Franchisee Spotlight: Joe Liu of Sylvan Learning
Franchisee Spotlight: Joe Liu of Sylvan Learning

An innovator in the education field, Joe Liu has turned his attention toward supplemental education and will open his very own Sylvan Learning center in the Tustin Foothills, California, area this summer.

Joe Liu’s passion for education has led him to introduce Sylvan Learning to Tustin Foothills this summer.

While in search of a career in education, Liu considered joining Sylvan but decided to work in higher education where he gained a wealth of knowledge in student services.

After many years in the education field, Joe and his wife started LUD, Inc., which connects young people from around the world with opportunities to expand their horizons through language programs, educational travel, and cultural exchange.

Liu’s desire to enter supplemental education grew and he decided he would revisit what Sylvan Learning had to offer. After reviewing the brand’s business model and individual programs, he appreciated the curriculum and program offerings even more.

Believing that education is the key to change, and will help better the world around us, Liu signed on as a franchisee to encourage as many students as he can to pursue higher learning.

What were you doing before partnering with Sylvan Learning?

I started my teaching career shortly after I graduated from the University of California, Irvine. I also earned a Graduate Diploma in Education and completed my teacher’s training. I realized that I needed to improve my skills in order to achieve more in the education field. I decided to pursue a master's degree in education from the University of Melbourne. After exploring different education career opportunities, I decided to stay in higher education where I gained a wealth of knowledge in student services. Years ago, I started looking into joining a supplemental education brand and evaluated what my options were with Sylvan Learning.

As an educator, my passion lies in bridging the gap between people of various cultures. The best way to form that bridge is to educate people. I believe that education is the key to change, change for a better life and a better world. With my current position, I am able to use my professional experiences to build many more bridges than I could before. For instance, I am able to give international students a true American culture experience by immersing them in a well-planned study tour. 

As I continued down my path, I was offered a unique opportunity to start a company that focuses on educational support services called LUD, Inc. We started the company in 2014 and as time went on my wife and I continued to search for other business ventures that dealt with education. 

How did you learn about Sylvan Learning Center, and what made you ultimately decide to commit?

Before we started our company, I did a lot of research on supplemental education and was looking very closely at becoming a franchisee with Sylvan. I came across the brand through independent research and their reputation in the education world.

For the past year, I have been consulting with newcomers for business. Sylvan’s attention to every student’s educational needs really impressed me. Plus, the amount of support that was offered from the corporate team was very encouraging.  

What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process?

When I thought of franchising my mind automatically went to fast-food chains. I knew within a franchise system you would always have a strong support system and a strong following due to brand recognition.

If you were to speak with someone who’s considering signing on with Sylvan Learning Center, what advice would you give them?

One should explore every single option and make a pro/con list. See what brand best suits you. That is how you will know where your passion lays and if it will match up with your next business venture.  

What’s next for you and your business? Do you have any development/expansion plans?

We want to help as many students as we can. We are open to expanding in the future but at this point we want to put our efforts into finding the ideal location and really getting to know the area.