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Child Life Practicum

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida offers a child life practicum for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of Certified Child Life Specialists, child life practicum students will begin to increase their knowledge of evidence-based, developmentally-appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation and education that support and reduce fear, anxiety and pain for infants, children, youth and families as they cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. 

Through these experiences, child life practicum students will enhance their knowledge of the child life profession and investigate the process of applying child life and developmental theory to practice.

Structure/Program Components

The 120-hour practicum experience is a unique opportunity offered in the summer (May-August) to students. Applicants must be able to commit to a minimum of two 6-hour shifts per week over the course of 10 weeks (a minimum of 120 hours). Student’s schedule will vary depending on supervisor schedules. Practicum students will rotate through two different areas of the hospital during their experience (an inpatient and outpatient rotation, 4 weeks each).

Students will also complete required assignments that assist with learning the fundamentals of assessment, child life intervention and planning (implementing normative and therapeutic activities), and applying theory to clinical practice. The practicum experience will also assist the student with internship preparedness. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current enrollment in or completion of a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree from the fields of child life, child development, early childhood education, human development and other related fields.
  • A minimum of 3 completed courses required by the ACLP for certification eligibility (refer to ACLP Academic Eligibility Requirements).
  • A minimum of a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • A minimum of 50 hours of volunteer experience with children and families in a hospital setting under the supervision of a certified child life specialist OR in a pediatric hospital setting with direct contact with pediatric patients.
  • A minimum of 50 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families in a structured environment (camps, schools, afterschool programs, etc.) and/or stressful situations.

Application Process

Applicants who meet the above eligibility requirements and are interested in applying can click the button below to download the application form. In order to be considered for an interview, all application materials (with the exception of the recommendation letters which can be e-mailed directly from the reference) must be submitted together in one e-mail. 

A completed application includes:

  • A completed, typed application form (request via e-mail as stated above)
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Unofficial college transcripts from ALL schools attended, documenting a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Verification of experience hours
  • Relevant Coursework List
  • Two letters of recommendation (2 total- one written by a reference who has directly observed your interactions with children; professional references only)

Please send completed applications to: [email protected] with Subject Line: Practicum Program Application

Click here to download Summer 2024 Practicum application.

Application Deadlines

Students interested in submitting an application for the summer practicum should follow deadlines below:

Semester of Practicum

Application Deadline

Application Review/Interviews

Applicant Offer By

Applicant Acceptance By


Second Tuesday of January


Second Tuesday of February

5:00 PM Next Business Day

Contact us

For questions regarding eligibility, the application process and/or for additional information or application forms, please contact: Meredith Church, MS, CCLS at [email protected] and put Practicum Program in the Subject line.

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