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Bachelor of Science in Child Life at Edgewood College, Madison, WI

This blog contains direct quotes from websites as of 2023. Programs and policies do change, at colleges, from time to time, so please check with the colleges directly to receive any updates. These are not, necessarily, the biggest, best, or most popular programs at the college, but they are the ones that just “caught my eye” as unique, special, interesting, or just plain awesome. Enjoy!

From the Edgewood College website, 2023: “Bachelor of Science in Child Life. Child life is a discipline that examines the ways in which children and families cope with the stresses of healthcare and hospitalization, with a focus on improving their quality of life through interventions and support.

“At Edgewood College, our Bachelor of Science in Child Life prepares students for valuable careers as Child Life Specialists — healthcare professionals who provide psychosocial support for children and advocacy for families. In both ambulatory and inpatient settings, Child Life Specialists promote patient and family-centered care while working with children and their families who are living with the realities of acute hospitalization, chronic or terminal illness, surgery, trauma, injuries, and disabilities.

“Why Edgewood College? Endorsed by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), Edgewood College's Child Life degree program is the only academic program in Wisconsin that offers students the opportunity to complete their undergraduate and graduate degree in Child Life. Our hands-on, industry-relevant curriculum is designed to get you out of the classroom and into the healthcare industry with rigorous preparation and real-world experience. When you earn your degree with Edgewood College, you'll have the skills, knowledge, and professional connections to enter a clinical setting and make a positive, long-lasting impact on the lives of others.

“Child Life Program Highlights: Through this program, you will develop expertise in helping children and families cope with acute and chronic illness, medical procedures, and grief and loss. A foundation in learning how the use of developmentally appropriate play, psychosocial support, and teaching can help reduce the stress of hospitalization, illness, and health care procedures in pediatric patients and families.

*Our faculty, within the Child Life program, are all certified Child Life Specialists with clinical and educational experience; ensuring a well-rounded educational experience for all Child Life Students.

*Preparation is in alignment with the Association of Child Life Professionals standards and guidelines.

*As part of the program, you will complete an intensive internship.

*After graduation and entry into employment, you will take the Professional Certification examination of the Child Life Council, the national professional organization for Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS).

“According to the Association of Child Life Professionals, Child Life Specialists are child development experts who work to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in health care settings and other challenging environments. They promote effective coping through play, self-expression activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education.

“As advocates for family-centered care, Child Life Specialists work in partnership with Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers and others to meet the unique emotional, developmental, and cultural needs of each child and family. Child Life Specialists work in general pediatric inpatient units, and often in specialty areas like emergency departments, surgical and intensive care units, and outpatient areas. Increasingly, Child Life services are also being offered in other settings, such as community outreach programs, private medical and dental practices, and special needs camps.

“Child Life Specialists:

*Work in acute and chronic illness child life programs in hospitals, clinics, and other health care settings.

*Work in child advocacy and parent support roles in child protective services or adoption agencies.

*Support children and their families who have experienced traumatic life circumstances and health related challenges.

“As the need for child life services continues to grow, so does the demand for skilled and qualified professionals in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the health services industry, which includes child life positions, is projected to increase 13% from 2021-2031 — much faster than the average for all occupations.

“Like other healthcare roles, the salary for Child Life Specialists varies widely depending on education, experience, and location. In general, however, Child Life Specialists in the United States can expect to make between $50,000 and $65,000, with the average salary at about $57,500 as of 2022. In terms of advancement, many Child Life Specialists go on to fulfill supervisory and team management roles in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

“With a strong and supportive professional network, opportunities for advancement, and the satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of children and families, a career as a Child Life Specialist is a rewarding choice for individuals with a passion for helping others.”

Edgewood College is one of the featured colleges in my new book (click image for additional information):

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