Certificate of Distinction

ILA Certificate of Distinction for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals (ILA CoD)

Certificate of Distinction

About the ILA CoD

The ILA Certificate of Distinction for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals (ILA CoD) reflects ILA's ongoing commitment to applying research-based standards to literacy instruction. To download more information about the ILA CoD, click here.

Applicants are evaluated against criteria outlined in Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (Standards 2017).

Currently, the ILA CoD recognizes outstanding licensure, certificate, and endorsement programs that prepare reading/literacy specialists. As Standards 2017 is released, the ILA CoD will also recognize programs that prepare

  • Pre-K/primary classroom teachers
  • Elementary/intermediate classroom teachers
  • Middle/high school classroom teachers
  • Literacy coaches
  • Literacy coordinators

What are the ILA CoD benefits?

Institutions can use the ILA CoD review process to ensure their program is in alignment with Standards 2017, which will help to continually expand and improve their literacy programs, secure resources for expansion and improvement, and attract applicants. Once the ILA CoD is earned, it demonstrates that the institution adheres to a rigorous set of standards—therefore setting it apart from similar programs—and that its teacher candidates are fully prepared to enter the profession.

Key research* offers compelling evidence for the impact of high-quality preparation of literacy professionals on the efficient and effective transition from preservice candidate through the first years of teaching. This research also shows links between the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices and achievement in student literacy learning.

What is the ILA CoD process?

Review of ILA CoD programs consists of two phases:

Phase I: Self-study review
During Phase I, institutions submit a self-study for evaluation by a team of ILA-trained reviewers. Specific attention is paid to how programs align with elements and rubrics identified in Standards 2017.

Phase II: Site visit
A site visit is scheduled for programs that pass the Phase I review. During the site visit, a reviewer team assesses the program through the dual lens of Standards 2017 and the self-study. A series of meetings routinely includes interviews with faculty, administrators, and current and former students.

Upon Phase II approval, the ILA CoD is awarded for a period of five years.

What is the ILA CoD renewal process?

The ILA CoD must be renewed after five years. The renewal process consists of a self-study review and renewal fee payment. If the self-study is incomplete or does not meet ILA CoD requirements, a site visit (including a site visit fee) is required before the renewal process is complete.

How to apply

Click here to learn more about the process and to request an application packet containing guidelines and templates for the preparation of the Phase I self-study.

Please note: The application packet will include information about timelines and fees. If you request an application packet, you are under no obligation to begin the application process.



Diane Kern
ILA CoD Coordinator
Associate Professor, University of Rhode Island School of Education

Marcella Moore
ILA CoD Administrative Coordinator
International Literacy Association

International Literacy Association. (2016). Frameworks for literacy education reform [White paper]. Newark, DE: Author.

*International Literacy Association & National Council of Teachers of English. (2017). Literacy teacher preparation [Research advisory]. Newark, DE; Urbana, IL: Authors.

Klesius, J.P., Searls, E.F., & Zielonka, P. (1990). A comparison of two methods of direct instruction of preservice teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 41(4), 34–44.

Risko, V.J., Roller, C.M., Cummins, C., Bean, R.M., Block, C.C., Anders, P.L., & Flood, J. (2008). A critical analysis of research on reading teacher education. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(3), 252–288.