Once you are hired into a department, you begin an initial adjunct probationary period of five semesters. These five semesters do not have to be consecutive. This period dates from the first date of paid service in the department. During your probationary period, the department is under no obligation to offer you an hourly assignment, no matter what your previous instructional loads have been in that department. During your probationary period, you will be evaluated twice, once during the first two semesters, and once in the fifth semester.
After you complete your initial adjunct probationary period with two satisfactory evaluations, you earn assignment priority, the preference as a faculty member to receive hourly assignments. With assignment priority, you start to establish your load pattern, which protects your right to the same load in the next like semester. For example, if you have a 30% load in a Fall Semester after your probationary period, you will be offered at least 30% the following Fall Semester. The same pattern holds for Spring Semester and for Summer Session.
This load pattern right does not guarantee specific courses, days, times, or locations. Having established a pattern of your teaching particular courses at the same location and time does not mean that your department and the District must continue that arrangement. There is no guarantee of a previous like-load in excess of 40%. If the assignment specifically was identified as temporary in nature at the time it was offered, then it does not apply to your load pattern. At all times, faculty may be denied an hourly assignment if they have a less than satisfactory evaluation.
The determination of assignments can be influenced by two other factors:
Additional Program Needs: The determination of special expertise or experience needed to teach a specific course or offer a specific service. In order to make assignments on this basis, the department must have a written Special Expertise or Experience Policy which outlines the rationale for designating such a course or service. The policy must outline the expertise or experience required and the verifiable criteria that will be used to determine who possesses that expertise. The policy must also outline the process for determining who will receive such an assignment if more than one faculty member is qualified. Having minimum qualifications for the discipline will be considered sufficient to meet "basic programs needs" for those courses or services not addressed by such a department policy.
Institutional Needs: Considerations include the determination of an array of courses and services, the determination of a time schedule for classes and services, and meeting articulated staff diversity goals as documented by the District Compliance Officer. Supervising Administrators, in consultation with Department Chairs and/or Program Coordinators, make "Institutional Need" determinations.
AFA has negotiated to ensure that adjunct faculty who have demonstrated a commitment to the College would have some reasonable assurance of an on-going instructional assignments from semester to semester. Although all adjunct faculty are temporary employees under the California Education Code and can be laid off at any time and for any reason, the AFA contract does afford SRJC adjunct faculty more security than in most community college districts. The offer of hourly employment is extremely important, not just because it concerns your livelihood, but because it is also a matter of respect. Particularly, in acknowledging your contractual rights as an adjunct, the District also is acknowledging you as an integral part of the college.
You can find more information on assignment priority in Article 16 of the AFA contract.