Section Notes

Students are required to purchase the following textbook(s) prior to the first class meeting:

  • The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care. Author: Thompson, Richard. Edition 2018: ISBN: 978-0-398-09212-2

No refunds after 01/22/2023

Important Notes:

  • All courses are 4 units and offered in an interactive online asynchronous format. Students are required to complete weekly assignments through GauchoSpace. 
  • After the 7th day of class, no late enrollments will be accepted (1/18/23). 
  • One business day after enrollment, but no sooner than 2 weeks before the beginning of the course, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your online course. 
  •  Your UCSBnetID will be used as the login for GauchoSpace (GS) and the off-campus login for the UCSB Library (to access online journals for your assignments).