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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About FLEXible Calendar Obligation

By Jason Hayes,2014-11-25 19:32
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About FLEXible Calendar Obligation

     Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    About the Flexible Calendar Obligation What is the flexible calendar obligation?

    According to the Article 28 of the 2008-2011 United Faculty Contract (p. 84), ―the District’s Academic Calendar

    provides for four (4) days of flexible time (―flex days‖) during which the instructional Unit Members will participate in staff, student and instructional improvement activities in lieu of part of their regular contract workload obligation for hours of classroom instruction. In accordance with this responsibility, each instructional Unit Member must spend twenty (20) hours each academic year in flex activities.‖ Title 5, Code of Regulations sections 55700 through 55732, provide for the administration of a flexible calendar program. What is my flexible calendar obligation?

    United Faculty Contract, Article 28.2 Flexible Activity Obligation of Credit Unit Members (Colleges)

    28.2.1 Each instructional Unit Member must attend the mandatory flex day which generally is the day

    immediately preceding the first instructional day of the fall semester. The mandatory flex day

    will count for five (5) hours of the total twenty (20) hour obligation.

    28.2.2 Each instructional Unit Member is obligated to complete the remaining fifteen (15) flex activity

    hours by participating in the official flex day activities or by participating in optional flex activities

    which are scheduled during non-working hours. These flex activity hours are credited on the

    basis of actual hour of participation without a daily limitation. The District reserves the right to

    require that these remaining fifteen (15) hours of participation in optional flex activities be

    approved in advance.

    Faculty are not required to fulfill additional hours of flex when they work an overload assignment. The

    flex obligation is reduced when a full-time instructor’s load is reduced. For example, a full-time faculty

    member who has arranged with the division and the district to work a 40% load is responsible for 8 flex hours: 40% of the 20-hour obligation.

    What is the purpose of the Flexible Calendar Program?

    The purpose of the flexible calendar program is to provide time for faculty to work individually or with groups to participate in development activities to achieve improvement in three distinct areas: staff improvement, student improvement, and instructional improvement (Title 5, Section 55720 and the Academic Senate of California Community Colleges ―Guidelines for the Implementation of the Flexible Calendar Program,‖ p. 9).

    Why are we changing the flex calendar process?

    The District is revising the flex calendar process according to the requirements set forth by the State Chancellor’s Office in April 2010. If the District does not comply with the Ed Code requirements and the State Chancellor’s guidelines, it is at risk of losing funding for the full 175 days of the academic calendar (171 instructional days and 4 flex days).

    The most significant change is that full-time faculty members must develop and submit a Faculty Flex Agreement for peer review and approval by the first Friday in March. The peer review process will be

    determined through the shared governance process at each college. Faculty will be able to modify their agreements in the event of schedule changes by participating in activities that meet the guidelines for

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    allowable activities (pp. 2-3). The completed flex agreement will be due to the faculty member’s division office on or before the first Friday in May.

    What is the Flexible Calendar timeline?

    Flexible calendar hours can be utilized by faculty for instructional improvement anytime during the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30 (Title 5, Section 55720(a)). However, for accounting purposes, verification of the completion of flex hours should be submitted to the Flex Administrator by the division office no later than the end of the spring semester.

    A new Faculty Flex Agreement form will replace the previous Faculty Flex Contract and be distributed to full-time faculty members at the beginning of the fall semester. Each faculty member will be asked to submit

    his/her Faculty Flex Agreement for peer review and approval by the first Friday in March. The peer

    review and approval process, as decided by the FC shared governance process, will be determined by each Department or Division.

    ―Each faculty member is responsible for the development of his or her individual plan for professional and/or personal growth for the purpose of instructional improvement (Title 5, Section 55726(a)). This individual plan may encompass any combination of individually or small group designed activities, institutionally planned workshops, conferences, seminars, in-service training, and/or academic courses. These activities must be appropriate within the regulations that govern the flexible calendar program‖ (Title 5, Section 55724 (a) (4) (A

    through G) and ASCCC ―Guidelines for Implementation of Flexible Calendar Program,‖ p. 21).

    Each individual flex agreement will include the following to comply with Title 5 requirements:

    ; Measurable objective(s) that the faculty member anticipates accomplishing during the time period.

