Professional Development Committee

Spring Flex Day 2021

Everything you need to know about SMC's Spring Flex Day

Spring Flex Day 2021

The SMC Professional Development Committee (PDC) and the Classified Professional Development Committee (CPDC) organized the Spring Flex Day 2021 program — aimed at preparing the college to meet the challenges of a remote learning environment — at a time when the convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and a wave of nationwide racial justice movements have made us reflect on our institutional role and how to demonstrate greater empathy and support to our students and each other.  

Spring Flex Day 2021 postcard

Theme

The theme of the Spring Flex Day  is We are SMC: Showing Authentic Care to Students and Each Other. 

The theme was inspired by the 2019 Santa Monica College Equity plan, developed jointly by members of the Equity Steering Committee and the Academic Senate Joint Institutional Effectiveness Committee. The Student Equity Plan revealed that educational outcomes for Latinx and African American students have the greatest gaps in service across all metrics, including retention, transfer or credential completion, and transfer-level Math and English completion. 

We believe it is an imperative to focus professional development on equity. Our goal of Spring Flex is that everyone at SMC becomes informed about the Student Equity Plan so that we can all work to achieve greater student equity. 

To help achieve this goal, the PDC and CPDC have worked together with other key campus stakeholders to develop a virtual program featuring keynote addresses and participatory workshops focused on each of the four competency areas from the Student Equity Plan, which are:  

  1. Authentic Communication
  2. Cultural Humility
  3. High Impact/Anti-Racist Practices
  4. Change Management/Culturally Responsive Facilitation 

All workshops are virtual. Please review the schedule to make your selection. Full captioned recordings will be posted as soon as available following the event (likely two weeks). We ask that you attend 6 hours total (full-time faculty requirement) and document your participation as you typically do (more specific information is in the FAQ list below.).

On Thursday, March 18, we encourage you to view our Presidential Address with Dr. Jeffery and Academic Senate President, Nate Donahue, as well as Dr. Maria Muñoz, Interim Dean of Pathways, Equity and Inclusion. This will be followed by the Keynote Address with Sherri Bradford, Black Collegians Program Leader and member of the Equity Steering Committee, Elisa Meyer, Chair of English Department and member of the Equity Steering Committee and Dr. Frank Harris, III, Co-Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL) at San Diego State University. This collaborative keynote will lead us through a shared discussion on the racial and equity context at SMC and how to create spaces where Black and Brown students feel welcomed and a sense of belonging across campus, both in and outside of the classroom.

On Friday, March 19, there will be the opportunity to hear our second keynote speaker, Dr. Laura Rendón, Emeritus Faculty at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She will introduce us to Sentipensante (sensing/thinking pedagogy) expanding on how learning is a combination of rigorous academics and contemplative practices, with social justice emphasis. Dr. Rendón will discuss actionable steps for validating the student experience and supporting student processes in and outside of the classroom that foster academic and interpersonal development. 

We hope you enjoy the selection of professional development that we have organized. We aspire to build an environment at SMC that actively pursues racial equity as a centerpiece to its educational mission, hiring, program services, institutional governance, and college planning processes. Before attending the Spring Flex Day, we invite you to become familiar with the Student Equity Plan, for an in-depth understanding of the needs of our Latinx and African American students.  We aim for Spring Flex Day to be a step in that learning process. Together we can build a community, and a culture of care for our classified educators, faculty, administrators, and students.  

Schedule

Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do I have to go to both full days (Thursday and Friday) to get my flex day credit?
A:  You are encouraged to get the required 6 hours (for full-time Faculty) by attending events that fit your schedule on either date- or by viewing the webpage to see the pre-recorded sessions that are also available.

Q: Will the sessions be recorded so we can watch them later?
A: Yes, the sessions will be recorded, captioned and posted for future viewing. Please check the website approximately two weeks after the event.

Q: What is the process to report my Flex Day attendance?
A: Please report your attendance through mProfessor or through your supervisor/department chair. 

Q: Do I need to cancel my classes on Friday since you have Flex options then? 
A: No, you are welcome to attend the workshops that don't conflict with your teaching schedule on Friday. If you can't attend a workshop, check back on the Flex Day website about two weeks later to see the posted recordings. 

Q: Is the campus still closed on Thursday, March 18th? Are my classes still canceled?
A: Yes, the campus is still closed, and all classes on Thursday are canceled.

Q: Can I get my flex hours by attending the sessions on Friday and also the pre-recorded sessions on the Flex Day website?
A: Yes, you can complete your required Flex credit this spring by attending live or pre-recorded sessions. We hope this makes the process more enjoyable for you! You have until June 30, 2021 to complete your spring flex hours. 

For further questions, contact profdevelopment@smc.edu