Professional Certifications

We prepare students for certification in family life education and child life.

About Family Life Education

The objective of family life education is to enrich and improve the quality of life for individuals and families. Family life educators may teach individuals, couples, families, and parents about communication skills, typical human development, decision-making, and healthy interpersonal relationships. Family life educators work in diverse settings including health care facilities, faith communities, high schools, colleges and universities, social service agencies, and retirement communities.

How to Become a Certified Family Life Educator

The Department of Family Studies and Community Development is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), the only national program to certify family life educators. Our family and human services undergraduate coursework has been approved by the Council as meeting the criteria for the Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. After successfully completing the required coursework, students are considered proficient in the ten Family Life Education Content Areas and may apply for provisional certification. Provisional CFLEs may achieve full certification as soon as they document sufficient work experience in family life education.

Applying for provisional certification

About Child Life Certification

The Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential is the exclusive certification issued for the child life profession. The CCLS credentialing program is rigorous and examination based. There are many benefits to becoming certified, including enhanced respect from colleagues, more career opportunities, and opportunities for continuing professional development.

Certification Requirements

Prior to sitting for the Child Life Professional Certification Exam, candidates must meet three eligibility requirements. Applicants must have completed the following :

  • At least a bachelor’s degree
  • Ten college-level courses in child life or a related department/subject, including a minimum of one child life course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS)
  • A minimum of 480 hours of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications

Beginning in 2019, some eligibility requirements will change, including an increase to 600 hours of required clinical experience. By 2025, all newly credentialed Certified Child Life Specialists will be required to have an advanced degree in child life from an academic program accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

For additional information, please visit the Association of Child Life Professionals website.