For 40 years, Sylvan Learning has been focused on building academic confidence, igniting intellectual curiosity and inspiring a love for learning—all of which make a big impact in school and in life. Since its founding in 1979, Sylvan Learning has come to be the fastest-growing supplemental and enrichment education franchise in the U.S. Sylvan also has a presence in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Guam, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and recently opened another six units in Vietnam, strengthening its position as a global leader in personalized learning, STEM and Test Prep.
Continued growth year-over-year is certainly no easy task—but Sylvan didn’t become the industry leader by merely maintaining the status quo.
“We are more global than ever before,” said Georgia Chasen, Vice President of Franchise Development for Sylvan Learning. “Last year, we signed a 200-center development agreement in China. We continue to have candidates reach out from from across the globe. I definitely see Sylvan expanding more substantially worldwide.”
While Sylvan now has a presence within nearly all 50 states in the U.S., there are still developmental opportunities in key markets across the country, including San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta and Miami.
When asked what she credits Sylvan’s success with, Chasen said that the brand’s mission informs every element of the business. “We are focused on bringing academic success to local communities through a comprehensive approach to learning,” said Chasen. “We want to inspire students to have a love of academics and that is what drives all of our actions. When you have a mission that resonates across the entire franchise and corporate community, it is easy to keep coming back on a daily basis, energized to work hard to improve the system, to improve at the local level and to make an even bigger impact within the franchisee community.”
Another big factor in Sylvan’s success has been the people who are heavily invested in the brand.
“Sylvan franchisees are really good people,” said Chasen. “They care about their staff at the local center; they care about the students deeply. That is inspiring to the corporate team.”
There are many great reasons to join Sylvan, but for those looking to become part of the brand, Chasen emphasized that the passion of Sylvan’s franchisees combined with a proven system, and top-notch franchisee support and training is something that truly sets the company apart.
“That’s why we have a world-class franchise system,” said Chasen.” At Sylvan, franchisees love being part of the system because they can feel good about what they're doing each day to positively impact students. You get to work with a student either one-on-one, or in a small group, and see the progress students are making.”
Kari Weigel, Executive Director of Sylvan of Bismarck, North Dakota knows that there will continue to be a demand for Sylvan’s unparalleled services.
“The need for what we do and the way we do it is one of the many things that allows us to see continued growth and success,” said Weigel. “Our reputation, our use of premier products, state-of-the-art technology and the ability to personalize a curriculum for our students sets us apart from anyone else. As long as there are kids in need of assistance with their education, we will continue to help them however we can.”
Sylvan has also continued to change with the times, including the evolution of technology in the supplemental education industry.
“One of the innovations we brought to the table is SylvanSync, our digital platform,” said Chasen. “This is an adaptive teaching platform, which a Sylvan instructor leverages to develop and deliver personalized lesson plans, and which then adjusts to a student’s needs in real-time. Our program is designed to be competitive and relevant to what students are seeing and using in the classroom. SylvanSync really allows us to be adaptable in the moment of the tutoring session.”
Sylvan recently rolled out a new service offering as well. “Part of the innovative strategy that the executive team brings to the table is a pilot program of in-home tutoring,” said Chasen. “The program is currently in five markets. The in-home marketplace model will allow Sylvan as a brand to grow and expand into territories that don’t currently have a center. Because Sylvan has the most recognizable brand in the industry, we know that parents will see the value of bringing SylvanSync to their kitchen table, with direct interaction with a Sylvan tutor.”
Sylvan’s model also allows for more of a connection with local residents.
“Sylvan is a product desired by parents,” said multi-unit franchisee of Sylvan Learning Inland Empire Carli Ganet. “The brand has a strong trusted reputation among families, educators and the community in general. Sylvan has always and continues to align itself with the educational goals and practices of the education system which is why local residents continue to have trust in our company and a strong connection to the tutors in their community.”
As education is very personal in terms of each individual student’s development, it is important for staff members to focus on the support they provide students as well as the relationships they build with parents.
“Sylvan maintains a high standard of quality when staffing its centers,” said Ganet. “We use certified teachers and directors, train our staff in implementation of programs, background check all staff and more.”
Ganet explained that a major component of all programs is to meet with student classroom teachers so that the Sylvan personalized and individualized program will also meet the needs of the classroom teacher. Sylvan families are met with on a regularly scheduled basis to review student progress and Sylvan students are assessed regularly to ensure growth.
With a continued focus on building relationships with both students and parents and staying ahead of the curve on technology and innovation for the classroom—Sylvan Learning continues to expand while keeping student growth and progress at the forefront of everything they do.
Startup costs for a Sylvan Learning Center range from $68,680 to $159,085, including a franchise fee of $24,000. For more information about franchising with Sylvan Learning, please click here.