GSU teacher prep program gets high marks from ILA

NEWARK, Del. (Nov. 2, 2022) — Today it was announced that Grambling State University’s M.Ed. Reading Specialist Program earned the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) highest seal of approval: National Recognition With Distinction.

Grambling State, located in Louisiana, was initially honored by ILA in 2021 with National Recognition, a recognition signifying a program that adheres to the high-quality standards and benchmarks set forth in ILA’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals.

Universities and colleges that earn National Recognition are invited to move on to a second, more intensive phase that includes a site visit and interviews with staff and students. Programs in this phase found to exceed ILA’s benchmarks are awarded ILA National Recognition With Distinction.

Grambling joins a list of only three other institutions that have been awarded this level of achievement: University of North Georgia, The University of Texas at San Antonio and West Virginia University.

“Grambling State University is deeply honored to receive ILA National Recognition With Distinction. It was a privilege to participate in the rigorous process to affirm our commitment to continuous quality improvement,” said Mary Ghongkedze, associate professor at Grambling and the lead for the M.Ed. Reading Specialist Program. “The compliance with ILA’s evidence-based standards embodies our resolute dedication in preparing literacy educators with essential knowledge, skills and professional dispositions. GSU is the place where ‘Everybody is somebody,’ and the award of distinction epitomizes the adage.”

ILA’s National Recognition program honors outstanding licensure, certificate and endorsement programs that prepare reading/literacy specialists and elementary/intermediate classroom teachers in the United States. Universities go through a rigorous review process that closely examines all course offerings and each aspect of their teacher preparation program, ensuring strict alignment to ILA’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals.

In addition to the National Recognition With Distinction recipients, National Recognition has also been awarded to Loyola University Maryland, Salisbury University and The University of Texas Permian Basin.

To learn more about ILA National Recognition and ILA National Recognition With Distinction, visit the ILA website.


About Grambling State University 

Located in Grambling, Louisiana, Grambling State University is a historically black university that was founded in 1901. The institution has been accredited by SACSCOC, 13 associations, and in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. A member of the University of Louisiana System, Grambling State University has the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college. Offering 46 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the 590-acre campus is home to world-class athletics, an internationally renowned marching band, and vibrant student life that enables our scholars to grow and learn in a positive environment. For more information, visit

About the International Literacy Association

The International Literacy Association (ILA) is a professional membership organization of literacy educators, researchers and experts spanning 112 countries. For more than 65 years, ILA has set the standard for how literacy is defined, taught and evaluated, connecting research and practice to improve the quality of literacy learning across the globe. Through its Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals, ILA provides an evidence-based benchmark for the development and evaluation of literacy professional preparation programs. ILA collaborates with partners across the world to develop, gather and disseminate high-quality resources, which include three peer-reviewed and edited journals—The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy and Reading Research Quarterly. Learn more at