California State University, Sacramento

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Academic Talent Search

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Summer Employment

ATS is represented by a remarkable combination of college professors, public/private school faculty, and independent professionals (such as a TV broadcaster). While many instructors return each summer to teach with ATS (some for more than 10 years), new faculty and course ideas are always welcome.

Course Design & Objective

ATS instructors have the freedom to design their own courses and curriculum based on their areas of expertise and interest.

Courses can accelerate students academically or teach new topics not offered at their regular school. Classes are interactive, hands-on and promote critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills. The curriculum is designed to help students progress past grade-level work into advanced studies in topics.

Because ATS’s student population is often completing above-grade-level coursework during their regular school year, ATS faculty frequently teach the same curriculum they use with their own students. For instance, participants in ATS’ 4th and 5th grade program are often learning middle school topics in their elementary schools so find high school level subject matter at ATS to be a fun and exciting challenge. Similarly, students in ATS’ 6th – 9th grade program enjoy the academic rigor of advanced high school and lower division college curriculum.

By the end of the summer, participants have gained more in-depth knowledge and academic experience to allow them to progress further in their regular school studies.


ATS offers a variety of sessions during the summer in 1-, 3-, and 5-week formats. With multiple scheduling options available it’s easy to teach at ATS while still fulfilling regular school commitments and vacation plans.

Courses for the 4th - 5th grade program are 1 week in length and run Mon-Fri, 2.5 hours per day. Courses for the 6th - 9th grade program are generally 1 or 3 weeks in length. The one week classes are Mon-Fri, 3.5 hours per day while the three week classes are like a college schedule (for example, Tues/Thurs from 9:00 - Noon or Mon/Weds/Fri from 1:00 - 3:00.)

See more details about scheduling options

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is this a paid or volunteer position?
    This is a paid position. Instructor salary is based on class hours and student enrollment. For example, for a class with 24 students, the pay for a 3 week class in the 6/9 Program is about $71/hour. At 26 students, the pay for the same class would be approximately $77/hour while at 30 students it would be roughly $88/hour.
  2. Do you have to be available to work all the sessions?
    No! Instructors may teach during one session or during multiple sessions depending upon the nature of their course and their availability.
  3. How is ATS different from a regular summer school?
    ATS classes can accelerate students academically or teach new topics not offered in regular school. Classes are interactive and hands-on, promoting critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills. The curriculum helps students move beyond grade-level work into advanced studies in topics and to offer them a glimpse at potential college and career pathways. For example, Fast-Paced Algebra encompasses a full year Algebra 1 curriculum in 5 weeks so that at the conclusion of the course, successfully students are prepared to advance directly into Geometry upon returning to their regular school) while Introduction to TV Broadcasting (taught by Sac State alum and local anchor/reporter Tina Macuha) gives students a sneak peek into TV news and what goes into making broadcast-ready stories.
  4. Are class materials available or do I need to purchase my own supplies?
    Depending on the nature of the course, ATS may already have materials on hand from previous summers. In some cases (such as science, art, or other hands-on classes), instructors may request items and depending on their nature, ATS staff will order, authorize purchase for reimbursement, or have students provide the materials (for example, if the items requested are specimens for dissection, the instructor would most likely be authorized to purchase them for reimbursement while if the items are composition notebooks and fine point black ballpoint pens students would be asked to provide them). Instructors are asked to be as economical as possible when making their requests (for example, selecting student art paper rather than premium art paper) to avoid having to pass on excessive material fees to participants.
  5. What is a typical class size?
    The average class size is 20 students though actual enrollment may be higher or lower depending on the nature of the course.

How to Apply

New faculty recruitment is held between August and October each year. To get started, submit your resume and course idea to At this stage, your proposal does not have to be more than 1-2 sentences in length. For example, a hands-on forensic science course that includes investigations of fingerprints, ballistics, hair and fiber, and simulated blood spatter.

Submit your resume or request more information