Frequently Asked Questions
What is FLEX?
The flexible calendar program was initiated by six California community colleges in 1976 as a pilot project authorized by Assembly Bill 2232 (1975). The six pilot colleges were El Camino, Grossmont, Consumnes River, Saddleback, San Jose City, and Evergreen Valley. These six pilot colleges were allowed to reduce the number of required instructional days from 175 to a minimum of 160. The bill provisions allowed the colleges the opportunity to replace up to fifteen days of regular instruction with alternative activities such as course and program development and revision, staff development activities, development of new instructional materials, and other instruction-related activities. In fall 1980, El Camino College withdrew from the pilot program and was replaced by College of the Canyons.
implementation of the flexible calendar program at the pilot colleges involved reforming the instructional calendar to accommodate instruction-free days for faculty development activities. Legislation (AB 1149) was drafted in 1981 that allowed all colleges the option of adopting a flexible calendar program. In addition, the following bills relevant to the flexible calendar were passed:
- AB 1657 (1983) which provided a no-loss/no-gain in funding and a conversion of days to hours. It also allowed flexible calendar activities to be performed any time during the fiscal year and added matriculation as an approved flexible calendar activity.
- AB 836 (1985) which provided technical change to the formula to adjust ADA as a way to further assure a no-loss in funding.
- AB 1725 (1988) which created a community colleges faculty a staff development fund.
How Did FLEX Begin At COC?
In 1980, a committee called Task Force 4-1-4 was established at College of the Canyons. The committee consisted of ten members: five faculty, two administrators, the EOPS counselor, the instructional media specialist, and one student. Today, the Faculty Development Committee, previously known as the FLEX Committee, consists of representatives from each of the seven divisions and the Professional Development Director. The committee meets weekly and is responsible for developing schedules of FLEX events and activities based on provisions of the law. (Title 5, section 55730e.
What is FLEX credit?
FLEX credit is the State’s way of ensuring that faculty are engaging in Professional Development activities equivalent to the amount of time that they would be spending in class without a FLEX program. One hour of time spent on Professional development equals one hour of FLEX credit.
Do Full-Time Faculty have a FLEX Obligation?
Yes. Based on the law (Title 5, section 55726b and 55728) each faculty member is obligated to complete 41 hours of FLEX activities per academic year. FLEX activities must not overlap with any accountable hours during the regular academic term or special assignments for which the faculty members are regularly compensated. Faculty members can meet their FLEX obligation by attending or participating in scheduled and/or unscheduled activities. Unscheduled activities can account for a maximum of 50 percent (20.5 hours) of the FLEX obligation.
FLEX credit is the State’s way of ensuring that faculty are engaging in professional development activities equivalent to the amount of time they would be spending in class without a FLEX program. One hour of time spent on professional development equals one hour of FLEX credit. As allowed by Title V, FLEX days are set aside in the academic calendar for faculty to participate in professional development activities related to staff, student, and instructional improvement. At COC, full time faculty have an obligation of 41 FLEX hours per year. FLEX time is in lieu of instructional time. All faculty members are paid the 41 hours in advance assuming you will complete your obligation. Any hours that are not completed by the June 30th deadline will be docked from your October paycheck. Please note that docked hours are deducted from your annual STRS service credit.
What are FLEX days?
What kind of activities are considered professional development activities?
The term professional development includes activities that increase knowledge in the discipline or which directly enhance teaching skills, but also activities that improve working relationships with students and staff in and out of the classroom as well as activities that enhance an individual’s physical and mental ability to perform his/her job. The Faculty Development Committee uses the following guidelines to evaluate activities for flex credit:
· The primary goal of the activity must be professional growth and achievement of the mission of the college, its vision, and the mission of professional development in staff improvement, student improvement, or instructional improvement.
· Accomplishment of the activity must be of sufficient benefit to justify the time spent.
· The activity must be designed to foster an analytical or reflective approach to professional development.
· You must not be compensated in any other way for this activity.
· The majority of the event must not be recreational or social.
· The activity must fall outside expected departmental and other contractual faculty duties.
As allowed by Title 5, FLEX days are days set aside in the academic calendar (July 1-June 30) for faculty to participate in professional development activities related to staff, student, and instructional improvement. At COC we have an obligation of 41 FLEX hours per year.
Do all Professional Development activities have to occur on certain days?
No, but for accountability purposes, certain days are labeled FLEX days on the academic calendar.
If we didn’t have FLEX days, would we have more days of vacation?
No, we would have additional days of class instruction.
How much FLEX credit do I earn if I facilitate a workshop?
Workshop facilitators for FLEX activities earn double FLEX credit. For example, if you facilitate a three hour workshop, you will receive six hours of FLEX credit.
When can I earn my FLEX credit?
You may earn FLEX credit during any time you are not scheduled to teach, hold office hours, or when you are participating in other contractual duties.
How do I receive FLEX credit for Workshops, films, or FLEX events that I attend at COC?
Please sign-in at each workshop you attend. If you have questions, please e-mail email@example.com .
I was unable to pre-register online for a workshop that I attended. Will I still earn FLEX?
Yes. You will receive credit for these FLEX hours as long as you signed-in on the workshop roster.
How do I un-enroll from a FLEX workshop that I registered for online?
To cancel an online registration, please log in to MyLearningPlan at www.mylearningplan.com .
How do I request FLEX credit for completing Adjunct Evaluations?
Please send an e-mail with the names of the Adjunct Faculty who you evaluated each semester to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Where can I get a report of my completed FLEX hours?
You can view your completed hours online at www.mylearningplan.com .
Can adjunct and Non-credit Faculty attend FLEX sessions?
Yes. Adjunct and Non-Credit faculty are encouraged to attend any FLEX workshop or activity they like. Adjunct and Non-Credit faculty who have a teaching assignment in the semester they attend a FLEX workshop, will receive up to 9 hours pay per semester (fall and spring) for attending FLEX workshops. The first 5 hours will be paid at the regular hourly rate and the remaining 4 hours will be paid at the non-instructional rate (Currently calculated at 65% of their regular rate). Compensation is limited to FLEX workshops held on-campus at College of the Canyons.
Can Adjunct faculty earn FLEX hours during the Summer & Winter semesters?
For FLEX credit purposes, the year is divided into two semesters: Spring (January 1st - June 30th) and Fall (July 1st - December 31st). Adjunct faculy can receive FLEX pay for any Professional Development hours completed at COC (up to the 9 hour maximum per semester) as long as they have/had a teaching assignmet during that semester (spring or fall).
Can classified staff and administrators attend FLEX sessions?
Yes! Classified staff and administrators are encouraged to attend any FLEX workshop or activity offered. Classified staff should obtain their supervisor’s approval to attend FLEX workshops.
Can I earn FLEX for training outside of COC
Yes. Go to www.mylearningplan.com to view a list of FLEX application forms, including:
Applications are reviewed by the Faculty Development Committee at their monthly meetings. Please contact Leslie Carr at email@example.com for information on the progress of your submitted application.
I just attended a conference at another University. Can I receive FLEX credit for this?
Faculty who want to request FLEX credit for attending a conference need to complete a FLEX application form online at www.mylearningplan.com.
Are there other options for faculty to earn FLEX credit?
Yes! There are a variety of options for you to choose from. Please refer to the list of "On-Going FLEX Opportunities".