Institute of Reading Development

www.readingprograms.org
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Institute of Reading Development Reviews

Updated April 24, 2015
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3.3
107 Reviews
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Dave Soloway
36 Ratings

Pros
  • If you want to work from home the company does offer positions where you can do that (in 25 reviews)

  • In that way it's a very unique type of teaching experience that allows for more trial-and-error experimentation (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Everything* is scripted, down to the lesson plans (in 6 reviews)

  • There are a lot of materials to carry to and from the teaching sites during the first week of each term (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company to work for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Many chances for professional development, excellent working environment, coworkers and supervisors who care about you and the work

    Cons

    The work matters, and a certain amount of inevitable stress comes along with that. However, this job has helped me build healthy coping mechanisms in a way no other job has.

  2. Helpful (4)

    Bizarro World

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Novato, CA

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    This is as close to a legit work-from-home opportunity as there is. Hours are somewhat flexible.

    Cons

    There are many:

    1) This is the worst-paying sales job you'll ever find. Ignore talk of commissions and bonuses - you will make $15/hour here, on average, while you're here, period.
    1a) Related to #1, the commission structure is kept intentionally obtuse and is a moving target, and in all cases, is not very inspiring.
    2) The middle management of this company - the tier of supervisors and managers - are clearly as poorly trained as the call center agents are. The woman leading the training I had was in way over her head, yet made up for it with bad attitude to try to keep the rank-and-file in line with the company line.
    3) The sales script this company uses is woefully mediocre and in dire need of being re-written from the ground up. That this company makes any money at all is a testament to the one true strength it has: finding a niche within university "continuing education" programs and milking that for all its worth.
    4) Where is the CEO? Like you'd see at any other company, the CEO needs to make an appearance at large company trainings of newcomer employees. This would increase the authority of the trainers (very much needed, they're awful) and enhance the image of the company to the new sales agents. Why this isn't happening is a head-scratcher.
    5) Ask a supervisor or manager at the sales help desk any question and you'll get a stern "that's in your sales manual" response. In other words, you aren't worth the time to provide an actual explanation of whatever question you're asking.
    6) The company sends out emails bordering on desperation, begging people to work additional hours. Yet, the technology backbone of the virtual call center starts to malfunction when you get over 150 sales agents on it - glitches start occurring, and call quality declines markedly. Oh, and let's not forget: the company will still fire you like you're the number you are, even the next week after you volunteer to help them out and fill in for an extra shift.
    7) Have a bad week of metrics and you'll find yourself answering customer service calls and low-probability-of-sales-success-based-on-demographic-information calls, only, for the rest of your season. Then, you'll get to have conversations with your supervisor on why your metrics are lower than other people, with the supervisor refusing to acknowledge the gamed system at play.

    Bottom line: feel free to use this place, but you better make sure you're prepared to leave at any time and at a moment's notice. Don't get attached and do not lift even one extra finger for these people - if you do, you'll regret it.

    Advice to Management

    Change every single solitary thing I mentioned, or sell the company.

  3. Really challenging work but good pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Summer Reading Teacher in Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Summer Reading Teacher in Cleveland, OH

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good pay for what you're essentially doing (reading a script)
    i did a "run" so they gave me $50 a day for food and put me up in a hotel. believe it or not, I saved money on utilities at home by living in a hotel 4 days a week.
    good supervision

    Cons

    carrying the boxes is horribly arduous
    lots of entering data online, which isn't the most easy system to use
    no flexibility

    Advice to Management

    the best business model is one where you care what concerns your employees have. IRD does that, but they don't take personal factors into account

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  5. Helpful (2)

    It's probably about as good an "at home" job you will find

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Remote, OR
    Former Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Remote, OR

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Its a legitimate program been around for many years and they really are in business and offer opportunities to work from home enrolling families into their reading program. Pay 3-6$ commish against minimum wage, each call should take around 12-18 minutes, and close somewhere 1:3 on a 300$ gross, so you can double that min. Have integrated software you login each day where they can feed you calls, track your progress and listen to your pitch.

    Cons

    The sales pitch is heavily scripted, and if your new to "reading fundamentals" as a subject, unless your like a parrot and deliver their pitch just the way they want it, which sounds more like a 5 minute commercial that as a customer I would be hanging up on around the middle. This is not sales, this is an enrollment person and you are reviewed daily to deliver the sales pitch the way they wrote it 40 years ago, and each day you are subject to dismissal otherwise. It should raise a question or two that they need to advertise so much on CL constantly for new help, and the organization appears to be run by a staff with a very narrow demographic, using a script that again, sounds like something from 30 years ago. But it is a work at home opportunity that really does pay, and there are people who legitimately are earning money each summer and return year after year, so if you can do it its a worth it, for what it is.

