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Flex Time - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Flex Time - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is flex time and why is it required?


The Flexible Calendar supports instructional improvement by providing professional development activities in lieu of instructional activities.  In short, instructional contact time is removed from classes and the faculty are instead engaged during that time in activities to improve their instruction and the institution.

2. Does every faculty member have a flex requirement?


Every full-time faculty member is required to complete 28 hours of flex time per year, per the YFA/YCCD Contract (Article 4 - Workload).  In addition, every full-term class taught by an adjunct faculty member or as an overload for a full-time faculty member has a flex requirement.

3. Do all classes have a flex requirement?


No.  Only full-term classes generate flex requirements because only full-term classes have instructional time removed and replaced.  Full-term classes meet for only 16 weeks yet are paid as if they are 16.4 weeks long.  (Our state-approved “term-length multiplier” is 16.4 weeks.)  The additional 0.4 weeks is the flex time.  It’s important to recognize that the state pays the district for that additional 0.4 week of time as if instruction were happening, the faculty member is paid for that additional 0.4 week of time as if instruction were happening, but no classes meet during that time.  So the instructor must account for those paid hours through flex time.  That is, you’ve already been paid for the time and need to record what was done to earn the associated salary.

4. When does flex time “happen”?


On our college calendar, the Thursday and Friday of the week preceding the Fall and Spring terms are our official “flex days”.  However, flex time can be completed at any time throughout the year when an instructor is not already teaching another class or engaged in his/her normal faculty duties.  No double-dipping is allowed, however.  You can’t earn flex time when you’re already earning for another duty, so you cannot attend a flex activity during a normal class time or, for counselors and librarians, you cannot count a flex activity as part of your base hours requirement.

5. How is my flex obligation calculated?


The full-time faculty obligation is 28 hours by contract. 

After the first week of the term, once all full-term course adds and cancellations are finalized, the Instruction Office will calculate a flex obligation for every full-term class taught by adjunct or overload faculty and add those values to the online flex system. 

The resulting requirement is about half of an instructor’s weekly assignment.  So a three-unit lecture class results in a 1.5-hour flex requirement.  The formula used is:  “(Section Total Clock Hours) x (0.4) ÷ (16.4), rounded to the nearest half-hour.” 

Example:  A 3-unit lecture class is paid as 52.5 Clock Hours. So the flex obligation, if taught by an adjunct or as overload, is 52.5 x 0.4 ÷ 16.4 = 1.280, which rounds to 1.5 hours.

6. Can I submit an independent activity, such as going to an off-campus workshop?


Yes!  Inside the Flex system, choose “Independent” in the top bar and submit your proposed activity.  It will be reviewed by your Dean and, if approved, you will be notified by email and can mark that item as complete as part of your activities for the year.
(See question #9 for review criteria.)

7. Can I propose a professional development workshop to offer to my colleagues as a flex activity?


Yes!  Inside the Flex system, choose “Proposal” in the top bar and submit your proposed activity.  It will be reviewed by the college’s Flex committee and, if approved, will be added to the list of available workshops for others to select in the system.
(See question #9 for review criteria.) 

8. Do I get extra flex credit for being the presenter at a workshop?


Yes!  Presenting at a workshop is a teaching activity, which naturally includes preparation and follow-up.  The first time you present a workshop, you can earn three times the length of the workshop in flex time.  For subsequent offerings of the same workshop, you can earn two times the length of the workshop.

 Example:  Suppose you create a one-hour seminar on “Building an effective faculty webpage.”  The first time you offer that, you can earn three hours of flex.  The second, third, and other offerings will earn you two hours of flex each time. 

To claim credit for these hours, the presenter needs to first submit the actual workshop proposal and second submit an independent proposal to account for the preparation and delivery time.  That is, there’s a college-wide workshop for 1 hour followed by an independent activity for 3 hours.  (The presenter should not sign up for the seminar (s)he is presenting.)

9. What criteria are used to review whether a workshop or independent proposal is eligible for flex time?


Two criteria are used: 

  • First, the proposal must directly align with one of the activities the college has sent to the state as part of its annual Flexible Calendar Plan

  • Second, faculty members’ workload consists of both accountable time and professional time (see YFA Contract, Article 4).  Because flex hours are part of the accountable time, they should not be awarded for activities that are already within the professional obligation of the faculty member.

 These duties vary by faculty role.  However, an activity’s “flex-worthiness” may also relate to the scale of the activity.  For example, reviewing and updating a course outline is a normal part of an instructor’s professional duties, and is not flex-worthy.  However, a department-wide get-together to systematically review and update all of the courses in the department would be flex-worthy.  When submitting a proposal, be sure to describe how it goes above and beyond normal, everyday faculty professional duties and leads to instructional and institutional improvement.

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