Professors will have a better route to submit their flex hours by substituting a physical form with a interactive online option.
Every full-time professor at Pierce is required to complete 33.3 hours of flex credit a year and it varies depending on how many hours they teach.
The Professional Development Committee voted to eliminate the physical form that every professor uses to report those flex hours as of July 1.
According to Faculty Professional Development Coordinator Fernando Oleas, this physical will be replaced by the implementation of the Vision Resource Center, an online hub for faculty and staff that provides training, resources and tools related to system-specific work.
“The Vision Resource Center is a new platform where faculty members will be reporting, as far as what their professional responsibilities they have fulfilled throughout the year,” Oleas said. So, it’s a platform where we’ll be reporting, and it’s the platform where also we would be getting information from. We will have online training and things that we may be interested as professionals.”
Faculty and staff members can complete their flex hour in different ways, such as events, department meetings, seminars, advising students, office hours, or online training.
“Flex hours or basically anything that you do that is educational that is beyond your job duties,” said Assistant Professor of Cinema Ken Windrum. “So for instance, I don’t get flex time for stuff that I have to do. But, I don’t have to advise the film club, but I do that an hour a week. So that’s like, already 15 hours plus times two.
The Vision Resource Center conveys a more convenient process for professors and other faculty and staff member that have to complete these hours, which allow them to submit the hours online or add them automatically by completing training courses already integrated into this portal.
“We will be able to identify what Pierce College Professional Development it’s offering for faculty in this particular college,” Oleas said. “If I am interested in taking [a] particular course or seminar, I can click in and begin to have an interactive visual. That’s why it’s called the visual resource center. Visual in the sense that I will be able to see it, the reader, interact with it. they can do a quiz and so on and so forth.”
It’s expected for this implementation to be more useful and convenient for professors as they will be able to report their hours without having to print any forms, scan them and send them through email with the risk of not being seen.
“I think you have to do it now is you have to fill it out online, print it out, scan it, send it back to yourself,” Windrum said. “I mean filling out the form takes like three or four minutes. Printing takes a minute, scanning a minute or two, getting a file, naming the file. And then save the file and then attaching the files. We’re not talking about more than 15 minutes. Might be better to be five minutes than 15.”
According to Oleas, this integration is already in process with the help of Professional Development Coordinator Shannon Krajewski.
“Shannon has been heading the charge to integrate this new process with the nine colleges,” Oleas said. “So she’s working with the professional development coordinators of faculty professional development coordinator across the district to have this piece being integrated as a reporting mechanism.”
Distance Education Coordinator Wendy Bass said this new portal will save professors time keeping them more organized and also help students to filter the information they gather from the vast media outlets.
“Every faculty member and staff member should be doing flex credit because life is constantly changing and evolution of learning and how [students] learn,” Bass said. “I feel like we’ve become much more facilitators, so now you guys can go get information, but now we have to help you weed out what’s the relevant information.”
The Vision Resource Center was approved at the Academic Senate May 20.