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Academic Associate

Academic Associate

The Academic Associate (AA) is a member of the Leadership Team at Vanderbilt Summer Academy (VSA). He/She provides key logistical, operational, and internal communication support for all things academic at VSA. But, like the program itself, this position is multifaceted. The AA works very closely with the Head of Academic Life (HAL), under the supervision of the VSA Director, and may work with any member of the administrative team as circumstances require. Primarily, the AA is the point person for processing, auditing, and preparing material classroom resources before the program begins, and she or he is the “first responder” for such issues once the program is underway. The AA communicates reminders, updates, and other broad memos to instructors and teaching assistants. The AA may also take a role in classroom observations, depending on his or her qualifications and program needs.


The ideal candidate will…

  • be a meticulous organizer;
  • be a clear communicator in person and in print;
  • be energetic and flexible—able to “roll with it”;
  • have a passion for student learning and the life of the mind;
  • be adept at electronic communication and record keeping;
  • be able to work independently and to seek clarity and support when needed;
  • understand with the needs of gifted students;
  • have experience working with adolescents in academic/residential settings;
  • have or be working toward a graduate degree in an education-related field;

All applicants must…

  • be current Master’s students or higher;
  • possess a valid driver license;
  • be able to pass a background check.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Academic logistical needs and responsibilities:

  • Receive, order, audit, organize, and distribute classroom material requests; monitor and update budgets.
  • Assemble, audit, and distribute information materials for academic staff, faculty, and classrooms.
  • Audit classroom open house and parent conference locations prior to check-out day.
  • Help procure spaces and materials for all academic meetings.
  • Assist with student supervision responsibilities (including driving for field trips and serving as a substitute TA) as needed.

Internal communication:

  • Work with administration to develop and maintain a list of ongoing general support tasks.
  • Liaise with teaching assistants and report any concerns or points of confusion to the HAL.

Program support:

  • Make sure that all students are safe and appropriately supervised in compliance with university and program policies.
  • Participate in, and assist with, various staff trainings.
  • Coordinate with TAs to see when the courses are doing activities that would produce good photos.
  • Perform regular audits to make sure that TA hours are complying with program policies, communicate any concerns to the TA and instructor, keeping admin in the loop.

Regarding University and program codes of conduct, the Academic Assistant will:

  • Exemplify VSA’s purpose, identify and communicate the cornerstones of a respectful residential and academic community, and serve as a role model for all staff and students.
  • Uphold and enforce all program and University rules as outlined in staff and student handbooks and deemed essential for establishing a safe and respectful community.
  • All PTY employees complete various protection of minors and undergo fingerprinting/background check.

Expectations regarding seasonal time commitment:

  • As a member of the VSA team, the Academic Associate will work closely with other leadership team members to accomplish program goals and to address problems in a timely manner.
  • The AA will begin working about 15 hours per week in the spring, ramping up to 40 hours per week in May through the end of the program, followed by more part-time hours in early August.
  • There will be weekend hours when students are in session.


  • Competitive monetary compensation.
  • Meals provided when on duty.

To apply:

Email a resume/CV and a letter summing up your interest in the position and your qualifications to David J. Dunn.