Duration: 16 weeks
Class size: 2 students
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
The Child Life Specialist Internship is designed to provide a hands-on experience coupled with educational opportunities. Each intern will participate in a 16-week (640-hour) experience, under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist, to develop clinical skills in therapeutic play techniques, preparation, procedural support, assessment, and education.
The program begins in January and runs through April. Your application and all supporting documentation must be postmarked by Sept. 5, 2020.
To be eligible for the internship, you must be a senior in college or have completed a bachelor's or master's degree with a major in:
- Child life
- Child development
- Human growth and development
- Child psychology
- Other related fields
Confirmation of classes taken is approved by the Association of Child Life Professionals via the online Eligibility Assessment. Eligibility includes approval of a child life course taught by a child life specialist.
How to apply
We subscribe to the dates and deadlines recommended by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP):
- Application deadline: Sept. 5, 2020
- Initial offer date: Oct. 13, 2020
- Acceptance date: Oct. 14, 2020
- Second offer date: Oct. 15, 2020
All application materials must be postmarked by stated deadlines.
A completed internship application includes the following:
- ACLP Common Child Life Internship Application
- Unofficial transcripts from all attended institutions (official transcripts will be required upon acceptance)
- A copy of the Eligibility Assessment from ACLP
- Documentation of experience:
- Minimum of 100 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth, and/or families
- Minimum of 100 hours of experience with infants, children, youth and/or families in stressful situations, health care settings, and/or programs designed for children with special needs
- Cover letter and resume
Send your completed application packet to:
Jennifer Rodemeyer, M.A., CCLS
Child Life Internship Director and Child Life Manager
Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
200 First St. SW
Rochester, MN 55905
To confirm receipt of application materials, send your submissions via certified U.S. mail, FedEx or UPS, all of which provide tracking options.
Tuition and financial aid
There is no tuition for the internship. The only expenses directly to Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences are for a background check ($69.50).
You are responsible for providing your living accommodations and transportation.
One week of orientation will be followed by two six-week rotations: one in an inpatient setting and the other in an outpatient setting. The remaining three weeks provide opportunities for observation and experience in clinical areas of interest.
The child life student is responsible for:
- Planning and implementing therapeutic play activities, both one-to-one and in a group setting
- Serving as an advocate for patients and families
- Completing comprehensive assessments that support individualized interventions in the context of the family support system
- Establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with patients who have diverse needs and backgrounds
- Applying theoretical knowledge to daily clinical experiences
- Gaining an understanding of the impact of health care encounters on patients and family members and implementing strategies to diminish the impact of medical stressors
- Communicating observations of the patient's behavior and interactions with the child life supervisor and relevant members of the health care team
- Managing and organizing time, while demonstrating adherence to identified deadlines
- Attending and actively participating in educational in-services
In addition, interns participate in educational seminars throughout the 16-week experience. Topics relate directly to practice and service delivery and may include child development theory and the impact of hospitalization, assessment, documentation, and medical play, just to name a few.
For the majority of your internship, your learning schedule includes eight-hour days, five days a week. While the regular workweek is usually 40 hours, additional projects, patient activities and homework are assigned. In addition, some weekend and evening hours are included in the schedule.
Graduation and certification
Students receive a degree from their college or university commensurate with their didactic and clinical training.
Students are responsible for scheduling their certification exams through the Association of Child Life Professionals. It is recommended that you schedule and sit for your exam after completion of necessary eligibility requirements. Many institutions require entry-level child life specialists to pass the certification exam within their first year of employment, if not before.
The Child Life Specialist Internship is an ACLP accredited internship program.
See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.