How Sylvan Learning is Applying its 40 Years of Experience to Lay the Groundwork for the Future of Education
How Sylvan Learning is Applying its 40 Years of Experience to Lay the Groundwork for the Future of Education

Sylvan Learning Chief Franchisee Operations Officer Susan Valverde and Vice President of Education Emily Levitt provide a look into the company’s plans to remain leaders in the education sector.

When thinking back to what the education system offered forty years ago, it’s safe to say that almost every aspect of the educational experience has changed for all players involved, and drastically. From the ever-developing role of technology in the classroom to the rising cost of obtaining a college education here in the U.S., the leading

supplementary and enrichment education franchise has been doing its homework to prepare for what’s next. But in actuality, Sylvan has been practicing personalized learning and a three to one teacher to student ratio for decades, setting its students up for optimal success and proven results.

“Like any organization in the education sector, the future of education is an extremely important topic here at Sylvan,” said Sylvan Learning Chief Franchisee Operations Officer Susan Valverde, who started with the brand as a franchisee nearly 15 years ago before coming on board as the head of operations in 2016. “Sylvan has always been focused on providing affordable, convenient solutions for families and kids of all ages, so that is, and always will be, at the forefront of our minds when considering any new program or initiative put in place to keep up with our students’ needs.”

With the National Center for Educational Statistics foreseeing a jump in college enrollment over the next 10 years, rising from the 19.9 million enrolled in fall of 2018 to 20.5 million students by the fall of 2027, the demand for higher education shows no signs of slowing, and as a result, neither do the associated costs for students and their parents.

“The access to higher education is becoming more and more of a barrier in this country,” said Valverde. “So we’ve done a lot to develop tools that help families increase awareness and resources for accessing that level of education for their child. Specifically, we’ve been very focused on growing the number of students who we serve through our college prep program - ultimately increasing the chance at scholarships to help them achieve that four-year or associate degree.”

Valverde also emphasizes that the learning franchise’s embracing of technology will make achieving that goal of attending a four or two-year university possible.

“Everyone knows that technology is going to continue to play a greater role in education,” said Valverde. “It’s just a matter of keeping up and utilizing it to the best of its ability. As an industry and as a country, we’ve only been able to scratch the surface with what technology can do to help a child’s journey in education, but we know that E-learning tools are really on the verge of becoming the norm in the classroom. It’s giving us the opportunities to really shake up how we structure school and our programs going forward.”

Sylvan Learning’s VP of Education Emily Levitt echoes the importance in being at the forefront of that technological shift.

“Sylvan launched SylvanSync on iPads six years ago when most K-12 learning was still completed with pen and paper,” Levitt said. “Our platform not only adjusts to help kids truly master skills where they need the most work, but is also engaging and fun for them. Our technology coupled with our personalized coaching is what will continue to set us apart from any other supplemental or enrichment program that exists.”

Sylvan also puts its programs through independent research to ensure that they deliver results for families. Students in their Personalized Tutoring programs show significant academic growth in their math and reading scores compared to other students. And, Sylvan is the only tutoring company that measures academic achievement in a systematic manner. 

So as the uncertainty of the future will leave businesses scrambling to figure out how to keep up and stay relevant, Sylvan is already ahead of the curve. Thanks to the amount of rich data that the company has been able to collect over its last four decades in operation, the education franchise is only excited about what’s next and is ready to be a part of the change that’s coming.

“The future is always a bit unclear, but we are going to stick to the goal that we’ve always had: to provide exceptional education and support for our students and continue to focus on personal learning,” said Valverde. “As a supplementary education option, in contrast to the public school system, we have the luxury of teaching one child at a time, so naturally, our students are going to be met at a very individualized level and they have a chance at being further along with that level of support. It’s been like that for 40 years and we’ve evolved it in different ways to learn how to individualize the learning to get closer, more accurate and efficient in meeting that child’s very unique needs.”