Mark Fields
Community College Faculty Preparation Certificate Program

Student Success Story

As a young officer with the California Highway Patrol, Mark Fields got some useful advice from his sergeant, to prepare a “back-up” in case an injury sidelined his career. Fortunately, that never happened and Lieutenant Fields spent nearly 30 years with the CHP before retiring.

But he still prepared for “that second career - just in case,” he said.

“I always wanted to be a community college instructor but didn’t know the pathway to get there,” said Mark, who had trained police supervisors. He went through CCE’s Community College Faculty Preparation (CCFP) certificate program, classes which were “absolutely critical,” he explained, in transitioning from law enforcement to higher education.

“The curriculum of the CCFP prepared me for teaching at a community college,” he said, “to understand the diversity of students, how to structure lessons and handle classroom management.” He learned to prepare a teaching demonstration and networking with faculty led to his first job interview.

“Education is my encore career.”

Mark started as a part-time instructor at Folsom Lake College, then became a professor teaching administration of justice at El Camino College in Torrance. “Higher education is my encore career,” said Mark, who’s thriving in retirement.

Then, realizing he wanted to make an even “greater impact on student success,” Mark earned his doctorate in educational leadership. And like his law enforcement days, he moved up the ranks. Today, he’s a community college dean at Laney College in Oakland.