Sabbatical Leaves


General Info

What is a sabbatical leave?

A sabbatical leave of absence is granted for travel, formal study or Independent Study.

Travel sabbatical-

the employee engages in planned education travel for at least 50% of the leave period (60% for administrative personnel). The minimum number of weeks of required travel is determined by the employee’s length of assignment. For 10-month employees, 10 weeks of travel is required each semester. For 12-month employees, 12 weeks of travel is required each semester. The standards associated with a travel sabbatical are those outlined in Personnel Guide B353 - Salary Point Credit (link opens new browser window). Included in the standards is that travel cannot be for a prolonged period in any one area or consist of day trips from a particular location. Sabbatical travel must be undertaken and completed during the leave period. Refer to Personnel Guide B335 (link opens new browser window)for additional information.

Formal Study sabbatical–

the employee pursues a program of study which will benefit the students and colleges of the District -Ed Code 87767 (link opens new browser window). Courses must be taken at a recognized institution of higher learning, and be at the upper division or graduate level or the extension division equivalent of such course (except for computer application courses). The courses must be completed with a passing grade for which unit credit is allowed. The minimum load requirement for each semester of leave for faculty is five (5) semester or eight (8) quarter units (the requirement is higher for administrators). Refer to Personnel Guide B336 (link opens new browser window)for additional information.

Independent Study sabbatical–

the employee pursues a program of independent study, research, and/or experience relating to the present or prospective service that promises professional values equivalent to that derived from formal study at recognized educational institutions. The applicant must submit a detailed proposal that: 1) adequately outlines the project so that the Committee on Research Studies can evaluate the project, 2) meets the standards of quality professional research, and 3) demonstrates that the applicant expects to engage in a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours of active research or endeavor of each "unit" requested ("unit" relates to formal study requirement of 5 semester units per semester). Refer to Personnel Guide B337 (link opens new browser window)for additional information.
The different types of sabbatical leaves may be combined as long as the total activities meet minimum requirements.

How am I eligible?

The employee must have permanent status in the District at the time the leave begins. The applicant must have rendered certificated service in the District for at least six (6) consecutive two-semester periods (seven two-semester periods for administrative personnel) preceding the beginning of the leave. Only service rendered subsequent to the return from the most recent sabbatical leave, and subsequent to the most recent break in service as defined by District regulations, is counted. All time served between the two periods of a split sabbatical leave counts as service for a subsequent sabbatical leave (but does not count toward the service requirement returning from leave for a second period of a split sabbatical). During any two consecutive semesters of the four semesters immediately preceding the beginning of the leave, the applicant must have served a minimum of the number of hours considered to be the amount for a year of service as defined by District rules. Time on a grant leave, exchange leave or military leave counts toward the required service. Time on other leaves does not count.

What is the length of the leave?

Sabbatical leaves are granted for full semesters only and may be requested for a maximum of two full consecutive semesters for 10-month employees or for six or 12 months for 12-month employees.
If the two semesters or periods of leave are not taken consecutively, they must be requested separately. If taken separately, the second semester or period of leave must be completed within three years of the beginning date of the first semester or period.

What is my compensation?

An employee on sabbatical leave receives 50% of his/her regular salary payable monthly during the period of the leave if the employee has executed a written indemnity agreement in the form of a salary bond. Otherwise, the employee will be paid in two equal installments in the service period following the leave. The first payment shall be paid at the end of the semester during which the employee has served one-half of the required post-sabbatical service, and the second payment shall be paid at the end of the semester during which the employee completes the second one-half of the required post-sabbatical service. If the sabbatical leave is combined with a load credit leave, the employee can receive 100% of his/her regular salary.

Am I entitled to the ESA check at the beginning of the fall semester?

Employees on sabbatical leave do not receive the ESA check.

Can I send in all the compliance cards at the beginning of the semester?

The compliance card certifies that the employee is fulfilling the conditions of the sabbatical leave. If the employee has provided the necessary bonding, a compliance card is required each month in order for the employee to receive sabbatical half-pay or sabbatical/load credit full pay for that month.

Can I have other employment while on leave?

Employees may continue existing multiple assignments or previously held outside employment without restrictions. Employees may obtain new employment either with the District or with outside employers. New employment related to the process of education may not exceed 20 hours of pay per week. New employment with the District is prohibited during the hours of the position from which the employee is on sabbatical leave. The total of new employment and sabbatical pay shall not exceed the amount of regular pay.

How does this affect my retirement service?

A sabbatical leave counts towards partial service for the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS). Employees on sabbatical leave may pay to STRS the difference in contributions so that full service credit will be received for the leave period. Telephone STRS at 1-800-228-5453 in order to obtain information and an application form.
Employees on a sabbatical/load credit leave who receive full pay will receive full service credit for STRS.

How much service do I have to give after I return from my sabbatical leave?

At the expiration of a sabbatical leave, the employee shall be reassigned, unless he/she otherwise agrees, to the same college to which he/she was assigned at the time the leave was granted, provided that no conditions develop during the leave or at the time of return which would have changed the employee’s location and type of work had he/she remained in active service.
An employee returning from a sabbatical leave must render a period of service that is equal to twice the period of the leave. Service may be in any certificated status or class. There is a form for the employee to complete as part of the sabbatical packet for the employee to agree in writing to render this service in accordance with Ed Code 87770 (link opens new browser window). Any period of service between a split sabbatical shall comprise a part of the service required for a subsequent leave of absence and would count toward service rendered for the first period of the sabbatical leave, but does not count toward the required service of the second part of the split sabbatical which has yet to be taken. Certain leaves may be taken upon the return from a sabbatical leave; however, this would extend the period of time to complete the required service.

What do I do if I have to change my sabbatical plans?

The Office of Personnel Operations must approve any change of plan in advance of the planned change of the leave. The formal study leave and travel leave have forms that the employee can complete. The employee should submit an amended proposal for an independent study leave.
There are certain conditions under which a sabbatical leave may be incomplete, cancelled or converted to a resignation, return to duty, or other type of leave. The effect on sabbatical rights and compensation depend on the circumstances. Refer to:

What do I do at the completion of my sabbatical leave?

Upon completion of the sabbatical leave requirements, or not later than two pay periods following return to service, the appropriate materials for the type of leave must be filed with the Office of Personnel Operations. The third salary warrant after return to service will not be released until obligations are met. While the collective bargaining agreement instructs the employee to submit the sabbatical report to the college president or designee, a copy of the report must also be submitted to the Office of Personnel Operations in order to review that the terms of the sabbatical leave have been met.
Employees requesting point credit for a sabbatical leave must submit all materials prior to the beginning of the fall semester. For more information on sabbatical point credit or point credit in general, refer to:

Who do I contact for information?

For information about sabbatical policies and procedures, please contact:
Cheryl Stephens
(213) 891-2064

An additional note:

A Sabbatical Leave differs from a Load Banking Leave but a Load banking Leave can be combined with a Sabbatical Leave Please refer to Article 39 (link opens new browser window)of the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement for information about Load Banking . Cheryl Stephens is also the contact for questions related to combining Load Banking Leaves with Sabbatical Leaves.