FLEX

 

Flex Updates and Opportunities

Thanks to everyone who participated in our fall Flex Week activities and a special shout out to our incredible presenters.

Attendance has been marked in ProLearning for all Flex Week sessions. Some sessions require a short, online evaluation before the sessions are moved from the active to completed section of your transcript. Check your ProLearning transcript to find the evaluation links.

Questions about the faculty Flex program or ProLearning? Check out the FAQs below. 

 

Upcoming Flex Opportunities

Please register for all Flex sessions at ProLearning, your personalized professional learning site. Simply log into MyCOM and choose ProLearning from the list of applications. From the Workshop Calendar, you can find detailed descriptions and Zoom links and register for (REQUEST) events. The calendar shows COM events and professional learning activities sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and other partners. After each session, the presenters or Flex coordinator must mark attendance, and you may be asked to complete a short evaluation, before events move from the active to completed section of your transcript. 

 

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 12:40-1:30 p.m. - Show Up for the Earth

Join Dr. Suzanne Pierre, microbial ecologist, biogeochemist, founder, and lead investigator in the Critical Ecology Lab, to learn about the intersectionality between liberation and ecological relationships. She will speak on social, cultural, and artistic connections with the environment, followed by a Q&A.   
This is a COMmunity Hour event sponsored by the COM's STEM and Umoja Learning Communities.  

 

 

Puente Community of Practice

A three-part series to build on our Flex Week presentation. Join your colleagues to learn proven techniques to support student success and deal with thorny issues.

Friday, Oct. 1, 12:30-2:30 - Seeing the Whole Student 

  • Race, identity, intersectionality and the impact of invisibility 

Friday, Nov. 5, 12:30-2:30 - Being Advocates and Resources for our Students 

  • Wellness, mental health, and basic needs 

Friday, Dec. 3, 12:30-2:30 - Examining the Changes in Our Policy and Practice 

  • Anti-racist and equitable syllabus, assessment, and grading policies 

 

COMmon Read Events during COMmunity Hour

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 12:40-1:30 p.m. - Book Discussion

  • A Long Petal to the Sea by Isabel Allende

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 12:40-1:30 p.m. - Short Story Discussion

  • The Schoolteacher’s Guest

 

Looking for additional professional learning activities? Try Search for Teaching

You can access thousands of videos and online courses from the Chancellor’s Office, LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, and more when you click on the Search for Training button on the ProLearning welcome page. You can use titles and topics to search for training and add filter options based on duration, type, subject, and provider to find courses that will work for you.  After completion, the events will automatically appear on the completed section of your transcript. 

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

New Learning Modules: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 

I Don’t See Color, I Just See People: Becoming Culturally Competent

This learning module examines the way in which the U.S. educational system perpetuates inequity and introduces various frameworks that can be leveraged to promote cultural competence and develop culturally affirming policies, practices and pedagogies that improve students’ experience on campus.

Playing Behind the Screen: The Implicit Bias in Our Colleges

This learning module introduces implicit bias and how it manifests on a college campus. The module offers strategies to address implicit bias at the institutional level to improve the educational outcomes for students and experiences for everyone on our campuses.

 

 

NextUp serves eligible current and former foster youth enrolled in the California community colleges by ensuring they get the support and resources they need to matriculate and succeed. This introduction to the NextUp program is intended for system professionals involved with the program. Our primary goal is for participants to familiarize themselves with the legislation and regulation associated with the program so they may correctly apply it within their work. 
 

Courageous Leadership 
The Courageous Leadership webinar series is designed to highlight the accomplishments of California community Colleges striving to advance equity across their campuses. A learning module was created for each webinar featuring a different college. 
Courageous Leadership: Cerritos College 
Courageous Leadership: Compton College 
Courageous Leadership: Foothill College
Courageous Leadership: Santa Ana College 
A Courageous Leadership module featuring Lake Tahoe College is currently being developed. 

 

 

 


Faculty FLEX Obligation

  • Full-time faculty have an obligation of 40 hours for the academic year. Flex hours are due by Friday, May 27.
  • Part-time Faculty have an obligation based on instructional load. Your Flex obligation is listed on your contract and your ProLearning home page.  Fall hours are due Friday, Dec. 17.

