Instructor Spotlight: Mark Feld, American Government

Sep 18, 2020 | Featured, Instructor Spotlight

Before an unexpected offer to teach in higher education, Mark Feld worked in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill as a member of a congressional staff. It’s this first-hand experience in the legislative process that helps him take the material of his American Government class from the text to the real world.

“My time working in government has been of tremendous value in helping connect my students to the real world,” Mark said. “It also helps me connect the course material to its effect on our everyday lives.”

Mark works with students as part of TEL Education’s American Government and U.S. History courses, but he knows students need more than just information about the Judicial Branch in order to be successful.

“I would describe my teaching style as one that emphasizes contextual analysis and an interdisciplinary mindset,” Mark said. “I work to engage the core subject while emphasizing its wider application in an attempt to better prepare students for the job market. In addition, I pay attention to transferable skills such as research and writing that are deeply desired by employers across most economic sectors.”

That focus on helping students prepare for success after graduation, though both topic knowledge and skills honed, is also why Mark enjoys being in the (online) classroom. 

“There is great joy in helping a student surpass a seemingly insurmountable hurdle, which can take many forms within the classroom—online or residentially,” Mark said. “Simply offering encouragement and learned skills or lessons can go a long way to helping a student reach their potential inside the classroom, which helps form greater confidence in the real world through an understanding of their own abilities and capacity for achievement.”

Mark has worked with TEL’s students for more than a year, helping them not only understand the material but also navigate the online course. Mark has also been an adjunct professor for more than three years, teaching at Suffolk County Community College and Liberty University. Having taught more than 50, 3-credit online undergraduate courses, Mark has seen first-hand the benefits and challenges of the boom in online learning, especially when it comes to helping students tailor their educational experience.

“As both students (supply) and employers (demand) work to find an equilibrium in a technologically advancing market, new approaches to tailoring learning have emerged in response,” Mark said. “Schools and programs across the country have given greater emphasis to higher education certificate programs and decreased the traditional rigidity of course requirements. These developments provide students the opportunity to customize their education to align with their unique career ambitions and academic interests.

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