Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration M.S.

Degree: Master of Science
Program Director: Lisa A. Martinelli Beasley
410-704-3766
lmartinelli@towson.edu

The Master of Science program in Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration provides advanced education for Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) currently working in the field and for those students seeking CCLS certification. This program has a broad scope of curriculum that not only engages students from the eyes of a child life specialist through applied research, but also focuses on family collaboration and prepares students for management and administrative positions.

The program is 39-40 units. Upon completion of this program, students will have earned a graduate degree that includes course work related to Child Life, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Family-Professional Collaboration, as well as course work related to administration. Students may opt to complete the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Clinician-Administrator Transition. The curriculum design of this graduate program is intended for students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in Child Life at the entry level as well as practicing Certified Child Life Specialists returning to school to advance their clinical, research and professional knowledge and skills through a graduate degree.

Combined Bachelor's Degree in Introduction to Child Life and Master's in Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration

Students may also earn the M.S. in Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration through the bachelor’s to master’s degree program in child life. The B.S./M.S. program is designed to allow students to complete combined undergraduate and graduate degrees in a shorter time frame, including 9 units taken during the summer terms. This program is open only to undergraduates pursuing the Introduction to Child Life Track in the Department of Family Studies and Community Development.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

http://www.towson.edu/cla/departments/familystudies/grad/childlife/admission.html

Application Deadline

Fall admission only. Application deadline: 1/15

Admission Requirements - Applicants with Bachelor's Degrees

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in family studies, family science, health science, human services, human development, psychology, sociology or another related discipline, obtained at a regionally accredited college or university*. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for full admission or a 2.75 for conditional admission.

Applicants must have completed the following courses with a grade of "C" or higher:

  • Biological sciences (1 course)
  • English composition (minimum of one upper-level course)
  • Human development across the lifespan (one lower-level course)
  • Infant and/or child development and adolescent development course work (two courses - 6 upper-level unis)
  • Research methods (one upper-level course)
  • Four upper-level courses from the content areas of death and dying, education, expressive therapies, psychology, or sociology

Applicants must have a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or paid work experience with children with special health care needs in a child life department under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. All 40 hours must have been completed within two years of the application deadline and in no more than two different settings. The applicant must have been in each setting for a minimum of 10 hours. Applicants with volunteer hours beyond the minimum will be viewed more favorably.

*See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in International Graduate Admissions

Admission Materials

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  •  A Towson University graduate school application with required fee
  • Official transcripts from every college or university attended
  • An essay not exceeding three double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margin typed pages. The essay should answer the following questions:
  1. Briefly describe ways in which the work of a child life specialist contributes to the health care experience of a child and his/her family.
  2. How did you become interested in the field of child life?
  3. Provide a specific example of a time that you used play to meet the developmental needs of a child in a health care setting.
  4. Explain the relevance of research to Child Life. How do you see research informing your role?
  • A completed Coursework Verification Form

Form A: Coursework Verification (PDF)
Note - Applicants who are already certified child life specialists may complete Form B to request a competency in lieu of coursework review for any of the courses noted above. This review would include documentation that verifies the individual's mastery of the course content. Successful requests for competency in lieu of coursework should include a didactic (Re: workshops, professional development and/or related undergraduate coursework) preparation and professional practice.

Form B: Competency in Lieu of Coursework Request (PDF)

A completed Volunteer/Work Experience Verification Form for each institution at which you volunteered or worked in the child life department under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Form C: Volunteer/Work Experience Verification Form (PDF)

**PLEASE NOTE: Letters of recommendation and GRE scores are NOT required for admission.**

Child Life Specific Courses (20 Units)
FMST 540THE HOSPITALIZED CHILD AND FAMILY3
FMST 545INTRODUCTION TO ART THERAPY3
FMST 602CHILD LIFE PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR1
FMST 603THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF PLAY 3
FMST 604BEREAVEMENT, GRIEF AND LOSS: A CHILD LIFE PROSPECTIVE3
FMST 640MEDICAL ASPECTS OF ILLNESS: A CHILD LIFE PERSPECTIVE3
FMST 697GRADUATE INTERNSHIP IN FAMILY STUDIES AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT4
Family-Professional Collaboration Courses (12 Units)
FMST 601APPLIED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS3
FMST 610FAMILY-PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION3
FMST 615APPLIED RESEARCH METHODS IN FAMILY SCIENCE3
FMST 620PROJECT IN FAMILY FOCUSED PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT3
Healthcare Administration Courses/Electives (9 Units)
Clinician-Administrator Transition Courses
IDHP 600TRANSITIONS: HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT3
IDHP 605MANAGING HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS3
IDHP/HLTH 651PLANNING AND MARKETING HEALTH IN BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY3
Total Units41

