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A Child Life practicum at Gillette is an opportunity to observe a Certified Child Life Specialist in their day-to-day work. This is an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing child life as their future career. Students should leave this experience with an increased understanding of evidence based, developmentally appropriate interventions such as therapeutic play, developmental play, preparation techniques, and education. This experience allows for enhanced knowledge of the child life profession and applying developmental theory into practice with children and families in the hospital setting.

Practicums are offered at Gillette for the Fall Semester.

All Applications are due the first Friday in May

We are only able to accept one practicum student a session. Application is not a guarantee of acceptance. If you have questions, please email


Prerequisites for the Child Life Practicum

Prerequisites include:

  • Affiliation with a college/university in Minnesota
  • Completion of a Child Life course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist
  • Completion or in the process of completing a minimum of 75 volunteer hours under a Certified Child Life Specialist
  • Ability to complete 100 observation hours within a 10-week timeframe

If selected, practicum students will also need to complete:

  • Hospital Orientation Training modules.
  • Provide proof of vaccinations (including COVID and influenza).
  • Complete a TB test.
  • Pass a criminal background check.

Child Life Professional Guidelines for the Practicum

Gillette follows the Association of Child Life Professional Guidelines for the Practicum Experience which includes the following Child Life Practicum Recommended Standards (ACLP).

Standard 1

The child life practicum is largely an observational experience with child life practicum students beginning to engage in independent play and developmentally supportive interventions with infants, children, youth, and families as deemed appropriate by the supervising Certified Child Life Specialists® (CCLS).

Standard 2

The child life practicum student will be supervised by a CCLS who has achieved a minimum of 2,000 hours of paid work experience in the field. The supervising CCLS must be currently practicing in the field of child life; however, the setting of the child life practicum could vary.

Standard 3

The child life practicum encompasses a minimum of 100 supervised hours. The child life practicum experience may include a combination of practicum hours being completed in no more than two different settings given each setting builds upon and strengthens a child life practicum student’s continual development and growth as a CCLS.

Standard 4

Child life practicum hours should be completed in an appropriate setting that provides the child life practicum student with the opportunity to observe and learn from psychosocial interventions that assist infants, children, youth, and families coping with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment.. Approved settings can include:

  • Pediatric in-patient units including critical care units and in outpatient areas including emergency departments, radiology and imaging, specialty care clinics, behavioral and rehabilitation.
  • Community outreach programs
  • Private practice
  • Hospice services and home health
  • Camps for children with healthcare needs
  • Private medical and dental practices
  • Services to children of adult patients

Standard 5

The child life practicum includes observation opportunities for students to explore the following theory and interventions related to child life practice:

  • Child life assessments
  • Developmental theory integration
  • Therapeutic play interventions
  • Rapport building

Standard 6

The child life practicum learning experiences include activities and assignments that allow the child life practicum student to begin to apply and integrate knowledge and theory application for future clinical practice and help to initiate the development of a personal philosophy of child life practice. These learning assignments should include:

  • Journaling
  • Educational in-services and discussions
  • Specific and structured readings

How to apply for the Child Life Practicum

To apply for the Child Life Practicum you must send the following to by May 5, 2023 to be considered for the Fall of 2023.  

  • Completed application including signature and completed essay questions.
  • Verification of Child Life course (transcript, form from your teacher, etc.)
  • Two Letters of Reference from non-relatives
  • One page Resume.

Download Application