    ; A statement that relates the objectives to the intent of the flexible calendar program (staff, student, or

    instructional improvement).

    ; A list of activities to carry out the stated objectives.

    ; The number of flexible calendar program hours needed to complete individual activities.

Faculty members must sign their Faculty Flex Agreement form to document the completion of their 20

    hour flex obligation, and submit the form to their Division on or before the first Friday in May.

    What are measureable objectives?

    Measurable objectives are statements reflecting the intended goals of professional and/or staff development activities for professional growth. Some examples of appropriate measurable objectives include, but are not limited to, the following.

    Upon successful completion of this flex agreement I will be able to or will have . . .

    ; develop(ed) or revise(d) curriculum for (name of course).

    ; use(d) new teaching methodologies.

    ; develop(ed) SLOs, assessment plans and reports.

    ; increase(d) retention and student success.

    ; increase(d) my awareness of student equity and diversity issues.

    ; integrate(d) brain research into instruction.

    ; mentor(ed) students, staff, and/or faculty.

    ; utilize(d) emerging technology.

    ; increase(d) awareness of student support services, including outreach, financial aid, and other

    programs.

    ; write/written grants.

    ; participate(d) or engage(d) in institutional research for instructional improvement.

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    ; produce(d) materials to market instructional programs and student services.

    ; increase(d) awareness of physical and mental well-being through stress reduction, time management,

    nutrition and other health-related workshops to enhance job performance.

    ; improve(d) my ability to respond effectively to emergencies/disasters.

What kinds of activities are allowable for flex credit?

    Flex activities can be delivered as workshops, in-service trainings, conferences, seminars, and institutional, individual or small group projects. This list based on the ASCCC ―Guidelines for the Implementation of the

    Flexible Calendar Program‖, pp. 15-18, is intended as a guide only. To be eligible for flex, topics must be

    addressed beyond regularly scheduled campus meetings and professional services. Routine

    classroom work and preparation, field trips, division/department meetings and committee meetings are considered professional services that fulfill a full-time faculty’s workload and do not count toward flex

    (Agreement Between North Orange County Community College District and United Faculty, July 1, 2008

    June 30, 2011, Article 5, 5.1.1, p. 11). If you have any questions about what is allowable for flex credit contact your division dean.

    1. Staff Improvement

    ; Workshops on designing new curriculum/programs

    ; Faculty and counselor meetings to address specific areas of concern (e.g., academic advising,

    prerequisites, referring students for services) beyond regularly scheduled committee meetings

    ; Faculty and staff (e.g., tutors, lab assistants) meetings to improve learning resource support services to

    students

    ; Workshops on how to mentor students or how to mentor faculty

    ; Orientation/education (e.g., new faculty; role of the academic senates; training students, staff, and

    faculty to serve on committees; changing role of technology in education)

    ; Student, faculty, and staff diversity (e.g., sexual harassment workshops, cultural diversity seminars,

    multicultural activities)

    ; Campus forums designed to improve a cohesive working relationship among college constituencies

    ; Workshops on how to write grants

    ; Workshops or individually designed activities to improve/enhance a person's skills/knowledge in his/her

    own discipline

    ; Wellness events that assist individuals to be physically and mentally better able to perform their jobs

    (e.g., humor in the workplace, stress reduction, self-defense, nutrition, exercise, weight reduction)

    ; Learning a second language to better communicate with the diverse student population

    ; Disaster preparedness (e.g., district procedures, first aid, review of facilities to determine areas of need)

    ; Workshops on learning and/or increasing proficiency in the utilization of computers and technology

2. Student Improvement

    ; Developing student and instructional (e.g., tutoring) services to meet changing student needs

    ; Workshops for faculty and staff focused on improving services to students

    ; Reviewing and updating of campus learning resource (e. g., LLRC) materials to eliminate out-dated

    items and make recommendations for additions

    ; Creating supplemental self-study modules and/or computer-assisted instruction for all students on

    campus

    ; Student advising (e.g., academic advising of students by faculty)

    ; Serving as a club advisor and mentoring students in clubs

    ; Faculty participation in student orientation programs and matriculation services

    ; Meetings specifically for the purpose of discussing strategies for improving service to students