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE CHILD LIFE SPECIALISTS

Entering students who are already Certified Child Life Specialists are required to complete 6 units of child life course work, 12 units of Family-Professional Collaboration course work, 6 units of Graduate Project/Thesis and 9-15 units of healthcare administration course work. Students who take 9 units of healthcare administration course work must select 6 units of elective course work. Elective courses must meet the approval of the program director.

Child Life Specific Courses (6 Units)
FMST 545INTRODUCTION TO ART THERAPY3
FMST 640MEDICAL ASPECTS OF ILLNESS: A CHILD LIFE PERSPECTIVE3
Family-Professional Collaboration Courses (12 Units)
FMST 601APPLIED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS3
FMST 610FAMILY-PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION3
FMST 615APPLIED RESEARCH METHODS IN FAMILY SCIENCE3
FMST 620PROJECT IN FAMILY FOCUSED PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT3
Healthcare Administration Courses/Electives (15 Units)
Students may choose to meet the administration course requirement by either completing the Clinician-Administrator Transition (CAT) course work (15 units), or students may select 9 units of CAT courses and 6 units of elective course work for a total of 15 units 1, 215
Clinician-Administrator Transition Courses
TRANSITIONS: HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
MANAGING HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
ADMINISTRATION OF HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS (This course is only available for students completing 15 units of Healthcare Administration course work)
HEALTH CARE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
PLANNING AND MARKETING HEALTH IN BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
Electives (6 units) for students who choose to complete 9 units of health-care administration course work
Electives must be preapproved by the graduate program director or department chairperson and shall be selected from the following content areas: family studies, education, psychology, sociology, health science or related field
Graduate Project/Thesis (6 Units)
Select one of the following options:6
Graduate Project
GRADUATE PROJECT IN FAMILY STUDIES
Research Elective (3 units): may include additional research courses in fields such as child development, education, psychology, family science or FMST independent study (department approval required)
Graduate Thesis
Select one of the following:
FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICE THESIS (6 units)
FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICE THESIS
and FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICE THESIS CONTINUUM (6 units) 3
Total Units39
1

Students who complete 9 units of healthcare administration course work will complete 6 units of elective course work, for a total of 15 units.

2

Students who complete 15 units of health-care administration course work will earn a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Clinician-Administrator Transition.

3

FMST 898 (3 units) - taken twice over two semesters and FMST 899 (1 unit) - taken as many times as needed if the thesis is not finished in the first 6 units.

  1. Students will demonstrate acquisition and application of knowledge in child life theory and practice, family professional collaboration and administration. Students will demonstrate literacy and technological competency in course work.
  2.  Students will demonstrate critical thinking and clinical reasoning when providing direct or administrative services.
  3.  Students will demonstrate professional skills necessary for practice as a child life specialist within the multidisciplinary team.

Courses

FMST 505 PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIPS ACROSS THE LIFESPAN (3)

Parent-child relationships from pregnancy and childbirth through the death of elderly parents using systems and life perspectives. Cultural and contextual factors shaping the parent-child relationship. Prerequisites: FMST 101 or consent of instructor.

FMST 515 SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH (3)

Overview of supports and services necessary to foster healthy development in children, youth, and families. Focuses on the role of family and community influences in socializing children. Prerequisites: FMST 201, FMST 301, FMST 302, FMST 303, ECED 201, and (FMST 305 OR EDUC 201) or consent of the instructor.

FMST 540 THE HOSPITALIZED CHILD AND FAMILY (3)

Psychosocial and developmental needs of infants, children, adolescents and families in a health care context, with a focus on the roles and interventions of the child life specialist. Prerequisites: FMST 240, PSYC 101, SOCI 101, and PSYC 203.

FMST 545 INTRODUCTION TO ART THERAPY (3)

An overview of the art therapy field, presenting its history, major practitioners, and theoretical bases. Prerequisites: FMST 101, PSYC 101, and PSYC 203.

