Faculty: frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below are not intended to substitute for official documents such as the DVC Catalogue, the United Faculty contract, or Contra Costa Community College District policies. Instructors are encouraged to become familiar with these documents and the information therein.

Getting ready to teach

How do I get a DVC email address?
Your division dean will arrange this for you; once your email account is set up you will be contacted and given your password; you will need to change your password from a campus computer so that you can access your DVC email account from off campus. Note that email boxes fill to capacity without being cleared. Check your email regularly and be sure to develop a system for saving messages and routinely emptying your email box – deleting messages is a two step process, once from your inbox, and then from your deleted folder.

How do I get a voicemail extension?
Joyce Riley in Central Services will arrange one for you – drop by her desk in Central Services or call her at 925-969-2052

Where do I pick up my mail?
Part-time faculty have hanging mail folders in Central Services. If you don’t have a folder, you may request one from the mailroom administrator and he will make one for you on the spot. You can pick up your mail during regular Central Services hours. Full-time faculty have mailboxes at Central Services (current mailbox numbers are posted on a list near the mailboxes). Packages are delivered to Central Services. A small green slip in your folder or mailbox will tell you that you have a package on the shelves behind the mailroom. In addition, full-time instructors often have books delivered to their offices, even when they are not on campus. Some division offices have mailboxes or mail slots for faculty. Check with your division secretary about this.

How do I get a parking permit?
Go to Police Services and get one; bring proof of your faculty status. You can get parking permits for up to two vehicles.

How do I get a faculty identification (Connect) card?
A Connect card is a great thing to have. Among other purposes, it serves as your library card (including a passcode to the DVC electronic library databases). Bring proof of your faculty status and get one on the spot, for free, at the library or the Student Union building.

Do I get an office?
Office space may be available and is arranged through your division dean or secretary.

How do I get a key to my office?
There is a form your division dean must sign. Bring this form to Police services and you will be issued a key.

What are the required office hours?
Full-time instructors must hold five office hours per week, with no more than 1.5 office hours on any day. Instructors teaching online may hold office hours online in proportion to their online load. Part-time instructors are not required to hold office hours, but it benefits students if they do. Compensation for part-time instructor office hours is at the non-instructional salary rate. Your load determines the number of office hours per week for which you may be compensated: 0.2 – 0.399 load=0.5 office hours per week; 0.4 – 0.599 load=1.0 office hours per week; 0.6 load=1.5 office hours per week.

How do I get copies made for my courses?
Originals of handouts can be emailed to dvcprintshop@dvc.edu as attachments, or brought to the print shop, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. The print shop offers while you wait service most of the time; you also have the option of filling out a work order, attaching it to your originals, and putting your packet in the box next to the switchboard. Your copies will be placed on a shelf by the last letter of your name.

Are there restrictions on what I can duplicate?
Be aware of "fair use" copyright issues – the print shop can give you guidelines on this.

How do I get exams duplicated in a secure manner?
The email address is for exam duplication is examsonly@dvc.edu; only classified or hourly staff will process and copy exams from this email address. You can also drop off exams in the exam lock box outside of the mailroom or have them copied while you wait.

How do I pick up exams that have been duplicated?
If you have exams to be duplicated they will be locked in the exam case and available for pick-up during regular print shop hours or from the evening operator Monday-Thursday until 9 p.m.

What if I can’t make it to the print shop by 5 p.m.?
There is a self-service machine available Monday-Thursday, 6-9 p.m. in the Instruction Office (AB-214). Copies made on this machine will be charged to your instructional division. Faculty teaching in the evenings (Monday-Thursday) can pick up copies and exams from 5–9 p.m. by going to Central Services and asking the switchboard operator for access.

How do I get my mail and copies if I teach weekend hours?
You will need to arrange to pick up your copies during the hours Central Services are open or the switchboard operator is on duty: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

How do I use the copier in my division office?
Your division secretary will program the copy machine with an identification code (usually the last four digits of your social security number). Faculty are allowed a specific number of copies from the division copy machine; check with your division secretary for this number.

How do I order textbooks for my classes?
Check with your dean or department chair on deadlines and subject matter protocol. In cases where you may select your own texts, review the course outline and sample syllabi, check what other faculty are ordering in the DVC Book Center, and consult with other instructors. The Book Center does not provide you with desk copies; order these on your own from the appropriate publisher representative. If possible, order two desk copies and put one on limited reserve in the library for students to use. Please keep costs in mind; assign books that will really be used. Deadlines for textbook orders will be sent to you via email by your division dean.

What must I consider when building my course?
Be sure to read the course outline and student learning outcomes (SLO’s) for your course. They are linked to the faculty webpage. A course outline is the official document listing the curriculum covered by a given course. The course outline is used in articulating courses with other colleges. Instructors are responsible for covering all the topics on the course outline. SLO’s must appear on the course syllabus and factor in to ways you will assess student success.

