Child Life Practicum Program

Kohl’s Child Life and Expressive Therapies offers a 10-week, 100-hour practicum experience. The practicum is offered during the summer semester beginning the first Monday in June. This experience provides an introduction to the role of the child life specialist within the hospital setting. The goal of the practicum experience is to create the foundation needed for a successful transition into a formal child life internship. Student learning opportunities include:

  • Planning and facilitating therapeutic play opportunities for the pediatric patient and his/her family
  • Observing the child life specialist during formal preparation sessions and common medical procedures
  • Collaboration and communication with the multi-disciplinary health care team

Minimum requirements

  • College level junior (must have completed the second semester of junior year)
  • Enrolled in child life or child development-related course of study
  • Minimum of an overall 3.0 GPA
  • Unofficial transcript (include a transcript from each institution attended)
  • Resume
  • Documentation of a minimum of 50 hours working with children with special health care needs
  • Proof of current immunization record, CPR certification and background check
  • Two Kohl’s Child Life and Expressive Therapies reference forms (see below)

Program objectives

Through observation, evaluation and partnership with the child life team, the student will:

  • Use theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom setting and implement into daily practice
  • Engage in opportunities that allow for increased communication skills with patients, families and members of the health care team
  • Participate in experiences that will allow for continued ability to assess children (infant through adolescence) focusing specifically on the impact of pain and illness on the pediatric patient
  • Provide the student with the ability to self-evaluate experiences and develop continued goals for learning


  • Weekly journal
  • Developmental Assessment (one of each of the following: Infant, toddler, pre-school, school-aged patient, adolescent)
  • Observation and assessment of three of each of the following : medical play session, surgical preparation, procedural support
  • Written case study
  • Plan and facilitate a special event
  • Self-evaluation and evaluation of experience
  • Participate in learning opportunities ( in-services, journal club) as appropriate