    ; Institutional research focused on meeting the needs of the students (e.g., job market surveys, transfer

    ratios, ethnicity data on students, gender equity, campus climate)

    ; Writing grants aimed to improve services to students

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    ; Articulation to improve transfer processes

    ; Outreach for special projects (e.g., Science, Technology, Engineering, Math [STEM] program)

    ; Conducting special workshops for students (e.g., understanding the college schedule, transfer

    requirements, setting academic goals)

3. Instructional Improvement

    ; Attending workshops on teaching methods or techniques (e.g., classroom-based research training;

    Instructional Skills Workshops (ISW); local, regional, national Great Teachers Seminars)

    ; Development or revision of programs, course curriculum, learning resources and evaluation

    ; Modifying an existing course to comply with changing institutional or discipline requirements (e.g.,

    changing theories in a discipline, articulation with transfer institutions, critical thinking, multiculturalism,

    writing across the curriculum)

    ; Significant modification of a course to address the learning needs of diverse students (e.g., creating

    self-paced learning modules)

    ; Developing student readiness programs specific to course disciplines

    ; Faculty and counselor meetings to address areas of curriculum

    ; Departmental or division meetings to discuss overall curriculum and program review beyond regularly

    scheduled meetings

    ; Grant writing to secure funds for improvement of instruction

     —ASCCC/CCCCO ―Guidelines for the Implementation of the Flexible Calendar Program‖, pp. 15-18.

What should I do if I need to change my agreement?

    Faculty may modify their Faculty Flex Agreement. In the event of schedule changes, record ―zero‖ for the

    number of hours of any activity not completed and add any new activity and hours that were completed. Any additions to your agreement must meet the guidelines for allowable activities (pp. 3-4) and must be discussed with your peer reviewer. You and your peer reviewer must come to an agreement that the activity is an appropriate flex activity before you complete the activity. These new activities should be initialed by your peer reviewer to indicate approval of the activities. Be sure to indicate the number of hours completed for each activity or workshop attended. If you have questions about an activity and its fulfillment of flex, you should discuss the activity with your dean or the flex coordinator.

    How much credit do I receive for flex activity participation?

    Faculty will receive one hour credit for each hour of participation in an approved flexible calendar activity. Faculty who develop and present approved flexible calendar activities will receive three hours of flex credit per one hour of an initial campus/district presentation, e.g. 3 hours credit X 2 hour presentation session = 6 flex credit hours. For repeat presentations, faculty will receive 2 hours of flex credit for every one hour of a campus/district presentation, e.g. 2 hours credit X 2 hour presentation session = 4 flex credit hours. (This is currently under review by the Staff Development Committee.)

    What should the initial Faculty Flex Agreement and the completed Faculty Flex Agreement look like?

    See the appendix for samples of an initial Faculty Flex Agreement and a modified, completed version of the same Faculty Flex Agreement. Important: Any changes to your originally approved Faculty Flex Agreement

    should be recorded on the same Faculty Flex Agreement document.

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    APPENDIX

    Sample of Initial Faculty Flex Agreement

    FACULTY FLEX AGREEMENT for 2010-2011

    INSTRUCTIONS: Please use this form to write your agreement and record your completed flex activities.

     NOTE: Due date for submitting initial agreement for peer review: First Friday in March

    Due date for submitting completed agreement to Division: First Friday in May

     Failure to complete your flex obligation may result in an absence for the number of hours missing.

Print Faculty Name: John Doe________________________________ Extension: 47229________________

    Dept/Division: Computer Science/Science, Engineering, Math _____ Division Dean: Rich Dee___________

    1. Identify at least one measurable objective that you anticipate accomplishing this year.

    For EXAMPLES, see “Checklist” and “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Flexible Calendar Obligations.”

    Measurable outcome: Upon successful completion of this flex agreement I will be able to or will

    ; develop SLOs and assessment plans for at least one course.

    ; revise curriculum to address different learning styles and diversity issues.

    ; improve my ability to respond effectively to emergencies/disasters.

    have . . . 2. My flex program involves _X_staff ___student _X_instructional improvement. (Check all that apply.)