You can earn your Flex hours by participating in Flex activities during Flex week or throughout the semester or completing individual activities and then following these directions to add external hours to your transcript. This short video will also walk you through the steps. 

To check your completed Flex hours, log into ProLearning, open your Flex Credit Dashboard, and follow these steps:

  1. Click on Flex Credit Dashboard 
  2. Choose the desired time period, e.g. AY 2021-22 (for FT faculty) or Fall 21 (for PT faculty). 
  3. Refresh the graph - Be patient. It might take a minute.  
  4. After the graph has been refreshed, click on View Details

For more details, check out this document for Finding your Completed Hours which includes screenshots and step-by-step directions. 

For information about the Flex program, open the Flex Information Brochure (updated July 28, 2021) or read the FAQs below.


FAQs about Flex and the Flexible Calendar Program

What is Flex?

The California Community Colleges Flexible Calendar Program allows colleges to set aside a specified number of days/hours for professional development (Flex) activities in lieu of teaching each semester (Title 5, Section 55720). Each year, schools must offer a total of 175 teaching and professional learning days, so each added Flex day means one fewer day of classroom instruction. Currently, COM has five Flex days per semester.

For more details about this program, read the California Community Colleges FLEX Guidelines.
 

Who must participate?

All full and part-time credit and noncredit faculty must participate in Flex. Faculty are paid for this time as part of their contract. Faculty who do not complete their Flex obligation will have their pay adjusted. 
 

How is my Flex obligation determined?
Full-time Faculty

Full-time faculty have a 40-hour Flex obligation for the academic year. Full-time faculty have from July 1 until the last day of spring finals to complete their yearly Flex obligation.

Part-time Faculty Flex obligation

Part-time faculty have a Flex obligation of 20 hours/semester which is prorated based on assigned instructional load. In the case of librarians, counselors, school nurse, and Child Development Program faculty, the obligation is based on workload. Part-time faculty must complete their Flex obligation by the last day of finals each semester. 

# of Units Taught

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Hours of Obligation

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# of Units Taught

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Hours of Obligation

15 16 17 19 20 21 23 24
 
Where can I find my Flex obligation?

You can find your Flex obligation on your contract and your ProLearning Welcome page, where it is updated on the first day of each semester. For full-time faculty, your obligation is set at 40 hours for the academic year. 

How can I fulfill my Flex requirement?

The easiest way to complete your Flex requirement is to attend professional learning activities during Flex week. There are more than enough sessions offered to fulfill your obligation, and you get the added bonus of learning about important information and resources, meeting with colleagues and building community.  You can also attend Flex sessions throughout the semester, complete online training modules, go to off-campus conferences or workshops, or complete other individual activities. 

Full-time faculty are required to attend the mandatory Flex day each semester which includes Convocation and department meetings. 

Part-time faculty are encouraged, but not required, to attend Convocation and department meetings. 

What happens if a full-time faculty member misses a mandatory Flex day?

Full-time faculty members who do not attend Convocation or department meetings on the mandatory Flex day must submit an absence report.

What kinds of individual activities are acceptable?

According to the Chancellor’s office, FLEX activities may include: 

  1. Course instruction and evaluation 
  2. Staff development, in-service training, and instructional improvement 
  3. Program and course curriculum or learning resource development and evaluation 
  4. Student personnel services 
  5. Learning resource services 
  6. Related activities, such as student advising, guidance, orientation, matriculation services, and student, faculty, and staff diversity 
  7. Departmental or division meetings, conferences and workshops, and institutional research. All department meetings during Flex week qualify for Flex credit. To qualify for Flex credit outside of Flex week, department meetings must have a professional learning focus. Regular meetings to deal with updates and normal housekeeping issues do not qualify. 
  8. Other duties as assigned by the district 
  9. The necessary supporting activities for the above These activities might include: 
  • Attending a conference related to your field 
  • Serving as a club adviser or student mentor 
  • Working with librarians to evaluate the library collections 
  • Mentoring another faculty member 
  • Participating in a Faculty Inquiry Group 
  • Attending a COM-sponsored presentation 
  • Serving on a hiring committee (max. 5 hours).

