Current Job and Position
Associate Professor of Education and Division Chair for Social Sciences. As a member of the education faculty, Dr. Cowles teaches classes designed to prepare future teachers for the challenges of organizing and managing classrooms to serve the needs of today’s students. Additionally, he represents all social science faculties relative to issues of governance and teaching responsibilities. He serves on the College’s Calendar Committee and on the Academic Affairs committee of the Board of Trustees. He also coordinates the James Madison Fellowship program for graduate education in Social Studies.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a major in social studies and minor in psychology from Southeast Missouri State University. His Master of Science was earned at Southern Illinois University in counselor education and his Doctor of Education was awarded from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with an emphasis on Instructional Process.
Background/Past Professional Experience
Dr. Cowles joined the Westminster faculty in 2000 after serving as a principal, counselor and classroom teacher in the St Louis area for 30 years. During this time, he taught middle and high school social studies, worked as a school counselor at the middle and high school level, was director of a federal grant program designed to personalize the educational experience for high school students, and served as a high school assistant principal and elementary school principal. He also taught college classes at Florissant Valley Community College and Maryville University during his tenure as a school administrator. Dr. Cowles was an educational consultant for School Biz Associates prior to joining Westminster.
Dr. Cowles teaches Classroom Organization and Management, Foundations of Education, and Secondary School Teaching. Additionally he supervises student teachers and offers courses in the Westminster seminar program as needed.
As a teacher leader, consultant and educational trainer, Dr. Cowles has worked extensively with teachers and school districts around the country on topics such as; creating and maintaining effective teacher/advisor programs, developing pro-social skills in children and adolescents and the importance of mentoring in First Year Experience programming for college freshman.
Research Focus and Interests
Recently, he began writing a series of children’s stories such as Sara Serendipity and Freddie Fracas. These stories introduce children to unusual English language words that form the basis for the story. Beyond academic interests, Dr. Cowles rides bikes for fun and relaxation and has completed two rides across the state of Oklahoma. He is interested in classic cars and owns a 1965 Corvair Corsa convertible that he drives to school occasionally.
Married with three grown children, Dr. Cowles resides in Columbia MO with his wife Lorena.