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 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.
 
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.
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 
chloe.mcginley@canyons.edu
 
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 send an e-mail to chloe.mcginley@canyons.edu or to leslie.carr@canyons.edu.
 
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:  chloe.mcginley@canyons.edu
 
Where can I get a report of my completed FLEX hours?
You can request your FLEX report any time by e-mailing chloe.mcginley@canyons.edu
 
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 the "Forms" tab on this website 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 leslie.carr@canyons.edu 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 http://app.canyons.edu/offices/PD/FLEX/Forms/Conference/
 
Are there other options for faculty to earn FLEX credit?
Yes! There are a variety of options for you to choose from. Below is the list of "On-Going FLEX Opportunities".
 
Ongoing FLEX Opportunities
Do an Independent FLEX Project
#53F – Fall 2014 Project
#1S – Spring 2015 Project
FLEX credit - up to 20.5 hours per year
An independent project proposal form must be submitted to the Professional Development office and approved prior to beginning the project, and by the submission deadline of the first Monday after spring break.
To receive FLEX credit, a final project must be submitted by June 30. Proposal forms are available on the Professional Development website, located at: http://app.canyons.edu/offices/pd/FLEX/Forms/Application/
Conduct Adjunct Evaluations
#57F – Evaluation #1
#58F – Evaluation #2
3 hours each/6 hours max per year
Please email Leslie Carr at leslie.carr@canyons.edu  with the name of the adjunct faculty that you evaluated.
 Attend Conferences Outside of Scheduled Work Hours
#59F – Fall 2014 Conference
#2S – Spring 2015 Conference
FLEX credit - 20.5 hours max per year.
Please complete a FLEX Application form online at http://app.canyons.edu/offices/PD/FLEX/Forms/Conference/
 #60F  Sign up for Individual Computer Tutoring
FLEX credit - 3 hours max per year
Scheduled tutoring sessions in your own work area, on your own computer are available.
To schedule an appointment, please send an email to Leslie Carr at leslie.carr@canyons.edu . 
Please be sure to indicate the program or software in which you would like to receive tutoring.
  #61F  Sign up for Individual Web Page Tutoring (Sharepoint)
FLEX credit – 2 hours max per year
Staff members from Computer Support Services will be available by appointment for tutoring sessions throughout the year. They are available to assist individuals on specific topics related to web page development. When requesting a tutoring session, please indicate your desired topic.
To make an appointment, please send an email to Leslie Carr at leslie.carr@canyons.edu .
Engage in Individual SLO Training
#62F – Fall 2014 Training
#3S – Spring 2015 Training
FLEX credit - 3 hours max per year
 Members of the SLO committee are available to meet with you by appointment in order to meet your individual training needs regarding Student Learning Outcomes and Student Learning Outcomes assessment.
To set up an appointment, please contact Rebecca Eikey at rebecca.eikey@canyons.edu and include the topic you would like to learn more about as well as your availability. Learning outcomes will vary by session.
To receive FLEX credit, please report your training time via email to Leslie Carr at leslie.carr@canyons.edu.
#63F  Participate in the FLEX Exchange Program
FLEX credit - 12 hours max per year
Full time faculty may choose to participate in the FLEX activities of regional community colleges (Antelope Valley, Moorpark, Ventura, Los Angeles Mission, etc.) for FLEX credit at COC.
Please obtain an attendance verification form from the Professional Development office prior to attending.
#64F  Become a Mentor in the New Faculty Mentor Program
FLEX credit - 8 hours semester/16 hours max per year
Newly hired fulltime faculty can have the benefit of having a “friend in the business” at COC. Mentors can help newcomers work on professional projects, develop curriculum or they can be simply a source of guidance and information, all in a non-evaluative manner.
To sign up to be a mentor, please contact Paul Wickline at paul.wickline@canyons.edu .
 #65F Become a Mentor in the Professional Development Mentor Program
FLEX credit - 8 hours semester/16 hours max per year
The Office of Professional Development has designed a mentor program for those faculty and staff who aspire to a management or leadership position. It is also for those experienced managers who want to take the next step and move into a higher-level administrative position.
The purpose of the Professional Development Mentor Program is to provide opportunities for employees who have a desire to develop and enhance their career development opportunities, to be paired with a mentor who will guide, advise and motivate them to continue to improve their skills and knowledge and grow with the College into a management or leadership position.
The Professional Development Mentor Program is open to all full-time and adjunct faculty, classified and confidential staff and administrators.  Applications are accepted prior to the start of the fall semester. 
Please contact Leslie Carr at leslie.carr@canyons.edu  for the application and additional information.
#66F      Become a Mentor in the Mentor Program for New Online Faculty
FLEX credit - 8 hours semester/16 hours max per year
The Mentor Program for New Online Faculty is designed to provide additional support to instructors during the first semester or two of online teaching. The program will pair new online instructors with instructors who are experienced with online teaching in order to provide feedback on course design and offer ongoing encouragement and advice. Mentors will earn 8 hours of FLEX credit per semester, with a maximum of 16 hours per academic year. New online instructors can request a mentor by contacting James Glapa-Grossklag at james.glapa-grossklag@canyons.edu . 
If you are an experienced online instructor and would like to become a mentor, please contact James Glapa-Grossklag at james.glapa-grossklag@canyons.edu .
#67F   Become a Mentor in the Mentor Program for Noncredit Faculty
FLEX credit - 6 hours semester/12 hours max per year
The Mentor Program for Noncredit Faculty is designed to provide additional support to noncredit instructors who are interested in improving their teaching skills. The program will pair noncredit instructors with others who are experienced teachers in order to provide feedback on course design as well as ongoing encouragement and advice.
Please contact Jose Martin via email at jose.martin@canyons.edu for additional information. 
#68F       Become a Mentor in the Mentor Program for Re-Entry Students
FLEX credit - 8 hours semester/16 hours max per year
The year-long Re-entry Mentor Program is designed to provide reentry students with an opportunity to build working relationships with faculty, staff, and administrators at College of the Canyons. Faculty mentors working in this program would be entitled to FLEX credit equivalent for the total number of hours spent in a mentor orientation session, directly with the mentee, and at the mentor award ceremony at the conclusion of the semester. A maximum of 8 FLEX hours will be given for participation in this mentoring opportunity. 
For more information on this program please contact Felicia Walker via email at felicia.walker@canyons.edu .
 
