Field Practica Information for Child Life Programs

Student with child

Wheelock College was the first college to establish an academic program in child life in 1972. Ten years later, Wheelock's child life faculty, alongside leaders in the field, helped to establish the Association of Child Life Professionals (formerly the Child Life Council) in 1982. The Association of Child Life Professionals is the international member organization and governing body for the profession of child life.

As the child life profession has expanded and grown, our undergraduate and graduate programs continue to provide the highest quality academic and clinical education. Our programs exceed the minimum requirements for Child Life Certification, and thus Wheelock's Child Life program is considered a signature educational program within the international child life community.

A hallmark of the Wheelock program is the clinical internship experience. The Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) requires 480 hours of supervised internship under the guidance and mentorship of a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Currently, our programs require two internships with a minimum total of 600 hours. Students complete child life coursework concurrently while completing child life internships. The Wheelock model of supervision involves close collaboration between the student, site supervisor and Wheelock faculty academic supervisor. Supervisors are experienced practitioners with a minimum of two years paid work as a CCLS. Through their work with students and site supervisors, the Wheelock faculty provides challenge, supervision, and professional growth.

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