Purpose, passion, action. Dr. Andre Isbell, the new Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program, embodies all these things. Dr. Isbell brings years of experience to his position at BMC, centered around a gospel purpose. “To me it’s always about action,” he says. “You can’t be a believer in name only; you have to be a believer in your actions.” He adds, “I think that’s what criminal justice is.”
He is focusing on preparing his students to face the world and make positive change. This action-centered approach fills all his classes. “We see a lot of bad stuff on the news,” he says, “but in criminal justice, there’s a lot of room for positive growth.” Positive practicality comprises his approach to teaching.
He is purposely working with the college in an effort to “[produce] people that can go out into the workforce.” He lists several applications of the criminal justice degree offered here at Blue Mountain College, naming law enforcement, law school, parole and probation, juvenile officers, working in courts and office security. “[With criminal justice] there’s a lot of different pathways,” he says. And he actively prepares his students to fill all of these roles.
When asked about his future goals for the criminal justice department here at Blue Mountain College, he states, “I really want to focus on adult learning, and I think that is an untapped market here in Blue Mountain.”
Speaking about why he chose Blue Mountain College, he says, “For me it’s about being in the right place [with] people [who] have faith and able to do something good.”
Dr. Isbell weaves his faith and his love for the gospel into his teaching, providing a unique example for his students to draw from in their future profession - one that traditionally sees little place for a faith-based approach. “I think that that is […] what I bring to Blue Mountain,” he says. “I have […] my theological side, […] but I also am very, very practical about doing things.” And this practicality in relation to faith is part of the foundation he teaches to his students.
“It’s important to study criminal justice because it’s everywhere,” he states. “[Criminal Justice] touches everybody.” This faith central, practical and purpose-filled approach is the way Dr. Isbell is leading the charge of the criminal justice department to “[Get] our students out [there.]”