Accreditation of Graduate Programs

ACLP has taken the final steps in operationalizing the graduate accreditation program by completing a cost analysis as part of the CAAHEP application due February 2018. Unfortunately, the fee structure and ambivalent reception by academic programs has not led to confidence in ACLP’s investment of the initiative. The investment by ACLP to operationalize the accreditation process with CAAHEP would be significant and it has not yet been made clear who would ultimately pay the price. ACLP cannot absorb the costs entirely but simultaneously cannot, in good conscience, ask graduate programs to pay upwards of $10,000 to apply knowing that the expense would, likely, ultimately trickle down to students’ wallets.

The History

2009

Academic Task Force

The board created the Academic Task Force after the Academic Summit was held at Wheelock College in May 2009. The task force was to make recommendations for core curriculum of academic programs offering child life degrees or concentration. The group's recommendations for graduate curriculum were accepted and the board turned to endorsement/recognition of academic and internship programs as a priority...

2011

Task Force 2020

...hence, a new Task Force 2020 was appointed in the November 2011 Board discussion of the strategic plan, charged with recommending to the BOD a process and timetable whereby in 2020 and beyond, all new CCLS must hold an advanced degree from a program accredited by CLC.

2014

Graduate Program Accreditation Task Force

May 2014 – Motion to disband the Task Force 2022 (formerly 2020) and create the Graduate Program Accreditation Task Force is approved

The Dedication

It is clear the academic TF, Task Force 2020 and now GPATF have made significant contributions towards the association’s goal of advancing the profession. Child life professionals are entering the internship and job markets better prepared than a decade ago...much to the credit of the academic programs that restructured themselves in alignment with the undergraduate and graduate task force recommendations.
 
The ACLP wishes to recognize the members of these task forces as Influencers of the field; working years towards investigation of, recommendation and action towards standardization of curriculum and advocacy of their students in the name of the patients and families that will receive their students’ care.
 
These influential child life professionals include Cathy Humphries, Anita Pumphreys, Michelle Minyard Widmann, Cara Sisk and ???... all of whom have dedicated years of volunteer hours, knowledge and insight towards the goal of advancing the profession. It is because of their dedicated efforts that academic programs have found a community in which to share curriculum recommendations, mutual challenges, resources and solutions. The collective academic community of ACLP has produced a significantly more advanced graduate today than in 2009 when their efforts first began with mutual interest in investigating program differences. Students, ACLP and the greater child life community and their patients will continue to benefit from the valiant work these Influencers have produced.
 
The GPATF’s primary role was to recommend a process and timetable by which graduate programs would be endorsed or accredited by ACLP. The GPATF has, in fact, created the process; identified the entity (CAAHEP); developed the application, review criteria and curriculum map for graduate program accreditation; even going above and beyond their charge to consider and think through an endorsement process for graduate programs as an additional option. We wish to congratulate the task force on completing their charge with thorough investigations, thoughtful considerations and recommendations on behalf of their colleagues and students. 
 
If you are a graduate or know of a graduate of Cathy, Anita’s, or Michelle’s program I encourage you to send your congratulations for their success directly to them and/or send a message of how they have influenced your success to operations@childlife.org. Lastly, we will be recognizing each member of the GPATF at the Leadership Reception of the 2018 Annual Conference and encourage you to join us in our appreciation of these leaders.


The Future

ACLP has taken the final steps in operationalizing the graduate accreditation program by completing a cost analysis as part of the CAAHEP application due February 2018. Unfortunately, the fee structure and ambivalent reception by academic programs has not led to confidence in ACLP’s investment of the initiative. The investment by ACLP to operationalize the accreditation process with CAAHEP would be significant and it has not yet been made clear who would ultimately pay the price. ACLP cannot absorb the costs entirely but simultaneously cannot, in good conscience, ask graduate programs to pay upwards of $10,000 to apply knowing that the expense would, likely, ultimately trickle down to students’ wallets.
 
ACLP commits to continuing to pursue avenues with which to recognize and solidify academic programs as essential foundations of the child life profession. Despite the lack of financial position ACLP has right now to dedicate to implementing the graduate accreditation process in 2018, the work of the academic task forces (particularly GPATF) will continue to be highlighted and emphasized as vital components of an academic program that ACLP considers strong.

Resources