Family and Child Studies Major, Child Life Specialist Concentration (B.A.) - Undergraduate - 2011 University Catalog

You are viewing the 2011 University Catalog. Please see the newest version of the University Catalog for the most current version of this program's requirements.

Child Life Specialists work to minimize the negative impacts of medical situational disruptions while maintaining individual growth and development and family relationships. Child Life Specialists also help to reduce the stress and anxiety that many children experience in hospital and healthcare settings and enhance their abilities to cope effectively with and gain from potentially stressful situations. While the work of child life specialists has been limited mostly to hospitals, it is now more common to see them in pediatric physician and dental offices, outpatient clinics, counseling clinics, camps, and any other environment that includes a pediatric population.

Child Life programs in health care settings promote optimum development of children and their families, in order to maintain normal living patterns and to minimize psychological trauma. Typically, Child Life professionals (1.) supervise therapeutic and diversional play; (2.) prepare children for and assist children during medical test and procedures through education, rehearsal, and coping skill development; and (3.) support families during hospitalization or challenging events. Child Life professionals support a philosophy of “family centered care” in health care facilities.

Services that Child Life Specialists provide:
•    Non-medical preparation for test, surgeries, and other medical procedures
•    Support during medical procedure
•    Therapeutic medical play using special dolls, stuffed animals and medical equipment
•    Activities to continue normal growth and development of infants, children and adolescents in hospital patient rooms and/or activity areas
•    Sibling support
•    Support for grief and bereavement issues
•    Emergency room interventions
•    Hospital pre-admission tours and information

Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, with an educational background that includes human development, family systems, education, psychology, counseling, health and illness intervention, and a 480-hour internship supervised by a CCLS. After students earn their degree, then the certification process is conducted under the auspices of the Child Life Council  (CLC). The graduate may apply through the CLC to sit for the certification exam.

A minimum of 120 semester hours of coursework is required for the baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.0 major GPA. However, more than 120 semester hours may be required depending upon the major field of study. In addition to the major requirement outlined below, all university students must fulfill the set of General Education requirements applicable to their degree (for further information, see General Education Requirements).


CHILD LIFE SPECIALIST CONCENTRATION

Complete 73 semester hours including the following 3 requirement(s):

  1. FAMILY AND CHILD STUDIES CORE

    Complete 6 courses:

    FCST 200 Introduction to Family Studies 3
    FCST 304 Research Methods for Studying Families and Children 3
    FCST 317 Fieldwork Experience in Family and Child Studies: The Hospitalized Child 3
    FCST 348 Individual and Family Development Over the Life Span 3
    FCST 418 Working with Diverse Families and Children 3
    FCST 445 Poverty and Families 3
  2. REQUIRED COURSES

    Complete the following 2 requirements:

    1. Complete 9 courses:

      FCST 141 Interpersonal Relations 3
      FCST 210 Introduction to Child Life 3
      FCST 214 Child Development I 3
      FCST 215 Infant Development 3
      FCST 241 Group Dynamics 3
      FCST 305 Death and Bereavement in the Family 3
      FCST 314 Child Development II: Adolescence 3
      FCST 322 Play in Child Life Practice 3
      FCST 448 Family Counseling 3
    2. Complete for a total of 8 semester hours.

      FCST 409 Internship 8-12
  3. COLLATERAL COURSES

    Complete the following 2 requirements:

    1. Complete 6 courses:

      ARTH 280 Introduction to Art Therapy 3
      HLTH 105 Medical Terminology 3
      MUTH 100 Introduction to Music Therapy 2
      PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
      PSYC 235 Psychology of Exceptional Children and Youth 3
      SOCI 309 Sociology of Health and Illness 3
    2. Complete 1 course from the following:

      ECEL 219 Language and Literature for Young Children 3
      READ 209 Children's Literature for a Multicultural Society 3

Course Descriptions:

ARTH280: Introduction to Art Therapy

An historical and theoretical overview including the literature and current trends in the field. Students will use a variety of art materials to express personal symbolism, fantasy, and dreams. Open to non-majors. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

ECEL219: Language and Literature for Young Children

The qualities of children's expression through language, books, stories and poems; criteria for evaluating material for early childhood programs. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Not open to freshmen.

