Graduate Endorsement

Graduate endorsement is a voluntary process by which graduate academic programs can be reviewed by a panel of child life academics. The endorsement process evaluates the applying program's structure, resources, and sustainability as well as their curriculum using the competency-based graduate curriculum map. If endorsed, graduate programs can provide assurance to their students that their offered coursework will meet ACLP certification requirements. Endorsement also allows the academic freedom to structure their programs as they see fit and over required topics across their entire curriculum rather than prescribing specific courses. Endorsement also serves as a transitional step for programs who choose to pursue accreditation in the future.

In order for an academic program to be eligible for graduate endorsement, it must:
  • provide a master's degree in child life or related area with a concentration in child life
  • Employment if at least 1.0 FTE faculty member who holds an advanced degree, is a Certified Child Life Specialist, and is involved in child life program decision making and curriculum development
The endorsement process outlined below is subject to change prior to the opening of the Graduate Endorsement Application on the Application Portal. It is only meant to provide a general idea of what to expect when undertaking the endorsement process.

Interested individuals:

Students who have either already obtained a bachelor’s degree; are changing career paths; and/or who wish to obtain a master’s degree in preparation for the 2022 and 2025 eligibility requirements plus demonstrate their commitment to the field through graduation from a recognized institution

Students graduating from an endorsed program will still need to complete an eligibility assessment with ACLP but will not need to have each course reviewed as endorsement signifies inclusion of all areas of the course work requirement.

Students completing coursework at unendorsed academic programs will still be eligible for the certification exam but will need to have all of their 10 courses reviewed by ACLP, as is the current practice.

The Endorsement Process

1. Apply

  • Email your Graduate Endorsement Intent-to-Apply Form to GraduateEndorsement@childlife.org.
  • ACLP staff will send you information on logging into the ACLP Application Portal and an invoice for the application fee.
  • Applicants can submit their applications at any time but they will be processed quarterly. Our dates for beginning the review process are: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

2. Review

  • Once submitted, applications are evaluated for completeness by the ACLP staff. This initial review can take up to 2 weeks. If an application is incomplete, it will be returned to the applicant.
  • Applications are then reviewed by the graduate endorsement reviewers. Reviews can take up to 3 months to complete.

3. Decision

  • Applicants will receive decision letters via US Mail.
  • If endorsed, the academic program will be recognized as ACLP-accredited for 5 years, pending annual submission of maintenance materials.
  • If denied, the academic program can appeal or re-apply. Appeals must be made in writing to the ACLP office within 3 months of the decision. 

Fees

  • Application Fee: $1750
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $250
  • Appeals Fee: $500
  • Re-endorsement Fee: $1750

View Endorsed Graduate Programs

Coming Soon: Academic Program Directory

If you have any questions about these materials or processes, please contact us at graduateendorsement@childlife.org.