Learn wh(Y) Mathematics Professor and Co-Chair, Fred Feldon, has been named ‘Teacher of the Year’ twice. Count on his passion for Mathematics as a sine (sign) to enroll in your next Math course.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a Professor of Mathematics and I have so much passion for the subject! I have taught math at Coastline College since 1995. Currently, I am serving as the Co-Chair of the Math Department. Previously, I was the Math Department Chair from 1995-2010. During my time at Coastline, I have been honored as the recipient of “Teacher of the Year” award in 2001 and 2016.
What inspired you to pursue Mathematics?
As a high school freshman, I had an awesome Algebra 1 teacher. He was so inspiring and I wanted to be just like him. At the young age of 14, my career path was set in motion to become a math teacher. I began my teaching career teaching high school students. I was going to school at night and during the summer to get a Master’s in Mathematics from California State, University Fullerton. As a result, I ran into several students in my math classes working in the computer industry making way more money than me. So naturally, I jumped on the opportunity to expand my horizons. The day I got my Master’s Degree, I began working in the computer industry. I worked a total of 13 years, first as an engineer, then as a sales rep. But something still drew me to teaching and I always knew one day, when the time was right, I would return to teaching full time! I did just that at Coastline College. As a teacher, my computer background has come in handy over and over again!
What makes your math classes unique?
The number of online math classes at Coastline started off very small and has since grown to be a very popular choice amongst our students. They now far outnumber our face-to-face classes. In my opinion, it gives students so much flexibility. Students and professors both can work around their schedule, family, career and personal preferences, whenever you want and wherever you have a computer and Internet access. The sense of community I can create is more than I ever thought possible. Thanks to the use of technology, all the mentors I have, all the professional organizations I belong to, and all the career development conferences I attend, I truly believe anything you can do in a regular classroom you can accomplish online. I love it more and more every semester. I can’t wait to log on every morning and see what’s up and what’s going on that day!
Interested in joining the Mathematics Department at Coastline? Explore today: www.coastline.edu/math-department
What makes for a successful online class?
I believe the crucial components of online classes include:
- Meaningful interactions
- Technical proficiency
- Learning from your mistakes
- Recognizing when and how to share your passion
However, I have to admit one thing: the #1 requirement is probably to have fun! Tell jokes. Share your personal life. Invite students to do the same – yes students, we welcome you to have fun in online classes. It’s my greatest honor to motivate my online students to want to learn. To want to work hard.
Learn more of the benefits and flexibility of 100% online classes and degrees by visiting our website: www.coastline.edu/coastline-online
What are your hobbies?
The Feldon family life revolves around food and drink. We’re foodies! My wife is an incredible cook! Our favorite social events are hosting and attending dinner parties, and we think nothing of driving up to LA for a great meal somewhere. To maintain health and balance in a life of gourmet dining and long hours working online, I ride a road bike and hike the hills in the neighborhood as often as possible.
Tell us something most of your students or colleagues know about you.
Aside from Mathematics, I also studied classical guitar for ten years. After college at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1969, I formed a rock band. Our claim to fame was the privilege of opening for the Jefferson Airplane at the Coconut Grove!
What are your thoughts on AB705?
I have been attending and speaking at, a variety of statewide conferences supporting the acceleration and placement of students. Along with my Co-Chair, Dr. Lisa Lee, I have been busy developing new support courses, collegiate courses, and new methods of placement to be compliant with AB 705. Research is proving that if we allow students to directly enroll in college-level courses many, many more students will pass. Not everyone. But the students who work hard, who persist despite initial struggles, who take advantage of support we have in place at Coastline, who put in the hours of work required, who form study groups, find tutors, etc., who are highly motivated, it turns out those students can and will succeed. Instead of being held back by remedial classes, the overall throughput of students who succeed will increase!
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