FCST141: Interpersonal Relations

Relevant and up-to-date information about meaningful human relationships throughout the life cycle. Starting Summer 2012: Students learn about relevant and up-to-date information about meaningful human relationships throughout the life cycle. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

FCST200: Introduction to Family Studies

This course examines families from historical, socio-cultural and theoretical perspectives. It focuses on the changes in American families over time and the implications of those changes for contemporary and future families. It also examines issues that impact family development, structure and function. Those issues include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, class, ablelism, age, gender and sexual orientation. Starting Summer 2012: Students examine families from historical, socio-cultural and theoretical perspectives, with a focus on the changes in American families over time and the implications of those changes for contemporary and future families. Students also examine issues that impact family development, structure and functions. Those issues include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, class, ablelism, age, gender and sexual orientation. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: ENWR 105 or HONP 100 OR PSYC 101. May be taken concurrently.

FCST210: Introduction to Child Life

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the profession of Child Life. Students will be introduced to the unique role of the Child Life Specialist in working with infants, children, adolescents and their families in the hospital and other health care settings. Starting Summer 2012: This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the profession of Child Life. Through this course students gain knowledge about the unique role of the Child Life Specialist in working with infants, children, adolescents and their families in the hospital and other health care settings. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 141 or departmental approval.

FCST214: Child Development I

This course takes a developmental approach to the study of young children from conception to age 10. For each developmental stage, physical, socio-emotional, cognitive, and language domains are discussed. Developmental theories are woven into each part of the course. Observational and research methodologies are emphasized. Out-of-class observations/interviews required. Starting Summer 2012: This course takes a developmental approach to the study of young children from conception to age 10. For each developmental stage, students explore physical, socio-emotional, cognitive, and language domains. Developmental theories are woven into each part of the course and an emphasis is placed upon observational and research methodologies. (3 hours lecture, 1 hour other.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

FCST215: Infant Development

The infant as a developing individual within the family. Theory and research in the area of human infancy. Physical, cognitive and emotional growth from pre-natal through the first two years of life. Field experiences required. Starting Summer 2012: Students in this class explore the infant as a developing individual within the family. Theory and research in the area of human infancy are applied throughout the course. Students gain knowledge about the physical, cognitive and emotional growth of infants from pre-natal through the first two years of life. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 200 and field experience required.

FCST241: Group Dynamics

This course presents an overview of the theory and practice of group dynamics, to prepare students to facilitate group processes to advance group- and individual-level objectives. This course examines developmental, ecological, and systems theories in terms of their implications for how individuals interact with and influence each other in group settings. This course reviews practical approaches and develops tools for working effectively with groups in a variety of family and/or child settings, both as a group member and as a group facilitator. Distinct approaches to group processes that are appropriate for specific developmental stages are emphasized (e.g., differences between group work with children, adolescents, and adults). (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 141.

FCST304: Research Methods for Studying Families and Children

An introductory research course designed to enable students to critically read, analyze and produce research in areas relevant to family and child studies. Various research approaches will be reviewed, and the role of research in society and its relationship to conditions of power and oppression will be explored. Starting Summer 2012: Through this introductory course students develop critical reading and analyzing skills regarding current research in the field of family and child studies. Students investigate various research approaches and the role of research in society and its relationships to conditions of power and oppression. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 200; and Family and Child Studies (FCST) majors only.

FCST305: Death and Bereavement in the Family

This course offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of dying and death within the context of the family. This course will examine human responses to the dying process across the life span as well as the social functions of grief and mourning. Perceptions of death in various social, cultural, and religious contexts will be explored as will substantive and controversial topics related to the end of life. Starting Summer 2012: Students examine human responses to the dying process across the lifespan as well as the social functions of grief and mourning. Students also explore perceptions of death in various social, cultural, and religious contexts as well as substantive and controversial topics related to the end of life. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 200 or PSYC 101. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department or departmental approval.