What must be included on the syllabus for a course?
By “syllabus” we mean a document that describes an individual instructor’s approach to the course outline. Each instructor is responsible for providing students with a written course syllabus on the first day of class. The syllabus acts as a contract between the instructor and students, especially with regards to grading policies; if, for example, a student goes through the stages of a formal grade appeal, the review committee uses the syllabus to help reach a decision. Again, SLO’s must appear on the course syllabus. Division offices maintain syllabi from each class, each semester, as part of the college’s recordkeeping. At the beginning of each semester, provide your Division Office with the syllabus for your course. Syllabus guidelines are linked to the For Faculty webpage.

What is Flex?
As negotiated by the United Faculty and the Contra Costa Community College District, instructors are responsible for attending professional development activities called Flex (an abbreviation of Flexible Calendar). Flex hours help meet state requirements regarding the number of instructional days per year and semester; as the semester calendars vary yearly, the Flex obligations change as well. The number of Flex hours required is referred to as a “Flex obligation,” and it depends on the type (A—regular full-time, C—part-time, or A/C-additional full-time) and amount of your load. Each term’s Flex schedule, obligation guidelines, and a list of division approved flex activities are available on the professional development webpage.

During the semester

How do I access my class roster?
Once you are officially hired, you will be able to log onto InSite using the login instructions on the website. It is a good idea to periodically check your course rosters to ensure that all students that are attending your classes are officially enrolled. Students who are not officially enrolled may not attend your class. InSite can be accessed both on campus and off campus.

What is InSite?
InSite is a web tool that allows students to register for courses online and also provides instructors with online access to current rosters and other information. Access InSite from the DVC website. Your login and password will be given to you upon employment. You may print a roster at any time from InSite. Rosters will reflect important deadline dates for the specific class including the census date, last day to drop without a W, etc. InSite also gives instructors access to student email addresses, which may be helpful in contacting students who are not attending class. Final grades are submitted through InSite.

Where do I find the directions for roster and grade deadlines?
The admissions and records webpage will have this information. It will also be sent out via email.

What kind of technical services and support are available to me?
Faculty drop-in hours for instructional technology support are held in staff development (AB-217) Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Technical support is also available by appointment with Neal Skapura, nskapura@dvc.edu, 925-969-2275. WebCT accounts are available through the faculty and staff link on the DVC webpage or through Jeanette Peavler, jpeavler@dvc.edu. Be sure to take advantage of staff development workshops (for Flex credit) offered throughout the semester through Staff Development.

What are the guidelines for underage students?
It is possible that high school students and very young students will be enrolled in your classes or attempting to add them. There are special rules that govern the admission of such students. Students in the “sophomore” year (below the 11th grade or younger than sixteen) must get the instructor’s permission before enrolling; you have the right to accept or reject admission for such students. High school students may enroll as special admit students in courses with the permission of their principal and parent. These students must submit a DVC application, a DVC special admission recommendation form, and pay the required fees when they register.

Is there a grading policy?
You can find the fairness in grading policy on the DVC website. In summary, during the first week of each course, instructors will give their students a copy of their course syllabus, which will include their grading policies. Students may expect instructors to: record the student’s grade for each oral and written test or report that will affect the final grade, notify the student of the grade, and, if necessary, review the results with the student; evaluate the student within the first quarter of the course and notify the student of the results of the evaluation; count a final examination for no more than half the course grade; base final grades on at least three of the student’s tests and/or reports. Grading records must be kept for three years; graded student work must be kept for one year.

Where can students make up exams?
The make-up exam center provides a proctored setting for students to make up exams they have missed. If you wish to use the make-up testing center, drop a copy of the test with a filled out instruction form into the green makeup test box on the table by the mailroom. Students must bring photo identification when they go to take the test. Forms and guidelines may also be available in your division office. The make-up testing center’s hours vary from semester to semester. Contact the proctor, at makeuptest@dvc.edu.

Am I required to give a final exam?
The final exam schedule is in the course schedule available online from the DVC website. While the final exam day and time may vary from the regular class hours, the exam period is a required instructional day. You are not required to give a final exam, or to give the final exam during the exam period, but you must meet your class during the final exam period that is designated on the course schedule.

When are my grades due?
The due date for grades is published by admissions and records each semester in an email message. For fall, they are usually due by the first workday of January; for spring, they are usually due no later than three days after the end of the term.

How do I submit my grades?
Grades are submitted electronically via InSite. Be sure to retain a hard copy print out along with your grading policy and scale and grading records for each course.

How long must I keep my grading records?
Grading records must be kept for a minimum of three years. If you are unclear about whether you will return to DVC the subsequent semester, give your grading records to your dean’s office (in the unlikely event of a grade challenge, the college needs to have the necessary back-up information to allow us to resolve the issue).

What do I do with student work that is not picked up?
Papers, exams and other graded work that is not picked up by students must be kept for one year. Hard copies of your grading sheets and final grades must be kept for three years. If you unclear about whether you will return to DVC the subsequent semester, give this paperwork to your dean’s office.