FLEX

FALL 2020 FLEX WEEK

Cultivating Empathy, Care, Connection, and Inspiration
Monday, August 17 — Friday, August 21

Convocation and Department Meetings
Wednesday, August 19 - Mandatory for full-time faculty


Pre-Flex Week Benefits Sessions
Tuesday, August 11 — Thursday, August 13


All sessions will be held virtually.

Fall 2020 Flex-at-a-Glance
Check this for a quick overview of the pre-week benefits sessions and Flex week program.

Fall 2020 Flex Week Descriptions
Check this for full descriptions of events. 

To register for sessions and find Zoom links, log into MyCOM, go to ProLearning, and view the Workshop Calendar.

Flex Information Brochure - Please read this or the information below for important changes to the Flex program for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

 

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. 

New Flex Policy beginning fall 2020

How is my Flex obligation determined?
  • Full-time Faculty
UPM has negotiated some changes in the Flex program. Full-time faculty will now have a 40-hour Flex obligation for the academic year rather than having a semester-by-semester obligation. In the past, full-time faculty were required to complete 20 Flex hours per semester with a five-day Flex week. Full-time faculty will now have until the last day of spring finals to complete their yearly Flex obligation.
  • Part-time Faculty
The Flex obligation for part-time faculty is prorated based on their 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. Because of the mandatory professional development for online instruction required this year due to COVID-19, UPM has negotiated to allow part-time faculty to apply excess Flex hours earned in fall to spring for the 2020—2021 academic year only. If a part-time faculty member does not have a contract for the spring semester or otherwise earns more Flex hours than required, there will not be any additional compensation. 
PT Faculty FLEX Obligation

Five Flex Days/Semester Formula

Based on five (5) days of Flex per semester:
# of units X 1.33 = Hours of Obligation
(Fractions: .49 or below round down. .5 or above, round up.)

# of Units Taught

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hours of Obligation

1 3 4 5 7 8 9 11 12 13

# of Units Taught

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

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.

How can I complete my Flex requirement?

You can attend professional learning activities during Flex week and 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 
  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. After each 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 attendance online. Attendees will need to fill out a quick online evaluation, and then, that session will be marked as "complete" in 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 and "add external training". 

Do I need to submit any paperwork?

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.
 

Request for FLEX Proposals - Fall 2020

We need your ideas and proposals to make Fall Flex Week a valuable experience for everyone. In particular, we are seeking equity-minded* ideas that:

  1. Showcase best practices in teaching
  2. Foster collaboration
  3. Improve student success
  4. Cultivate a safe and inclusive campus community

Download, complete, and submit this Flex Proposal Form by Friday, May 17. Questions? Contact Cara Kreit, ckreit@marin.edu 

*Equity: Recognizing the historical and systemic disparities in opportunity and outcomes and providing the resources necessary to address those disparities.

*Equity-Minded: The perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American education.

 

Spring 2020 Flex Week Information