Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals

For more than 65 years, the International Literacy Association (ILA) has championed rigorous research as the foundation for literacy leadership, and we have developed research-based standards for preparing and certifying literacy professionals.

ILA's Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals, 2017 Edition sets forth the criteria for developing and evaluating preparation programs for literacy professionals.

Developed by literacy experts across the United States, the standards focus on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for effective educational practice in a specific role and highlight contemporary research and evidence-based practices in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and leadership. Also addressed within the standards is the need for a broader definition of literacy beyond reading to include writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing in both print and digital realms.

More details about ILA's standards can be found in the FAQ.

How to order

Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals, 2017 Edition is available for purchase in print and digital formats.

Adopting the ILA standards

If your district, state, province, Ministry of Education, or similar has adopted the ILA standards, contact for official recognition. Those who have formally adopted the standards may be eligible to receive promotional assets for websites, social media accounts, and press.

Licensure, certificate, and endorsement programs that prepare literacy professionals seeking to adopt the ILA standards may submit an interest form for information about the process.

Video resources

Content resources

Overarching Standards

Standard Title Overarching Standard
1: Foundational Knowledge Candidates demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical, historical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language and the ways in which they interrelate and the role of literacy professionals in schools.
2: Curriculum and Instruction Candidates use foundational knowledge to critique and implement literacy curricula to meet the needs of all learners and to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based literacy instruction for all learners.
3: Assessment and Evaluation Candidates understand, select, and use valid, reliable, fair, and appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose, and measure student literacy achievement; inform instruction and evaluate interventions; participate in professional learning experiences; explain assessment results and advocate for appropriate literacy practices to relevant stakeholders.
4: Diversity and Equity Candidates demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies, and essential concepts of diversity and equity; demonstrate and provide opportunities for understanding all forms of diversity as central to students' identities; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district, and community levels.
5: Learners and the Literacy Environment Candidates meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of print and digital materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies in appropriate, safe, and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.
6: Professional Learning and Leadership Candidates recognize the importance of, participate in, and facilitate ongoing professional learning as part of career-long leadership roles and responsibilities.
7: Practicum/Clinical Experiences (for specialized literacy professionals only) Candidates apply theory and best practice in multiple supervised practicum/clinical experiences.