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Rochelle Weiser
Office of Professional Development - Training Assistant
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30-4:00pm
Phone: (619) 644-7364


Independent Contracts for Professional Development

Independent Professional Development Projects
Overview: Any professional development project that is not on the Grossmont or Cuyamaca College professional development calendars or is not listed as an approved Webinar / Online PD is considered an Independent Project. To propose an independent project, follow these three easy steps:

  1. PRIOR to ATTENDING or COMPLETING AN ACTIVITY: Complete the Independent Project Proposal Form - note if attending a conference as your independent project you will also need to complete a Conference Attendance Form, obtain approval from your division dean for the Independent Project. See below for a list of previously approved independent projects
  2. If the Independent Project requires off campus travel, complete an off-campus travel request.
  3. Be prepared to document your attendance or participation in, and fulfillment of the independent project as outlined on your proposal form.
You may also request up to $500 from the Professional Development Speaker / Travel Fund to pay for conference and / or travel costs. To request these funds you must also:
  1. Complete a Request for Travel Funds ($500 limit). 
  2. Attach the Request for Travel Funds to the Independent Project Form and/or the Conference Attendance Form and the Off-Campus Travel Request and give to your division dean's administrative assistant who will oversee the proper routing of the forms.

If you are requesting funding, please allow at least six weeks for approvals and processing. Forms and further information and documentation requirements for funding requests can be found here

General Considerations in Designing / Proposing an Independent Project

Is the activity voluntary, without compensation, and is above and beyond your contractual duties?

  • The activity cannot be something that is required of you in the performance of your regular duties and obligations, (e.g. participation in activities included in job description, directed by a supervisor, a condition of employment, etc.)
  • Since flex activities are in lieu of instructional duties for which you are already being paid, you cannot accept compensation of any kind (e.g. pay, grants, stipends, honoraria, advancement on salary schedule, gifts, etc.).
  • You cannot claim Professional Development credit for anything done during the time you were supposed to be teaching. For example, if you cancel a one-hour class to participate in a 12-hour conference, you can claim only 11 hours of flex time.
Will the taxpayers approve?
  • You are a public employee. If taxpayers find out that you were paid to do this activity instead of your actual job, will they be okay with that? Their money pays your salary so this is an important reality check.
Is it documented?
  • At any time, you may be required to produce reasonable documentation and/or make appropriate arguments justifying the activity. Worst-case scenario? Audit by our own Board of Trustees or appropriate state officials. All records pertaining to a Flexible Calendar Program (including your finished products, receipts, notes, etc.) are Class 3 Disposable Records per Title 5 (see 55730) and are subject to examination until the third July 1st after the activity's completion date. Keep your documentation where it is accessible.

Look here for more detail about the types of Independent Projects that would be appropriate. The list is not exhaustive and is intended to provide assistance and inspiration.

Last Updated: 01/23/2018


Rochelle Weiser
Office of Professional Development - Training Assistant
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30-4:00pm
Phone: (619) 644-7364

  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District