    Hours Hours DATE 3. Compile List of Flex Activities Completed Planned

    8/13/10 Mandatory Flex: Fall Convocation 3 hours and Division Meeting 2 5 5

    hours 9/29/10 CC General Education SLO Forum 2 2 10/14/10 Adult CPR/Automated Defibrillator Review Training 4 4 11/12/10 Department Meeting to write SLOs and assessment plan for CSCI 123 3 3 1/11/11 Preparation to present workshop on learning disabled students 4 4

    2/4/11 CC Flex Presentation: Instructional Strategies for Learning Disabled 2 2 Students 3/18/11 Fire Extinguisher Training 1

    4/15/11 CC Flex Presentation: Instructors’ Understanding and Use of Learning 1.5

    Styles

     22.5 TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS

    TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS Number of hours needed to meet flex requirement: 20

    4. I acknowledge these proposed activities meet the flex guidelines and submit them for peer review and

    approval.

    Signed: ___John Doe_______________________________ (Faculty) Date: ____February 15, 2011______

     (Due date for peer review: First Friday in March)

    5. Peer-reviewed and approved by __Jane Eyre__________________(Name) Date: __2/23/11_____ 6. I certify that I have completed the necessary flex requirements as mandated by Title 5, Section 55720 of

    the Education Code, and as outlined in Article 28 (p. 84) of the United Faculty Contract, July 1, 2008-

    June 30, 2011.

    Signed: __________________________________________ (Faculty) Date: __________________________

     (Due date for completed agreement to Division: First Friday in May)

    7. Received by _______________________________________ (Division) Date:_____________________

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    Sample of Completed Faculty Flex Agreement

    FACULTY FLEX AGREEMENT for 2010-2011

INSTRUCTIONS: Please use this form to write your agreement and record your completed flex activities.

     NOTE: Due date for submitting initial agreement for peer review: First Friday in March

    Due date for submitting completed agreement to Division: First Friday in May Failure to complete your flex obligation may result in an absence for the number of hours missing.

    Print Faculty Name: John Doe________________________________ Extension: 47229________________

    Dept/Division: Computer Science/Science, Engineering, Math _____ Division Dean: Rich Dee___________

    1. Identify at least one measurable objective that you anticipate accomplishing this year.

    For EXAMPLES, see “Checklist” and “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Flexible Calendar Obligations.”

    Measurable outcome: Upon successful completion of this flex agreement I will be able to or will

    ; develop SLOs and assessment plans for at least one course.

    ; revise curriculum to address different learning styles and diversity issues.

    ; improve my ability to respond effectively to emergencies/disasters.

    have . . . 2. My flex program involves _X__staff ___student _X__instructional improvement. (Check all that apply.)

    Hours Hours DATE 3. Compile List of Flex Activities Planned Completed

    8/13/10 Mandatory Flex: Fall Opening Day 3 hours and Division Meeting 2 5 5

    hours 9/29/10 CC General Education SLO Forum 2 2

    10/14/10 Adult CPR/Automated Defibrillator Review Training 4 4

    11/12/10 Department Meeting to write SLOs and assessment plan for CSCI 123 3 3

    1/11/11 Preparation to present workshop on learning disabled students 4 4

    2/4/11 CC Flex Presentation: Instructional Strategies for Learning Disabled 2 2

    Students 3/18/11 Fire Extinguisher Training 1 0

    4/15/11 CC Flex Presentation: Instructors’ Understanding and Use of Learning 1.5 0

    Styles 4/20/11 Department Meeting to write assessment report for CSCI 123 2 2 JE

     24.5 22 TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS

    TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS Number of hours needed to meet flex requirement: 20

4. I acknowledge these proposed activities meet the flex guidelines and submit them for peer review and

    approval.

    Signed: ___John Doe______________________________ (Faculty) Date: __February 15, 2011__________

     (Due date for peer review: First Friday in March)

5. Peer reviewed and approved by __Jane Eyre___________________(Name) Date: __2/23/11____

    6. I certify that I have completed the necessary flex requirements as mandated by Title 5, Section 55720 of

    the Education Code, and as outlined in Article 28 (p. 84) of the United Faculty Contract, July 1, 2008-

    June 30, 2011.

    Signed: ______ John Doe ______________________________ (Faculty) Date: _May 1, 2011________

     (Due date for completed agreement to division: First Friday in May)

    7. Received by ______Mathematics/Computer Science Division_____ (Division) Date:_05/2/2011

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