Laura Isbell, Ph.D., knew from an early age that she would be an educator. Her nature is to help others learn and succeed by developing their unique skill set. As director of Collin County Partnerships, Isbell connects students to both businesses and members of the community.
A Conversation with Laura Isbell
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
Go for it! We care about your success. As a student, you will enjoy amazing experiences that will help you discover your passion and develop your strengths. At A&M-Commerce, we help you connect with the larger community while still providing a personal touch by taking the time to get to know you.
What do you like most about your role as director of Collin County Partnerships?
I like the fact that I am a liaison between our students and their professors, local businesses and the community. In my role, I help strengthen the pathway from Collin College to A&M-Commerce for our students. The various in-person activities we provide encourage everyone to work together to benefit our students. For example, we hosted an event where attendees enjoyed pizza and free t-shirts for National Pepperoni Pizza Day!
What are courses that you enjoy teaching?
I have two. At the undergraduate level, I like teaching Introduction to Teaching (ELED 300) where students develop skills for teaching and dealing with tough situations. They learn about the daily life of a modern teacher when they participate in field experiences, including that teaching is not all about sunshine and bulletin boards but also about their students. The second course I enjoy teaching is at the graduate level. It is Response to Intervention Applied to Exceptional Learners (EDCI 519) where students explore the association between academic success and socio-emotional development.
Is there a project you are working on and would like to share?
I have begun working on a project that focuses on the whole teacher. Teachers are usually viewed through the academic lens from instruction to students’ performance on state tests. My study views them from the socio-emotional lens including their work-life balance and decreasing the level of burnout we see throughout the profession. Teachers are leaving the profession at a rate of 77% within the first three years. This trend needs to be addressed and turned around because our children deserve quality teachers from preschool through high school.
When you are not teaching or researching, what do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
I love spending time with my husband and child. We like to spend time outside, check out new places around the area, and enjoy family movie nights. And of course, we like to watch football on Sundays. Go, Pack, go! I also love spending time with friends and family, traveling, exercising and shopping.
- Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, University of North Texas, 2013
- MBA, Strategic Management, The University of Texas at Dallas, 2007
- B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, University of North Texas, 2012
- Director of Collin County Partnerships, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2022-present
- Assistant Department Chair, Curriculum and Instruction, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2019-2022
- EdTPA Coordinator, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2019-present
- Associate Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2013-present
- Teaching Assistant, University of North Texas, 2009-2013
- Cadre Coordinator, University of North Texas, 2009-2013
- Internal Sales Support Specialist, IBM, 2008-2009
- Elementary Teacher, Plano ISD, 2004-2008
- Designing and implementing curriculum to meet specific needs of students
- Emotional and behavioral disorders
- Most effective intervention strategies
- Whole child as learner and whole teacher as learner/instructor
- Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education (CSOTTE), President
- Texas Council for Learning Disabilities
- Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG)