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Learning centers - like Sylvan & Huntington. What do they do exactly?

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I worked at a Huntington for about a year as a part-time tutor. If I remember correctly, they asked what your concerns were, how the student's grades were, etc. They gave an assessment test of some kind that showed strengths and weakenesses, then created a program to work on the weaknesses. Each session for the student was about an hour and a half, and they asked for two sessions a week. Smaller kids got one on one attention, older kids shared a tutor. And I think that each student had to do part of the session working on reading exercises and part of the session doing math exercises. They were strongly discouraged to bring their own homework.


Hope that helps!

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I've worked at Sylvan off and on for twenty years. The students are initially given the CAT in the subject they need to be there for. (Vocab & comprehension for reading; computation and concepts and application for math; lower than second grade readers are given a battery of tests whose names I can't remember - they test letter recognition, sound, following directions, small motor skills, etc.) There is also a phonics test for reading, but it's a Sylvan-made test. It tests knowing the sounds of letter, digraphs, etc. They are also given nonsense words to sound out.


Each of the questions on the CAT is keyed to a skill: main idea, facts & details, predicting outcomes, inference, etc.; math would be two-digit addition with regrouping, etc. Then the student is given assignments that match the questions he did poorly on at the grade level he tested in on the initial CAT. The skills are taught by the teacher, individually, to that student who must get an 80 or above before he can do the skill independently. (The independent chance should be done on a different day than the one the skill is taught). The student must then earn three 80s or two 100s to complete that skill at that level.


After 36 hours (usually two hours/week), the same level CAT (not identical test) will be given. If the student doesn't come up at least a grade level in one of the portions of the CAT, there are free sessions given.


The last Sylvan I worked for charged $52/hour. The ratio is no more than 3 students per teacher. Some of the directors can be pushy about signing up.


I think it can be a good program for students who need a little extra help. Homework is not usually encouraged - unless you sign up for Homework Help exclusively (not all centers have this). The reason for this is because the center has to honor the free sessions after the 36 hour test so they don't want to spend the time on other things. However, different centers handle this their own way.


Probably more than you wanted to know, but hope this helps.



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Yes, the ones around here charge $50 an hour. And they pay their tutors a crappy $9 an hour. I refuse to support such a system. I think a person is better off finding a personal tutor thru the school system recommendations, or thru a friend.

Sylvan wanted $10,000 to "remediate" my friend's high school daughter. For that, she could get an awful lot more help than they were giving her.

I'm sure some people benefit, but it just rankles me.

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I've tutored privately, as well as at Sylvan. While the Sylvan where I worked started a bit higher than the amount you mentioned, it was still well below what you could make privately. However privately, you are in charge of finding materials to use, which can be costly. Also, Sylvan pays the teacher if the student doesn't show up. This is harder to enforce in a private setting. At Sylvan, the teacher has the lesson plans and materials ready for each session, so there's no planning on her part at all. She's able to sit and go. (She is trained on how to use the materials.) Also, the teachers are told what they'll make, they don't have to accept the job.


Sylvan has been a blessing financially for my family for years. I knew I could make more privately, but personally, it was worth it to not deal with the headaches that private tutoring could bring.


As I stated above, I don't think that Sylvan is ideal for every student. I have encouraged students to find a private tutor instead of using Sylvan. My family could not afford Sylvan. It is very expensive.

Edited by melhouse
Hopefully for clarity's sake
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