Concordia University Ann Arbor to launch Master of Arts in child life this summer

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Marlee Ketelaar ('18) is currently a child life specialist in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Courtesy: Concordia University Ann Arbor)

ANN ARBOR - This July, Concordia University Ann Arbor will be launching its first Master of Arts in child life, building on its existing role as a leader in the child life specialist field.

Child life specialists help children through experiences of trauma, illness, hospitalization, and other unexpected and difficult life circumstances that can bring on feelings of apprehension and fear.

Trained professionals employ evidence-based methods to help children to understand emotions of fear, loneliness or confusion, and improve their development and well-being while avoiding lasting negative effects.

The advanced degree will complement undergraduate students majoring in the fields of family life education, child psychology, recreational therapy, education and developmental psychology.

"The child life profession is growing, continuing its work in the hospital setting but now also expanding into doctors' offices, dentists' offices, hospice programs, funeral homes, school districts, and private practices," Jennifer Fieten, MA, CCLS, who leads the child life program at CUAA, said in a statement. "As more continue to become aware of our profession, training, skills, and the benefits of the psychosocial support that we provide children and families, the demand will continue to rise."

How the program works

According to Concordia:

The program is formatted to allow CUAA undergraduate family life education students the ability to complete the degree requirements in one and a half years. Applicants without affiliation to CUAA will be required up to 45 credit hours, dependent upon transcript review. 

The master’s in child life will be offered in a blended format of both online and face-to-face instruction, each eight weeks in length. Students will deepen their understanding of child development, and the processes of supporting children and families during medical interventions, crises, or hospitalization in developmentally appropriate and trauma-informed ways.

For more information about the program and how to apply, click here.

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