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Child Life Practicum

Beacon Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Program offers a 5-week, 200-hour practicum during the summer only (May-September). We choose our practicum students (typically 1-3 students) and try to work around the students’ schedules in order to have the best schedule for each student and no overlap during those five weeks. During these five weeks, our practicum students will observe Certified Child Life Specialists on the pediatric floor for both day and night shifts, the Hematology/Oncology Clinic, Surgical Services during the day, and the ED at night.

Practicum students are given a variety of hours during their practicum (40 hours per week) that fluctuate between day and night shifts to give them a well-rounded experience. By doing a practicum for five weeks straight during the summer, our practicum students are able to follow a patient’s care throughout their stay at the hospital all the way through, just like a Certified Child Life Specialist would.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide housing for our students, so we ask that our students find housing on their own whether that is through a dorm (IUSB), apartment, or staying with someone in the area that they know. We understand (because we were once in their shoes) how frustrating it can be to find housing for only five weeks, but this prepares our practicum students for what will be expected during a future internship. Most internships will not provide housing for their interns.

In that same regard, we ask that our practicum students have appropriate transportation (a vehicle of their own). Punctuality and flexibility are two traits that we look for in a practicum student and the best way to guarantee punctuality and flexibility is to possess one’s own vehicle. This is also required in preparation for future internships, as it will be required to have transportation to and from your internship, and the best way to do that is with one’s own vehicle.


Due Date: January 5 for possible practicum placements

Prior to submitting an application we are requiring that you will have:

  1. Completed 50 hours of volunteerism with children in a hospital setting; verification is required
    *this has been waived due to the pandemic; however, students who have completed volunteerism in a hospital setting will take priority when reviewing applications
  2. Verification of a class taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist
  3. A minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  4. Experience working with children and families

If you have done these things then:

  • complete the Child Life Common App (found on
    • you may complete ONLY pages 2-9 on the Common App, utilizing the extra pages for more experiences if needed

Please submit it along with:

  • resume
  • cover letter
  • unofficial transcripts
  • two letters of recommendation
  • verification of your volunteer hours with children in a hospital setting
    • (page 17 of the Common App)
  • verification of child life course taught by a CCLS

Please email your items no later than 5:00 pm EST on January 4 to the following email:

After we have reviewed your application packet we may call you to schedule an interview. However, failure to meet all above requirements will make you ineligible for our practicum program.

Please let us know if you have any questions.  You may reach a Certified Child Life Specialist at 574.647.6337 between the hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send an email to