Professional Development

Professional-DevelopmentIn addition to teaching classes and/or working in faculty service areas, faculty members contribute to the vibrant life of the college and engage in activities that promote a quality education and student success.  Employment in the Los Angeles Community Colleges District (LACCD) brings with it an obligation that faculty will take on an appropriate share of professional responsibilities.  For faculty working in the LACCD, professional development activities are required.

The faculty development movement at the community college began in the 1960s due to a large influx of faculty new to teaching.  As a result, time was needed to participate in these activities.  In California, the 175-day community college instructional calendar was 15 days longer than in many other states and was configured in a way that the fall semester started after Labor Day and ended in late January; and the spring semester started in February and ended in mid-June.  So in 1972, Cabrillo College initiated a new calendar configuration called the “4-1-4,” The fall semester was 75 days and ended before the December holidays; the winter intercession was in January, and for spring there were 80 days left.  During the winter intersession, three-fourths of the faculty would teach short-term, special-interest courses, and the remaining faculty were obligated to work on instructional improvement.  Faculty rotated their instructional assignments for the intersession so that all members would eventually engage in instructional improvement.

The flexible calendar program was initiated by six California community colleges in 1976 as a pilot project authorized by Assembly Bill 2232 (1975).  They 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 15 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.

Implementation of the flexible calendar program at the pilot colleges involved reforming the instructional calendar to accomodate instruction free days for faculty development activities.  The use of the flexible calendar to accommodate instruction free days for faculty development activities.  The use of flexible calendar days weas accomplished through a shifting of the traditional calendar.  With the success of the pilot programs, legistation (Assembly Bill 1149) was drafted in 1981 that allowed all colleges the option of adopting a flexible calendar program.

For more information, download Guidelines for the Implementation of the Flexible Calendar Program or the AFT Faculty Contract.

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