All activities should be linked to the comprehensive plan for staff development and to the goals and objectives of the Flexible Calendar Program. In addition, the staff development plan and the flexible calendar program should be linked to the goals and mission of the college.

What kinds of activities are not acceptable for FLEX credit?

You cannot claim Flex credit for:

  1. Activities related to the normal preparation of classes, such as selecting textbooks, preparing syllabi and class materials, and grading, which are required parts of your job and your compensation as an instructor 
  2. Activities for which you receive special compensation 
  3. Activities that conflict with your classroom or office hours 
  4. Participating in ongoing committees that are part of your professional service to the institution. 
What is ProLearning? 

ProLearning is our professional learning management system. With ProLearning, you can: 

  1. View a calendar of upcoming professional learning events 
  2. Register for Flex sessions and activities 
  3. Access thousands of online training offerings from Lynda.com, Skillsoft, and Keenan 
  4. View a transcript of your professional learning activities 
  5. Access the California Community College’s Vision Resource Center, developed to promote and support the goals of the Chancellor’s Vision for Success 
  6. Connect with colleagues at COM and throughout the CCC system. 
How do I get to ProLearning? 

Simply log into MyCOM and select ProLearning from the list of applications. This will take you to your Welcome page, where you will find links to the Workshop Calendar, training suggestions, Flex Dashboard, Your Transcript, featured training, a social feed, and your Faculty Flex Obligation.

How do I record my Flex activities? 

All professional learning activities should be recorded in ProLearning.

  • If you attend a scheduled Flex session, the presenter or Flex coordinator will use the sign-in sheets or, in the case of Zoom sessions, the list of participants to mark your attendance in ProLearning. After attendance has been marked, you will get a prompt to fill out a quick online evaluation. After this, the session will move from the active to complete section of your transcript.
  • If you find and complete online training offered in ProLearning, it will automatically be added to your transcript.
  • If you do individual activities, you will need to go to MY TRANSCRIPT in ProLearning and follow the instructions to add external training
I attended a Flex session, but it's not listed on my transcript. What happened?
  • Attendance might not have been marked yet. Pro tip: Check the workshop calendar. If the event you're asking about is still on the calendar, attendance hasn't been marked. After each session, the presenter or Flex coordinator must manually mark attendance. It takes time to gather all of the rosters and mark attendance, especially for the larger events.
  • For Zoom sessions, we download Zoom usage reports to mark attendance. Sometimes, people log into Zoom with just a first name, a telephone, or using someone else's account. When this happens, we can't always match information with an employee. If you think this is the problem, contact Beth Patel or Connie Siegenthaler.
  • Once attendance is marked and an evaluation completed if required, the session will move from the active to completed section of your transcript. Toggle between the two sections of your transcript, and you might find your missing sesion.
How do I check my completed Flex hours? 

Open ProLearning, click on the Flex Credit Dashboard button, and follow these steps:

  • Select the tab for the desired time period
  • Use the Options dropdown menu to Refresh the page
  • Hover your mouse in the top right corner of the chart to access a second drop-down menu to View DetailsExport to Excel, or Refresh. When you select the view details option, you will see a list of activities and hours completed within a certain time period.
Do I need to submit any paperwork at the end of the semester?

No. At the end of each semester for part-time faculty and at the end of the spring semester for full-time faculty, the Flex coordinator will run a training report that includes the number of Flex hours required and the Flex/professional learning activities that have been completed by each faculty member. You can view your completed activities in your transcript and the Flex Credit Dashboard. You do not have to print or submit anything.  

If you have questions about Flex or ProLearning, contact Contact Beth Patel at bpatel@marin.edu.

 

Past Semesters

FALL 2021 FLEX WEEK

Moving Forward Together

 

SPRING 2021 FLEX WEEK

Cultivating Empathy, Care, Connection, and Inspiration

FALL 2020 FLEX WEEK

SPRING 2020 Flex Week Information