Director of Special Education
Robin LaBarbera started her teaching career in inner city Los Angeles as a Kindergarten teacher, 3/4th combination class teacher, and finally as an Educational Therapist working with children in K-5 with learning difficulties. Dr. LaBarbera has two Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration/Marketing and Criminal Justice, two Master’s degrees in Education and Special Education/Autism, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. Her dissertation focused on psychological variables that affect the college completion rate for individuals with learning disabilities. Dr. LaBarbera is currently earning her School Psychology (PPS) credential as well.
Dr. LaBarbera serves Biola students as the Director of Special Education, implementing a fully-online Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential program. Her current research project is regarding the fostering of student-teacher connectedness in online courses to enhance students’ satisfaction with the online learning experience. Dr. LaBarbera has conducted numerous local and international presentations (most recently, two trips to Lebanon and two to Vietnam), she has published articles related to the education of students with learning difficulties, and she co-authored curriculum for English Language Development in Latin American countries.
Dr. LaBarbera serves as an officer on three Boards of Directors: A charter school board in Long Beach; the board of an educational program for children with learning differences in private schools; and she is the co-founder of a Foundation that seeks to maximize capacity in urban ministry organizations. In her free time, she is an active runner, cyclist, and scuba diver with her husband.