Dr. Brooke Istas

Faculty - Mathematics

Dr. Brooke Istas has been an instructor of Mathematics for Cowley College since Fall 2014. Prior to accepting the position, she acted as the Instructional Coordinator and a Mathematics Instructor for the Cowley College Adult Education and College Preparation Program and was a part-time online instructor for developmental and credit-bearing courses.

She also serves as the online moderator for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), Literacy Information and Communication System’s (LINCS) Community of Practice for both Math and Numeracy and Correctional and Reentry Education communities. Also for the LINCS National Professional Development Center, she is certified as a National Trainer in math and numeracy and serves as a Subject Matter Expert Reviewer vetting math and science resources for the LINCS online Resource Collection.

Additionally, Istas was chosen as a subject matter expert with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) for a grant with the goal of vetting open education science resources (OER) and has also been selected to participate in training in the Teacher Excellence in Adult Literacy (TEAL) for mathematics professional development initiative to become a trainer for TEAL Mathematics. Recently, she published an article entitled, “Digging Deeper – Math Instruction” and was awarded a grant over $35,000 from the Kansas Perkins Leadership grant to help develop contextualized curriculum for College Algebra for the Emergency Services field and rework the online Technical Math curriculum. Additionally, she was selected in August 2017 to participate in the Power by Numbers national initiative. She was one of only 20 instructors who were selected to review high-quality open education resources that can be freely accessed online.

For more than ten years, Istas has used innovative practices, both online and face-to-face, to help adults with improving their mathematics ability. Most notably, she developed the online adult education program at Cowley College and is currently expanding the development of the online numeracy component for both developmental and non-developmental math courses at Cowley College. Proficient at building courses in the Blackboard/Canvas learning management systems, she has utilized both systems extensively in creating several courses at various levels of mathematics. Most recently in 2017, she worked with Carson Consulting & Training, LLC as a subject matter expert to successfully develop the Developing Mathematical Reasoning Skills online course for Morehead State University Adult Education Academy, on behalf of Kentucky Adult Education. She is still in the classroom and instructs adults at all levels in math. 

She has conducted more than 50 different professional developments and spoke at over 50 different conferences both within and outside the United States of America. She has trained well over 1000 instructors and continues to deliver professional development to enhance teaching practices in the adult mathematics education classroom.

Istas holds an M.S. in Leadership and a B.S. Honors in Mathematics from Southwestern College and earned an additional 21 graduate hours in mathematics from Emporia State University. She recently graduated from Kansas State University with a M.S. in Adult and Continuing Educational Leadership. She also has a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Southern Methodist University.


  • Adult Numeracy Network (ANN) – Brooke is the webmaster.
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • Mathematics Association of America (MAA)
  • Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics (KATM)
  • American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC)
  • Kansas Mathematical Association of Two Year College (KAMATYC)
  • Kappa Mu Epsilon (National Mathematics Honor Society)
  • Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE)

Honors and Awards

  • Awarded the Perkins Leadership Grant April 2016 - 2017
  • Worked with Kansas Board of Regents, Adult Basic Education and Development Education on State Initiative 2016 - 2017
  • Cowley College Young Achiever Award 2010 – 2011 
  • Received an invitation to become a member of MAA, 2005 – Current
  • Received an invitation into the Mathematics Honor Society, Kappa Mu Epsilon, 2004 – Current

Publications and Videos