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Child Life Student Program

Student Opportunities
The Child Life Program at Evanston Hospital, a part of NorthShore University HealthSystem, offers learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate-level students aspiring to become a Certified Child Life Specialist.

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

Child Life Internship Program:

The internship program at Evanston Hospital is offered twice a year during the Fall and Winter/Spring semesters. Evanston Hospital offers internships to students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in child life, child development or a related field. The program is available to students available 40 hours a week for approximately 15 weeks. The internship program subscribes to the guidelines established by the Association of Child Life Professionals in both the hours of service required and in the content of the field experience. Interns will complete a minimum of 600 hours during their internship. The student's clinical supervisor and other staff members in the program provide instruction and guidance as well as regular opportunities for reflective supervision.

Interns are given opportunities to develop skills in assessment and intervention, therapeutic play, and professionalism. They are involved in the planning and implementation of developmentally and emotionally supportive interventions for infants, children and adolescents on our Pediatric/Adolescent Unit. Students will use their developing child life skills to incorporate play, emotional support, education and family involvement in order to enhance the social, emotional, intellectual and physical well-being of children and families in the healthcare setting.

Internship Overview:

This is an unpaid, full time (40 hours per week) position. Weekly schedules are determined based on the child life specialist’s schedule. Hours range between hours of 7am and 5pm.

The interns clinical rotation on our Pediatric and Adolescent unit will provide field exposure and specific training to the diverse work of child life specialists on multiple campuses within the NorthShore University HealthSystem, primarily in our Evanston Campus location.

Interns will:

  • Receive feedback and supervision from certified child life specialists and other health care professionals.
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary medical team in rounds, support groups, and various committees.
  • Be an active participant at special events, educational presentations and meetings.
  • Participate in professional development in-services.
  • Have opportunities for site visits to other child life programs.
  • Participate in interviews with other multi-disciplinary team members.

Criteria for Child Life Internship Candidates

All applications must be received by the application deadline dates set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals: Internship Deadline Dates. These dates will be followed for all internship timeline and offer dates as well.

Before applying for internship placement, please review the following criteria to make certain that you qualify:

  • We ONLY accept students affiliated with either a college or university through an active Memorandum Agreement between our hospital system and your university. Unfortunately, we will not accept any students who are unaffiliated or seeking an independent status for our clinical internship.
  • Internship students must be university college seniors or college students with a strong background in child development or a closely related field.
  • Interested candidates should review the Association of Child Life Professional’s website and be familiar with the field of child life
  • Before applying, internship candidates must have:
    • A minimum of 100 hours practicum experience working under the direct supervision of a Child Life Specialist in a healthcare setting. The practicum experience in a pediatric healthcare setting is a requirement.
    • Previously engaged with children in both health care and non-health care settings (minimum of 100 hours in each setting)
    • Previously participated in experiences with children during which children are functioning in their typical environment
    • Previously participated in experiences with children during which children are functioning under stress
    • Solid understanding of child development through coursework and experience
    • Completed the academic course work portion of the ACLP eligibility assessment. This includes child life coursework identified in the ACLP required applied areas of study.

Child Life Internship Application Process with Electronic Submission

NorthShore Child Life Program follows all ACLP recommendations regarding application deadlines and internship placement offer and acceptance dates.


To apply:

Complete the Internship Readiness Common Application found at Detailed instructions on how to complete the application can be found in the guide here.

  • Users must create an account to be able to complete the application.
  • Select the Internship Readiness Common Application tile and complete all prompted steps that appear on the dashboard.
  • Please email the ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application and Resume/Cover Letter
  • The email subject line should state your name, the internship session: (winter/spring, fall,) and year.

Child Life Practicum Opportunities:
We are not accepting any practicum applications at this time. Please reach out for future practicum opportunities for Summer 2024.

Please reach out below for any additional questions regarding our student programming:

Katelyn Beyer, CCLS, GC-C
Coordinator of Child Life Services, Certified Child Life Specialist

Middle and High School Student Opportunities:

Advisory Council for Teens (ACT)

Mission and Goals:

  • Opportunity for past/current teen patients to act as a voice and avenue for positive change for our current and future patients
  • Provide recommendations about hospital policies, services, and programs to improve overall quality of care and patient experience
  • Build professional and interpersonal skill set
  • Participate in community service projects
  • Peer support; Connect with other teens who have been through shared medical experiences

Selection Process:

  • Members must be previous or current pediatric patients between the ages of 12-18
  • Members may personally express interest or be nominated by a hospital staff member
  • Commitment to a full-year of service
  • Willingness to participate in and contribute to monthly meetings

If you would like to find out more information about our Advisory Council of Teens, please contact our ACT Coordinator: 

Katie Altieri, CCLS
Certified Child Life Specialist