FCST314: Child Development II: Adolescence

This course uses a developmental approach to study adolescents (11-18 years). Physical, cognitive and social development throughout this age period are studied. Family, peer, race, ethnicity, socio-cultural, and environmental influences on adolescents are examined. Starting Summer 2012: In this course students utilize a developmental approach to study adolescents (11-18 years) focusing on physical, cognitive and social development throughout this age period. Students examine the impact of family, peers, race, ethnicity, socio-cultural, and environmental influences on adolescents. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 214 and PSYC 101. Out-of-class interviews and/or observations are required.

FCST317: Fieldwork Experience in Family and Child Studies: The Hospitalized Child

This course is geared toward guiding and supporting prospective Child Life interns in their initial exposure to children, families, and staff in a pediatric hospital setting. Class meetings will be structured in a format that encourages class discussion and students will be expected to share experiences with the instructor and fellow peers. Students will have a planned supervised experience for a minimum of 35 hours of field work in a pediatric setting approved by the instructor. (3 hours field experience.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 210. Experience for a minimum of 35 hours of field work in a pediatric setting approved by the instructor. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department.

FCST322: Play in Child Life Practice

This hands-on course is designed to introduce students to the role and application of play in child life practice and other related fields, such as social work, therapeutic recreation, and education. Students learn about the child life field, and they examine the historical and cultural dimensions of play and explore major theories of play. Through lecture and experiential activities, students learn various play techniques used by child life specialists, such as role playing, expressive play, and storytelling. Students enhance their knowledge of the role of play in the treatment of children coping with hospitalization injury, and illness. Starting Summer 2012: This hands-on course is designed to introduce students to the role and application of play in child life practice and other related fields, such as social work, therapeutic recreation, and education. Students learn about the child life field, and they examine the historical and cultural dimensions of play and explore major theories of play. Students learn various play techniques used by child life specialists through a combination of lecture and experiential activities including role playing, expressive play, and storytelling. Students enhance their knowledge of the role of play in the treatment of children coping with hospitalization injury, and illness. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 210 and FCST 214. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department.

FCST348: Individual and Family Development Over the Life Span

This introductory course provides an overview of family development over the life course in the United States and in other societies. Concepts and theories related to transitions within families over the life course will be explored. This course will also emphasize the role of culture and diversity in the development and functioning of families. Meets the University Writing Requirement for majors in FCCL, FCPS, FCEL, FCFS, FCGR. Starting Summer 2012: In this introductory course students gain an overview of family development over the life course in the United States and in other societies. Students also explore concepts and theories related to transitions within families over the life. This course also emphasizes the role of culture and diversity in the development and functioning of families. Meets the University Writing Requirement for majors in Family and Child Studies. () 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 200. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department.

FCST409: Internship

Opportunity to work as an intern in a professional setting in a community organization, agency, or a service organization. Application available in the Family and Child Studies Department. Starting Summer 2012: Students have the opportunity to work as an intern in a professional setting in a community organization, agency, or a service organization. The internship experience is the final step in a student's education as a Family and Child Studies (FCST) student at Montclair State University (MSU). The placement experience aims to give students on-the-job training in a setting that provides contact with people in various program related environments. This is an opportunity for students to further enhance career preparation by developing professional competencies in such areas as critical thinking, assessment techniques, problem solving behaviors, decision making processes, utilization of resources, ability to function as part of a diverse work force, and understanding of the general operation, management, and philosophies of social service agencies. Students are expected to undertake a serious professional responsibility and work with diverse client populations to better understand the roles, rights, and responsibilities of consumers who utilize social services. () 8 - 12 sh.

Prerequisites: Family and Child Studies major and departmental approval.

FCST418: Working with Diverse Families and Children

Approaches to working with diverse families and children in human service, community, and educational settings will be examined. A particular focus will be on skill development for facilitating and leading family conferences in a variety of professional settings. Starting Summer 2012: Students study different approaches to working with diverse families and children in human service, community, and educational settings. A particular focus is on skill development for facilitating and leading family conferences in a variety of professional settings. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 348. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department or departmental approval.

