Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy


To advance the field of literacy through collaborative research, development, outreach, and leadership to improve practice, expanding access to high quality education and enriching the lives of individuals and children.


Focus on the contexts of career pathways and workplace, families and health



Our experienced staff assists providers with:

  • Program design and delivery
  • Customized instructional materials
  • Professional development (including distance learning)
  • Customized assessment development
  • Program evaluations

Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy

Celebrates its 30th Anniversary!!

ISAL 30th anniversary

Penn State's College of Education established the Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy (ISAL) in 1985 as a vehicle for using the resources of a major land grant institution to address issues related to adult literacy.  Through the years, ISAL has focused on adults, children, and families facing literacy challenges.  ISAL's work has included:

  • Coalition building
  • Family Literacy
  • Instructional technology
  • Workforce evaluationDSC_0024
  • Health literacy
  • Literacy Corps and American Reads
  • Career Pathways

America Reads

Family Literacy

Career Pathways and GED