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.


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.

Faculty Obligation

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are FLEX days?

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.

If we didn’t have FLEX days, would we have more days of vacation?

No, we would have additional days of class instruction.

What kinds of activities are considered Professional Development activities?

The term Professional Development includes activities which increase knowledge in the discipline or which directly enhance teaching skills, but also activities which improve working relationships with students and staff in and out of the classroom as well as activities which enhance an individual’s physical and mental ability to perform his/her job.

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.


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.