  6. Helpful (1)

    They even pretend to value feedback

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Novato, CA
    Former Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Novato, CA

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    I will get back to you on that one...

    Cons

    Too many to list. The biggest joke of all is that the company comes on this site and says that they are open to hearing feedback. However they do not respond to the feedback given. So it is all for show. The bottom line is they think they can do no wrong. Anyone who did not do well brought it upon themselves or are disgruntled is how they see it. IRD has not intention of taking a look at how they can change things.

    Advice to Management

    Not everyone can be dismissed as angry or simply unable to cut it. There are valid reasons for the disatisfaction of so many. These reviews are not based on lies.

  7. Helpful (2)

    Good, but not great, job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Instructor in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Instructor in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Institute of Reading Development full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Engaging work
    I learned teaching and public speaking skills that have been very useful
    Reasonably good pay
    Paid training

    Cons

    Felt more like acting/sales than any other teaching job I've had
    Cultish corporate culture
    Tough schedule with a lot of travel
    Some odd choices for books in the curriculum

    Advice to Management

    Feeling like interactions with supervisors are scripted is really disconcerting.

  8. Helpful (3)

    STAY AWAY! Horrible Abusive Training and SKETCHY SHADY STAFF

    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I would give 0 stars if that was an OPTION!

    No pros at this time

    Cons

    Does not send welcome letter until after you go through a grueling 6 days of training to be treated like crap. If you are lucky you make it through if you " PLAY THEIR GAME!"
    Doing illegal stuff like IT tapping into calls while training messing with your computer and system. TOTALLY ILLEGAL!
    Current employees "pretend" to be trainees during 6 days of training so they can start "eliminating trainees they don't want"
    It seems they get some kind of grant money from the government to recruit and train people so they are probably defrauding the government as well.
    Cultish Corporate Enviroment
    Always changing bonus tiers and empty promises of large weekly checks.
    Emails come from "salesdept" not a direct person. No direct numbers only go through a mail system.
    Not a legit company.
    Trust me its better to get a job at Mcdonalds.
    Check out GOOGLE EARTH. Its a building blocked by trees!

    Advice to Management

    My advice is to stop SCAMMING PEOPLE. Your trainers are abusive and fake.

  9. Helpful (4)

    Unimpressed with Performance Structures

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Paid training. Knowledge management system is a suitable design for longterm knowledge retention

    Cons

    Training sessions are 90% lectures with goal to forge a one-sided sales delivery style. Training format does not consider varying learning styles: Kinesthetic, Auditory, and Visual. Insufficient time allotted for absorption on training materials before applying comprehensive testings.

    Advice to Management

    Show more consideration for ensuring the success of new hires

  10. Helpful (3)

    I would give zero stars but thats not an option

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Enrollment Coordinator in Novato, CA

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working from home.
    Assisting Families.
    Working a Flexible Schedule

    Cons

    The first red flag was the fact that there was a month between the time I was hired and my training. Now if you have been hired as an employee,. most companies send you a Welcome Letter, inform you of the pay periods etc. After being hired I did not hear anything until I got an email about training and then I received a robocall reminding me of my training. Be warned, the training period is actutally your first opportunity to get fired. Your training consists of role playing and regurgitating information in the training manual. The trainees should spend more time on actual calls. Once you reach the final days of training you begin taking calls. Anything that happens at that point can be held against you. So if the person you are speaking to does not speak English..tough noogies. Work through it. Pull up your Google Translator. The kicker is this is not a steady job.

    Advice to Management

    Treat ECs witth respect. Why would you have one Sales Manager overseeing 50 Enrollment Coordinators ? Clearly you do not expect all of these people to last. Have meaningful, productive team meetings and 1:1s. Allow your employees to have the chance to grow and that normally takes a while. If you dont have the time to allow for growth then just keep using the same folks every season, why waste the time of a new person who takes a bit longer to "get it". That is really sad that a company that focuses on teaching and supporting learning, tosses aside employees just because they dont "get it " right away.

  11. Helpful (8)

    They are misleading in their job offers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Institute of Reading Development part-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work from home, decent sales training.

    Cons

    They infer that you have a solid job offer, when in effect you are on the chopping board the entire time you are in training. They train you, to start laying you off. In their words unfortunately. Be prepared to work your butt off and not know if you will have a job the next day. They do not value their employees.

    Advice to Management

    Stop embellishing in your job offers for EC's.

    Institute of Reading Development Response

    Apr 6, 2015Director of Sales

    We work hard to ensure that seasonal enrollment coordinators succeed. We are careful to hire people we deem likely to succeed, and provide thorough training and supervision. However, not everyone ... More

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