DepartmentsSchool of Education
Undergraduate Education
Biola AffiliationsEmployee, Faculty



  • Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
  • M.A., Arizona State University
  • M.A., Biola University
  • B.S., National University
  • B.A., California State University Long Beach


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.


  • Council for Learning Disabilities
  • International Dyslexia Association
  • International Reading Association
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)



  • LaBarbera, R. (2008). “Perceived social support and self-esteem in adolescents with learning disabilities at a private school.” Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 6(1), 33-44.
  • LaBarbera, R. and Soto-Hinman, I. (Spring, 2009). “Toward a model of promoting literacy for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the general education classroom. ” Forum on Public Policy online journal
  • LaBarbera, R., and Vidaurre, L. (In press). “English as a Foreign Language Textbook, Primary 1 Level. ” Colorado Springs, Colorado: Purposeful Design Publications.
  • Dissertation: “Self-Efficacy, Goal Orientation, and Attributional Style in Two Groups of Adults With Learning Disabilities,” defended April 2007, graduation May 2007.


  • Teacher in-service workshop: “Working Together: The Cooperative Learning Classroom,” Calvary Chapel Christian School, Downey, CA, April 2007.
  • LaBarbera, R., and Soto-Hinman, I. (2009, March). “Toward a model of promoting literacy for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the general education classroom.” Paper presented at the Oxford Round Table on Autism, Oxford, England.
  • Seminar presentation: “Dyslexia Detective: Solving the Mystery of Learning Disabilities in the Classroom,” ACSI convention, Anaheim, CA, November 2006
  • Interactive poster presentation: “I Finally Feel Good About Myself: Research on LD and Self-Esteem,” International Dyslexia Association, Indianapolis, IN, November 2006
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