Child Life Specialist Certificate

Bloomsburg University's Child Life Specialist Certificate is the first of its kind in the PASSHE system.

  • Child life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability.
  • Child life specialists provide children with age-appropriate preparation for medical procedures, pain management and coping strategies, and play and self-expression activities.
  • Child life specialists also provide information, support, and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members.

Program Coordinator

Michael Patte, Ph.D
1101 McCormick Center

Child Life Specialist Certificate

CLS Certificate Program Course Descriptions

10 Courses - 30 Credits

PROFSTUD 340 – (3) – The Children & Families in Medical Settings course introduces students to the role of a child life specialist and a psychosocial care framework of children and families in medical settings. Through a review of historical and current influences in pediatric healthcare settings, basic child life theory and practice will be explored.

PROFSTUD 341 – (3) – The Death, Dying, & Loss: Child & Family Perspectives course provides students with an understanding of pediatric death, dying, and loss by exploring the psychosocial, sociocultural, and ethical aspects of loss and through examining concepts of grief and bereavement. Theories of child and adolescent development provide students with a comprehensive framework for understanding illness and end of life care.

PROFSTUD 342 – (3) – The Applied Research Methods course helps students to understand and critically evaluate research, develop basic skills for conducting research, and to apply these skills in practical settings.

PROFSTUD 347 – (3) – The Play & Expressive Arts for the Developing Child course provides an overview of the principles of therapeutic play, including history, theories, techniques, applications, and skills. The content focuses on understanding the role of therapeutic play as applied to clinical and non-clinical settings with children, adolescents, and adults.

PROFSTUD 414 – (3) – The Child, Family, and Community Engagement course introduces students to the family as a social system, including historical and contemporary theories related to family structure and functions, interaction patterns during times of transition, and the dynamics of
family life. Students examine diverse family systems, including parenting, caregiving, and family life from a cross-cultural perspective. From a clinical perspective, students learn how factors such as abuse, violence, and poverty influence development and how multidisciplinary teams provide optimal care to the child and family.

PSYCH 211 – (3) – The Early Childhood Development course studies normal development and the interrelationships among various aspects of biological, cognitive, personality and social factors emphasizing prenatal to adolescent development. Prerequisite – PSYCH 101

PSYCH 212 – (3) – The Adolescent Development course studies developmental, personal, and social issues confronting adolescents as they emerge from childhood and strive for adulthood. Prerequisite – PSYCH 101

Choose Any Three Courses

COMSTUD 324 – (3) – The Health Communication course examines the social construction of illness identity, health issues, and health practices by analyzing the historicity of Western medicine, doctor-patient dialogue, multicultural health communities, the politics of medicine, and illness narratives. Students will better understand how health and illness are symbolically and culturally constructed and how to more effectively communicate interpersonally with - and possibly as - health care professionals. Prerequisite – COMSTUD 104

COUNSEL 400/500 – (3) – The Introduction to the Helping Professions course exposes students to components of counseling across an array of professional settings and enables students to examine their own personal wellness for pursuing a career as a helping professional. The content also provides a background for detailed study in several areas of specialization including individual, family, and group counseling.

COUNSEL 420/520 – (3) – The Human Development course explores human development throughout the lifespan with a special focus on the school age and college years. Topics covered include physical, cognitive, and psychosocial aspects of human growth, development, and behavior. Emphasis will be placed on practical application of the course content to the counseling and student affairs professions. Students will develop an understanding of the personal-social nature and needs of Pre-K students up through college students and families at all developmental levels in multicultural contexts.

PHIL 290 – (3) – The Medical Ethics course presents reflective inquiry into selected problems in medical ethics. Students consider the diversity of perspectives on ethical issues in the practice of medicine such as the physician-patient relationship, patient autonomy, informed consent, assisted suicide, justice in the distribution of health care, and the moral risks of genetic testing. This course applies to the Philosophy major and minor.

PSYCH 210 – (3) – The Lifespan Psychology course examines the psychology of human development from conception to death, discusses traditional topics and issues in developmental psychology such as cognition and personality from a life-span developmental perspective. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisite – PSYCH 101

(*) Courses, which are offered in both online and face-to-face formats, will be taught by BU faculty along with certified child life specialists.

“Students must earn at least a C in each course of this certificate program.”