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The Notre Dame College Division of Professional Education has been nationally recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA), the world’s premier literacy organization with chapters around the globe.

The College’s Master of Education in Reading and Literacy leading to Ohio Reading Endorsement has earned the ILA National Recognition for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals. Notre Dame joins only four other institutions in the country to have earned the distinction.

“This is a high honor that validates the work of the division to create a graduate program on a master’s level in reading and literacy and a curriculum that leads to a reading endorsement in the state of Ohio,” said Sue E. Corbin, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Division of Professional Education at the College. “Institutions who earn national recognition must adhere to a set of standards that set the bar for literacy professionals globally.”

The five-year ILA designation consists of seven standards with a total of nearly 30 components that students and graduates of the education program must meet.

According to Corbin, ILA Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals require candidates in the program to have a strong foundational knowledge in literacy theory and pedagogy and an ability to apply this knowledge to examine and implement literacy strategies and curricula in general and content area classrooms.

Peer reviewers for the ILA described the Notre Dame degree program as “a solid program based in current theory and research related to literacy development.”

The designation also demands candidates create a facility with authentic and balanced assessments that serve as the basis for individualizing instruction for each of their students. In addition, graduates must demonstrate an ability to recognize themselves as cultural beings and to appreciate and set high standards for students from all cultural backgrounds, a commitment to providing supportive and literacy-rich environments that use digital and print literacies and a dedication to professional development and continuous improvement, among other arduous criteria.

Notre Dame’s Division of Professional Education “is leading the way to advance excellence and equity in literacy acquisition worldwide,” stated Marcie Craig-Post, the executive director of ILA. “We truly value your program faculty’s literacy leadership in the preparation of reading/literacy specialists.”

The process of achieving ILA national recognition is rigorous, according to Corbin. Institutions are required to provide evidence of candidates’ meeting the standards through key assessments and licensure exam results. The College submitted statements of vision and mission that promote the ILA standards and that contain plans for preparing teachers who can meet the needs of all children, no matter their grade level, physical and cognitive abilities, gender, culture or socioeconomic status.

The national recognition team at ILA carefully examines the course of study, course syllabi, sample assessments and faculty qualifications using set rubrics before coming to a decision.

Notre Dame is just the fifth institution in the United States to earn the ILA distinction. The others are the University of North Georgia, University of Texas at San Antonio, West Virginia University and Loyola University–Maryland.

The College’s Division of Professional Education is in the process of seeking ILA national recognition for its undergraduate program in early childhood and literacy, too.

Details of the Notre Dame Master of Education in reading and literacy and other professional education programs are available online.

December 2020

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit NotreDameCollege.edu.