CCLS student internship

Children’s Minnesota offers a full-time (40 hour/week), ACLP accredited child life specialist internship to undergraduate students in their senior year. We also accept students in graduate programs. Students do not need to be affiliated with a university during their internship experience.

Learn more about the internship program, requirements and application process below.

ACLP Accredited internship program

Application Process

Children’s uses the Common Child Life Internship Application form found on the Association of Child Life Professionals website. Please complete the Child Life Intern Application form and return it along with the requisite supporting documents in a single envelope to:

Diane Dingley, MS, CCLS
Children’s Minnesota
Child Life Department MS B704
2525 Chicago Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

We also adhere to the ACLP’s timeline for offering internships and confirming acceptance from the candidate. Because we accept a limited number of interns at one time, we recommend you apply for an internship at more than one hospital. Please note: You will not be notified upon receipt of your application. Use mail/shipping options if you require delivery confirmation.

In addition to the application form, we require 3 professional letters of reference along with the Common Recommendation Forms in the application, a copy of the ACLP Eligibility Assessment and Course Verification Form, a resume, cover letter, and official transcripts.

We do accept copies of official transcripts.

Application deadlines

Our application deadlines and process follow the recommendations of the Association of Child Life Professionals:

  • Fall Session 2022 (August – December)
    • Application deadline (received): March 15, 2022
    • Offer date: first Tuesday in May 2022
    • Acceptance date: first Wednesday in May 2022
    • Second offer date: first Thursday in May 2022
  • Winter/Spring Session 2023 (February – May)
    • Application deadline (received): September 7, 2022
    • Offer date: first Tuesday in October 2022
    • Acceptance date: first Wednesday in October 2022
    • Second offer date: first Thursday in October 2022

Additional information to consider before applying

  • No affiliation agreement is required. The child life internship at Children’s Minnesota meets all ACLP requirements.
  • Health requirements for students. Documentation will be required if you are accepted for an internship.

The ACLP accredited child life internship program provides intense working experience in child life. We place an emphasis on candidates with a strong academic background in child development. Our child life interns are onboarded in a temporary employment role and receive an hourly wage during the internship. The experience meets all ACLP internship requirements.

Required academic background

Candidates need to be a senior in college completing a Bachelor’s degree, or a Master’s degree student. We also accept individuals who have already graduated with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in appropriate majors. Suggested majors (may include but are not exclusive to):

  • Child life
  • Child development
  • Human growth and development
  • Child psychology

Required experience

The student must have:

  • Supervised involvement with healthy children (minimum of 100 hours)
  • Supervised involvement with children in the health care setting as a volunteer (minimum of 100 hours)
  • Solid understanding of child development through coursework and experience
  • Completion of child life coursework inclusive of the ACLP required 6 applied areas of study
  • Completed the academic course work portion of the ACLP eligibility assessment

Expectations of the student

The student will need to:

  • Commit to one full semester (16 weeks), 40 hours/week
  • Have a flexible schedule, including some weekends and evenings
  • Complete required readings, weekly journal, final case study or project, and other assignments
  • Provide the clinical internship coordinator with a list of expectations and requirements from the university, if currently enrolled at a university
  • Maintain contact with university supervisor, if currently enrolled at a university

Child life department responsibilities

We will provide:

  • A child life supervisor who will communicate with the student’s university supervisor, if applicable
  • Weekly supervision meetings
  • Exposure to a variety of ages and diagnostic groups
  • A multidisciplinary setting
  • Flexibility to tailor internship experience to student’s needs and interests
  • Normalizing and therapeutically-oriented interactions with patients and families
  • Opportunities for continuing education
  • Recommendations

Child life internship opportunities

Here is a list of potential opportunities for a child life intern. These are in addition to the basic internship requirements.

  • Child life professional development in-services
  • Child life case study discussions
  • In-hospital educational in-services
  • Care conferences on individual patients
  • Site visits to other child life programs
  • School visits
  • Informational interviews with other multidisciplinary team members
  • Participation in support groups and/or dialogue with staff who facilitate them
  • Exposure to hospital-wide committees and family-centered care programs
  • Participation in production of closed-circuit TV show “Kids Clubhouse”
  • Engagement with the Youth Advisory Council at the hospital

We strongly suggest:

  • Students do not have an outside job during this internship
  • Applicants contact the Association for Child Life Professionals to gain more information about the child life profession

Learn more about the child life department, roles, and our current team members.

Child life informational sessions and interviews

We offer child life informational sessions several times a year. This is an opportunity to learn from and connect with a Certified Child Life Specialist. One-on-one informational interviews are available based on staff availability. Find out more.

Music therapy internships

Children’s Minnesota offers a six-month, full-time music therapy internship. Interns receive feedback and supervision from board-certified music therapists and other health care professionals. They participate in both individual and group music therapy sessions. Find out more.