Departmentally Determined Professional Development Activities for
January 19, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
Pertinent Contract language: The academic calendar includes five professional development days, including “one (1) spring day scheduled Monday through Thursday, to equalize the number of instructional days and for departments to determine and schedule their own professional development activities. Department chairs will forward their department’s plan for that day to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. (See Article 22: Professional Development.)” §8.01.A.
- What is this professional development day for departments?
Starting in the 2017-18 Academic year, one teaching day in the spring was repurposed to be used as a professional development day. The additional day this academic year will be Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
- What professional development activities can be scheduled for the departmentally determined professional development day?
Any of the categories of professional development activities described in Article 22 of the District/AFA contract could be scheduled, as follows: “Pursuant to Education Code section 87153 and District Policy 3.27 faculty professional development activities are those District-approved activities that promote improvement of teaching; maintenance of current academic and technical knowledge and skills; in-service training for vocational education and employment preparation programs; retraining to meet changing institutional needs; intersegmental exchange programs; development of innovations in instructional and administrative techniques and program effectiveness; computer and technological proficiency programs; courses and training implementing affirmative action and upward mobility programs; improvement of basic skills instruction; and other activities determined to be related to educational and professional development.”
- Who decides what the departmentally determined professional development activity will be? The department will determine the plan for the departmentally determined professional development day, which could include opportunities for individual, small group, departmental, and/or flexibly scheduled activities. The activities may be on site or off site.
Of course, all activities must meet the Chancellor’s office criteria for flexible credit. The department chair will submit the plan to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The office of the VPAA requests that departmental plans be submitted no later than Monday, December 7, 2020, so that the District may submit necessary professional development verification to the Chancellor’s Office in a timely manner.
- What if my department does not hold a formal activity on this day?
The department does not have to hold a formal activity, but it must determine a plan for the day and communicate that plan to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The plan may allow for individual, group, departmental, or flexibly scheduled activities, and these activities may be on site or off site.
- If my department is planning an activity for the departmentally determined professional development day, is it mandatory that I participate or can I choose to do my own activity at another time?
If the faculty in your department determine a plan that allows for attending either a department activity, working in small groups, or working individually, then the contract faculty members in your department will have options. On the other hand, if your department decides that it will have a single activity and not allow for alternative professional development opportunities, then that is the department’s plan and what the contract faculty members must adhere to.
Adjunct faculty members, however, are not required to attend a department activity in order to fulfill their obligation.
- How is the Flex Obligation calculated for contract faculty (regular and probationary faculty)?The contract faculty professional development obligation per academic year will now be five days (30 hours) instead of four days (24 hours). Those contract faculty members on a pre-retirement workload reduction will pro-rate their hours: for example, a contract faculty member with a load percentage of 60% would have an annual obligation of 18 hours. For contract faculty members working at 100-percent load, the professional development requirement for 2019-20 is:
12 hours per year of on-site Mandatory Professional Development Activities (PDA) Days;
12 hours per year of flexibly scheduled professional development; and
6 hours per year of departmentally determined professional development.
- How does this additional flex day impact adjunct faculty?
Adjunct faculty members with a semester-length class or allied activity scheduled on Tuesdays (the day of the new Departmentally Determined Professional Development Activities Day) during the Spring 2021 semester incur a professional development obligation equal to the number of hours they are scheduled on Tuesdays. This obligation is in addition to any professional development obligation incurred due to the Spring PDA Day (Thursday, February 11) and the Spring half Flex Day (Friday, March 26).
Adjunct faculty may flex all of their required professional development hours for the semester. Adjunct faculty may also choose to fulfill their professional development obligation by attending the departmentally determined activity, attending PDA Day, or completing any other flex approved activity throughout the semester. They are not required to attend departmentally determined or on-site PDA days.
- As an adjunct faculty member, will I have the same requirement in the fall as in the spring? Adjunct faculty members’ professional development obligations for fall and spring are calculated separately. The professional development professional obligation is based on whether an adjunct faculty member has a semester-length teaching or allied assignment that coincides with the PDA Days and Flex Days in the Academic Calendar. For Spring 2021, those days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- How do I report my completed departmentally determined activities?
Department faculty will report their departmentally determined activities in the usual manner, through their faculty portal in their flex account. There will be a “Departmentally Determined Professional Development” option that contract faculty may select for up to 6 hours.
- Am I required to submit an NOA (Notice of Absence) if I have a professional development obligation but do not fulfill the department’s plan?
Yes, in this instance, you must submit an NOA.
Created by AFA
Revised: October 21, 2019 kn