Teach at TASS or TASP | FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS) and the Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP)?The TASS and TASP are tuition-free summer programs for high school sophomores and high school juniors, respectively. The inaugural TASS took place in 1993 at Indiana University, and the TASP began in 1954 at Cornell University. Both programs provide students an intensive, six-week long seminar on issues of contemporary relevance and foster a close-knit intellectual community.
Where and when do TASS and TASP take place?TASS and TASP run for six-weeks from the last week in June to the first week of August every summer at a number of universities around the country. In 2013 and 2014, TASS will take place at Indiana University and the University of Michigan, while TASP will take place at Cornell University and the University of Michigan.
Who can apply to teach?Telluride Association welcomes applications from all instructors with an advanced degree and an interest in fostering students’ education in democratic self-governance. Since the TASS and TASP are team-taught, we only accept applications from faculty pairs making a joint proposal.
Can I apply to teach at more than one program or at more than one site?Yes. Some program requirements differ for each site. The requirements are detailed in the call for proposals for each site.
What compensation do faculty members receive?Our faculty members receive a competitive stipend for all aspects of teaching the program including program preparation, six weeks of teaching, and post-seminar student evaluations. Please inquire when you have a specific program, site, and year in mind.
Who selects the instructors who teach TASS and TASP?A committee of Telluride Association members solicits applications and selects program participants (faculty, college-aged program coordinators, and students). Each program (TASS and TASP) has its own governing committee.
What is the mission of TASS and TASP?In general, the Telluride Association regards its programs as organized along three ‘pillars’: intellectual inquiry, self-governance, and communal involvement/community living. These are reflected in each of Telluride Association’s programs including TASS and TASP. Both programs aim to cultivate reflective thought on issues of theoretical, practical, and technical concern, and they aim principally to enlighten the students to the areas of collision and tension in these issues. In particular, the program emphasizes those areas of tension which require self-reflection and critical thinking on an individual and communal basis, and those which challenge and require sound judgment.
How do students find out about TASS and TASP?Students find out about TASS or TASP through a mixture of teacher or counselor nominations, PSAT scores, or word-of-mouth. Telluride Association does not set any pre-requisites or benchmarks for applications.
What are TASS and TASP students like?TASS and TASP students are selected via a rigorous application process requiring multiple essays and an interview. In selecting participants, Telluride Association looks for students who are likely to be strong contributors to the three ‘pillars’ of Telluride programs (intellectual inquiry, self governance, and community living). To that end, we select students who indicate the greatest openness to new experiences and eagerness to engage in group projects and inquiries, rather than only those with the highest grades and test scores. In addition, we strive to assemble TASS and TASP communities that reflect a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences.
What makes TASS and TASP different from other summer programs for high schoolers?In addition to Telluride’s unique mission statement (above), TASS and TASP are distinct from other programs in two important ways. First, TASS and TASP are free. There is no charge to participants for any part of the program, and we provide travel and work replacement funds for students who need them, as we believe cost should never be a barrier to participation. Second, TASS and TASP students do not receive grades or credit for their seminars. The seminar is a forum for intellectual inquiry motivated by the pleasures and rewards of learning in a group setting, rather than by other extrinsic factors.
What is the usual weekly schedule for TASS and TASP?The seminar portion of the program usually begins at 9:00 in the morning and ends at noon, Monday through Friday. Afternoons are reserved for activities which may or may not be related to coursework. In previous years, program participants have visited theatre festivals, museums, parks, etc. and have gone on other similar outings or taken part in service projects. Please note that faculty members are only responsible for the seminar portion of the program. We do, however, encourage faculty members to take an active part in other aspects of TASS and TASP, as arranged with the tutors or factota (the college-aged program coordinators).
What roles do “program assistants” and “Tutors” or “Factota” play in TASS and TASP?Tutors (for TASS) and Factota (for TASP) are employees of the Telluride Association hired to facilitate and manage the programs during the summer. They are normally of college-age (or thereabouts), and their role extends from teaching assistant, to conflict mediator, to program coordinator, and to everything in between. In their roles as advisors, tutors and factota are friendly guides for TASSers and TASPers who help elicit thought and promote critical thinking in every part of the program, but especially outside the seminar. They are also responsible for the general welfare of all students. The TASS program has a special goal of advancing the students’ written and oral expression of ideas, and the tutors, in particular, are charged with this mission during the summer. For this reason, the tutors will read drafts of the students’ seminar papers. Program assistants (PAs) support the factota with the logistics of the programs when there are two seminars being held at the same site.
If you have any further questions, please contact us.
TASS Inquiries: Teach.TASS@tellurideassociation.org.
TASP Inquiries: Teach.TASP@tellurideassociation.org.
Telluride Association does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability.