Psychology-Child Life - Retention Policy
Major in Psychology - Child Life

Psychology - Child Life

Retention Policy


Psychology-Child Life

Rules and Regulations

Students are ultimately responsible for their academic program. All students are encouraged to read the College catalog and be familiar with the program and College requirements. Students are expected to be aware of prerequisite course requirements. Prerequisites will not be waived. Although part-time study is allowed initially, students should be aware that the Psychology-Child Life program is considered to be a day program. Anyone who elects part-time study initially, must work closely with his/her adviser to determine when he/she should enroll in PCL 471 and schedule the internship. The internship encompasses full-time study during the student's last semester.

NOTE: The requirements listed in this Retention Policy are designed to ensure that each student develops the competencies needed to effectively work with children and families. They are taken quite seriously. Please read and heed them carefully and work closely with your adviser to be sure the requirements are being met in a timely fashion. Otherwise graduation may be delayed or dismissal from the major may occur.

A. Remaining in the Psychology-Child Life Major

1. Students must have a grade of "C" or better in all major and major-related courses, with the exception of BIO 101 and BIO 102, which each must be passed with a grade of “D” or higher. NOTE: Students will be allowed to repeat each major and major-related course only ONCE in order to meet this requirement. If upon repeating the course the requirement is not met, the student will be dismissed from the major.

2. Students must have a minimum overall college grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.*

3. Students who are placed on academic probation by the College for two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the Psychology-Child Life Major.

4. Students must demonstrate the professional and ethical behaviors required for successful performance in the practice of child life specialty and child development as noted by faculty and clinical educators, and in compliance with the Child Life Council and National Association for Education of Young Children Code of Ethics. Students are expected to maintain standards of professional behavior within the academic, fieldwork, and internship settings.

5. The Psychology-Child Life faculty expects intellectual honesty from all students during examinations and in the performance of written assignments. See the College catalog for the penalty for academic dishonesty.

B. Eligibility for Internship

Preparation and application occur one full year before the internship takes place. Your academic record will be reviewed periodically during this preparation period to determine whether or not you are continuing to meet the eligibility requirements for internship. If you do not meet the requirements listed below, your internship will be postponed and/or denied.

1. Each student will be reviewed and approved by the Psychology-Child Life faculty. Students must demonstrate, in prior course work, the potential to competently perform the role and responsibilities of a child care professional working in whichever setting they are concentrating in. In addition to the academic concerns, the student's character, ethical behavior and professionalism will be considered. Each Spring and Fall semester a list of those students scheduled to be engaged in an internship the following year will be circulated among Psychology-Child Life faculty. Each faculty member will be given the opportunity to express any concerns he or she might have about a particular student. If there is disagreement among the faculty a meeting will be held at which time the student's record will be discussed.

2. All course work must be completed prior to the internship in compliance with the Rules and Regulations listed in Section A of the Psychology-Child Life Retention Policy.

3. Students must meet health requirements for placement and have malpractice insurance coverage, and attend infection control and child abuse workshops.
(These requirements will be explained in PCL 471 and 472).

4. Students must attend all internship preparation meetings (PCL 471 and 472).

5. Students are required to interview at a minimum of 2 sites chosen in consultation with and approved by the Psychology-Child Life Department.

6. Students must comply with all internship preparation requirements as set forth in PCL 47 l and 472.

C. Internship Preparation and Internship Sequence

1. Students must successfully complete PCL 471 in the semester that occurs one year before the semester of the scheduled internship.

2. Students must successfully complete PCL 472 in the semester that occurs just before the semester of the scheduled internship.

3. If during PCL 472 a student decides to postpone the scheduled internship and/or does not successfully secure an internship placement by designated deadlines, then, with the department faculty concurring, the student must work with the Internship Coordinator to re-schedule the internship for an agreed upon date. The student must comply with all pre-requisites determined by the Internship Coordinator before completing the re-scheduled internship.

Students who are denied an opportunity to intern will receive a written statement from faculty. Upon receipt of the reason for denial, the student can appeal the decision (See Appeals Process).

Review Process

Each student’s academic file will be reviewed every semester. If the student does not meet the program criteria and follow the rules and regulations pertaining to the Academic Program, he/she will be dismissed from the program. In the case of dismissal, a letter outlining the reasons for dismissal will be issued from the department to the student. Upon receipt of the reason for dismissal, the student can appeal the decision (See Appeals Process).

Appeals Process

1. If a student is dismissed from the major or the internship is postponed or denied, the student will first appeal to the Psychology-Child Life Department. The appeal must be made in writing and should address why the student should not be held to the same standards as all other students in the major as well as extenuating circumstances that should be considered.

2. If the outcome of  the department’s decision is not satisfactory to the student, she/he may appeal to the Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs.

*Please Note: Some internship sites require a minimum GPA of 3.0 in major & major-related courses and/or a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in order to apply for an internship.


Patrice W. Hallock, Ph.D.
Chair, Educator Preparation & Psych-Child Life
Library Concourse

(315) 792-3815
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(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502