FMST 550 FUNDAMENTALS OF LEADERSHIP IN THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR (3)

Overview of non-profit organizations, roles and responsibilities of leaders in the non-profit sector, issues concerning nonprofits. Junior/Senior standing required. Prerequisites: PSYC 101, SOCI 101, ENGL 102, FMST 101, FMST 201, and consent of Chair.

FMST 555 FUNDRAISING, FRIENDRAISING AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT (3)

How nonprofit organizations generate and manage financial and human resources, including the theoretical, behavioral and pragmatic foundations of philanthropy, fund development, and volunteerism. Prerequisites: FMST 350/ FMST 550 and MKTG 341.

FMST 570 SPECIAL TOPICS IN FAMILY STUDIES (3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Family Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of nine units. Prerequisite: FMST 101.

FMST 601 APPLIED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS (3)

Course explores the fundamental components of the development and maintenance of family relationships. Students will critically analyze various perspectives and techniques of interpersonal relationships and will apply knowledge through case analysis.. Content will include topics such as conflict resolution, intimacy and distance in relationships, relationship enhancement and maintenance, and exploration of family stories through case analysis. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of program director.

FMST 602 CHILD LIFE PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR (1)

Child life internship and child life work force preparation. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: consent of department.

FMST 603 THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF PLAY (3)

Examination of the history of hospital play programs, theoretical basis for play and how play techniques are used to promote healing, growth and development for children and adolescents as it relates to the profession of child life. Prerequisite: consent of department.

FMST 604 BEREAVEMENT, GRIEF AND LOSS: A CHILD LIFE PROSPECTIVE (3)

Investigation of bereavement, grief and loss in child life practice. Prerequisite: consent of department.

FMST 610 FAMILY-PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION (3)

Problem-based learning from a multidisciplinary perspective to enhance professional and family collaboration. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

FMST 615 APPLIED RESEARCH METHODS IN FAMILY SCIENCE (3)

Program evaluation methodology for assessment of practice of human services. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

FMST 620 PROJECT IN FAMILY FOCUSED PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT (3)

Exploration of complex relationships in family program development, and student involvement in a family focused service learning project. Students will conduct initial field exploration to identify a focus area that could benefit from creative family programming. Potential service areas are school communities, social service agencies, and non-profit programs. The project will require a comprehensive needs assessment to identify problems and a program plan designed to offer intervention. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of Program Director.

FMST 640 MEDICAL ASPECTS OF ILLNESS: A CHILD LIFE PERSPECTIVE (3)

An overview of the childhood disease process and its possible impact on child and family. Prerequisites: FMST 340/540 and graduate standing.

FMST 670 SPECIAL TOPICS IN FAMIILY STUDIES (3)

Study of selected topics in Family Studies. Topics will vary according to instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: graduate standing and consent of program director.

FMST 691 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN FAMILY STUDIES (1-6)

The independent study course provides student with the opportunity to explore an in-depth topic specified to the area of concentration under the direction of graduate program faculty member. This course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of program director.

FMST 697 GRADUATE INTERNSHIP IN FAMILY STUDIES AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (4)

Graduate human service internship experience. PRerequisite: Department Permission [consent of program director].

FMST 880 GRADUATE PROJECT IN FAMILY STUDIES (3)

Implementation and documentation of a research project specific to child life or administration of child life programs or family involvement in a practice setting. Project examples: FMST 620 program implementation, graduate faculty research project, and research project in a child life setting such as a hospital (for students who have completed FMST 640). Prerequisites: FMST 615 or approved research methods course, FMST 601, FMST 610, and FMST 620; students must submit the project approval form and receive approval from instructor and department graduate committee; research projects may require the completion of an independent study prior to FMST 880.

FMST 897 FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICE THESIS (6)

Original investigation using an acceptable research method and design conducted under the direction of a faculty member. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: completion of a minimum of 26 units toward the MS in CLAFC including completion of FMST 615 and FMST 620; permission from Graduate Program Director and Department Chairperson.

FMST 898 FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICE THESIS (3)

The previous course, FMST 897, taken over two semesters. Prerequisites: completion of a minimum of 26 units toward the MS in CLAFC including completion of FMST 615 and FMST 620; permission from Graduate Program Director and Department Chairperson.

FMST 899 FAMILY AND HUMAN SERVICE THESIS CONTINUUM (1)

Continuation of graduate thesis. Prerequisite: previous registration for graduate thesis.