Many factors affect student success in schools. Although it might seem obvious, research has shown that the teacher is one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle. The good news is that this is a factor over which we have good control. Teacher education programs have successfully prepared many teachers but they are constantly under scrutiny. Federal guidelines and state mandates dictate much of how and where preservice teachers are prepared, producing constant tension between external factors and the autonomy of teacher preparation programs. Added to this are the challenges of hiring freezes, shrinking budgets, and institutional priorities (that are not education programs). Literacy Matters provides a variety of support services for teacher education programs.