FCST445: Poverty and Families

Examines the impact of economic structures, social conditions, gender, race and ethnicity as they affect the family system. This course will further examine the various social problems that place families at risk including family structures and community conditions such as poverty, access to resources, and geographic locations. Community contact is a requirement of the course. Meets the Human and Intercultural Relations Requirement (HIRR). Meets the World Languages and Cultures Requirement - World Cultures. Starting Summer 2012: Students examine the impact of economic structures, social conditions, gender, race and ethnicity as they affect the family system as well as various social factors that place families at risk including family structures and community conditions such as poverty, access to resources, and geographic locations. Community contact is a requirement of the course. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 348. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department.

FCST448: Family Counseling

Techniques and theories of collecting data and counseling families with such problems as money management, nutrition concerns, parent-child relationships and value conflicts. Starting Summer 2012: This introductory counseling-based course focuses on the core concepts fundamental to an understanding of marital and family therapy. Students learn about typical family functioning and atypical family dysfunction as well as strategies employed by practicing family therapists. The course emphasizes a multi-cultural approach to family counseling. Students review current research on family process and treatment. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: FCST 141 and FCST 348. Restricted to majors within the Family and Child Studies department.

HLTH105: Medical Terminology

A basic health course introducing elements of medical terminology describing body parts, systems, functions and medical procedures. Emphasis will be placed on development of medical vocabulary and communication skills. The course will provide learning episodes in formulating medical abbreviations and translating complex terminology into lay terms, that ultimately will be applicable to careers in medical writing, health care delivery and management. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

MUTH100: Introduction to Music Therapy

Survey of use of music therapy with various populations and other topics of relevance to the music therapist. (2 hours lecture.) 2 sh.

PSYC101: Introduction to Psychology

This course is an introduction to the study of human behavior and surveys major topics within the diverse discipline of psychology. Topics covered will come from each of four core areas offered by the psychology department: Social/Applied (e.g., Social, Industrial-Organizational, Health), Biological Basis of Behavior (e.g., Physiology, Perception, Motivation/Emotion, Comparative Animal Behavior), Cognition (e.g., Learning and Memory, Conditioning and Learning, Cognition, Language) and Personality (e.g., Personality, Abnormal, Development). Meets Gen Ed 2002 - Social Science for non-psychology majors only. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

PSYC235: Psychology of Exceptional Children and Youth

Surveys, current practices and problems of exceptional children and youth. Explores the unique needs of individuals with handicaps that involve intellectual, sensory, motor, neurological, social and emotional origins. Utilizes analysis of case materials for theoretical and practical applications to the psychology of exceptionality. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

READ209: Children's Literature for a Multicultural Society

This course seeks to examine multicultural children's literature as both aesthetic form and instructional tool. Students will examine the social, political and educational implications of such literature and its use in classrooms. The course will assist students in recognizing the significance of their development as critical readers, writers and thinkers. Additionally, the course will enable prospective and in-service teachers to serve their students in a more efficacious manner with an enhanced instructional repertoire. Meets the Human and Intercultural Relations Requirement. Starting Summer 2012: In this course, students examine multicultural children's literature as both aesthetic form and instructional tool. They examine the social, political and educational implications of such literature and its use in classrooms. The course assists students in recognizing the significance of their development as critical readers, writers and thinkers. Additionally, the course enables prospective and in-service teachers to serve their students in a more efficacious manner with an enhanced instructional repertoire. The course concentrates on analysis of literature for young children (i.e., pre-school through third grade). Additionally, students read and analyze literature for advanced readers and books read by adolescents. () 3 sh.

SOCI309: Sociology of Health and Illness

The focus of this course is on the relationship between society and health with a special emphasis on the role of culture and social structure. Health inequalities and the sociology of disability will be central concerns. Other topics will include social and cultural definitions of health and illness, the social role of the "sick", comparative medical beliefs and practices and medical institutions. (3 hours lecture.) 3 sh.

Prerequisites: SOCI 100 or 113 or 201 or 202 or 204 or departmental approval.