Course Description

While traditionally child life specialists are employed in children's hospitals, the case for the utilization of a child life specialist's unique skillset in many non-traditional settings is growing in popularity. From dental offices to adoption and foster care, the profession of child life is expanding into a variety of areas. This course examines many of those non-traditional settings, child life's skillset within those settings, and how a child life specialist is uniquely qualified to work with these populations. Students learn to apply conceptual child life to non-traditional settings and gain an understanding of how they can utilize their skill set to expand the profession. Students must have a fundamental understanding of major developmental theories and theoretical frameworks of child life prior to taking this course. 

Learner Outcomes

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

  • Define and identify key areas of non-traditional settings for the child life profession
  • Learn to advocate for their skillset within these settings
  • Develop a working understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration in a variety of settings
  • Define and identify the importance of providing child life services within each setting
  • Apply current understanding of the child life profession to a variety of other settings
  • Adapt child life theories and concepts to fit non-traditional settings
  • Provide optimal support and interventions unique to each different population


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

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Mar 30, 2021 to Jun 11, 2021
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee credit (4 units) $600.00
Available for Credit
4 units
Reading List / Textbook
Section Notes

Late enrollments are still possible until October 4th! Please contact  help@extension.ucsb.edu

Students are required to purchase the following textbooks prior to the first class meeting:

Child Life Beyond the Hospital
Author: Hicks, M.
Edition: 2008
Publisher: Child Life Council, Inc.

How to Help Children Through a Parent's Serious Illness: Supportive, Practical Advice from a Leading Child Life Specialist
Author: McCue, Kathleen
Edition: 2011
ISBN 13: 978-0312697686

Please order textbooks from the bookseller of your choice. Be sure to order the correct ISBN and textbook edition.

No refunds after 04/12/2021

IMPORTANT! 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. You don’t need to take any action until you receive that email. Please note that you will not be able to access your online course until all the steps highlighted in that email are complete.