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The Child Life Practicum Application (PDF) form or correspondence to the Child Life Department at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh should be addressed to:
Child Life Practicum Coordinator
Child Life Department
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
We are currently accepting applications for the spring 2021 semester. We will communicate any changes to start dates and hours via our website as the current situation evolves.
Child life student practicum placements are assigned according to the three-semester calendar cycle. Application forms for each semester must be received in accordance with the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) recommended internship application and offer dates:
Fall: March 15
Winter/Spring: September 5
Summer: January 5
Students will receive notification about interview scheduling and placement possibilities before the following offer deadlines:
Fall: Second Tuesday of May
Winter/Spring: Second Tuesday in October
Summer: Second Tuesday in February
Students will give written notification to Children's Hospital's Child Life Department by:
Fall: Following Wednesday
Winter/Spring: Following Wednesday
Summer: Following Wednesday
Practicums are offered to currently enrolled students who have reached a minimum level of junior status. We accept on average three students per semester. We only allow for one educational experience at our facility. A student who completes a practicum at CHP will not be allowed to complete their internship.
The design of the practicum is based on the standards of practice set forth by the ACLP. The practicum experience offers an opportunity to become more familiar with the basics of a child life program as well as learning to interact with hospitalized children and their families.
Students are assigned to placements where they will be supervised by a certified child life specialist. Weekly supervision meetings are mandatory, as is attendance at lectures, seminars, conferences, and meetings relevant to the practicum.
Placements are typically based on university hours/credit requirements. Hours will vary. Typical placements will be a total of 16 hours per week over 16 weeks. Two full 8-hour days during daylight times Monday-Friday are required. Students must complete a minimum of 224 hrs.
Students are responsible for making their own arrangements for housing and meals. For your convenience, a refrigerator and microwave may be available to you. The hospital complex and surrounding area offer many possibilities for meals. Parking can be provided at zero cost to the student, if needed.
For questions regarding the practicum program please contact program coordinator Alanna Kanawalsky or Jessica Smith:
Alanna Kanawalsky, MS, CCLS
Jessica Smith, MS, CCLS
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.