#69F    IRB Training (Institutional Review Board Training)
FLEX credit – 6 hours basic/3 hours refresher for IRB board members.
FLEX credit – 2 hours basic/1 hour refresher for faculty submitting requests to the IRB.
Please contact Dr. Daylene Meuschke at daylene.meuschke@canyons.edu for additional information.
Non-COC Provider Training
#73F – Fall 2014 Training
#4S – Spring 2015 Training
FLEX credit – 20.5 hours max per year
Please complete a FLEX application form online at http://app.canyons.edu/offices/PD/FLEX/Forms/NonCoc/
Collaboration
#74F – Fall 2014
#5S – Spring 2015
FLEX credit – 20.5 hours max per year
FLEX credit is given for faculty who collaborate with another on-campus department on a project or initiative. 
Please contact Leslie Carr at leslie.carr@canyons.edu for additional information.
Outreach
#78F – Fall 2014
#6S – Spring 2015
FLEX credit – 20.5 hours max per year
FLEX credit is given for faculty who engage in outreach activities on behalf of the Santa Clarita Community College District.
Please complete a FLEX application form online at http://app.canyons.edu/offices/pd/FLEX/Forms/Outreach/ .
Presentations at Local Adult Living Communities
#75F – Bel Caro - Wednesdays, 4:00pm
#76F – Friendly Valley - Fridays, 1:00pm
#77F – Summer Hill - Wednesdays, 2:30pm
4 hours of FLEX credit per presentation.
Please contact Diane Stewart at diane.stewart@canyons.edu to participate.