Sylvan Learning Centers

  www.sylvanlearning.com
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Sylvan Learning Centers Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
180 Reviews

3.2
180 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Sylvan Learning Centers CEO Jeffrey H. Cohen
Jeffrey H. Cohen
67 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • working with students and families (in 8 reviews)

  • The director of education and the administrators were extremely accommodating and helpful (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Full time meant that we ran on a school schedule for the school we worked for so we only averaged about 33 hours/week (in 10 reviews)

  • If you are working as a part time teacher at Sylvan, your hours are in the hands of the parents (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Directors longevity is a risk...lots of work and responsibility with no payroll

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

    I worked at Sylvan Learning Centers full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    So rewarding to see children grow in confidence...just seeing their faces light up when their report cards reflect their improvement...nothing like it!

    Cons

    Expensive...Selling tuition at $55/ hr. Franchisees can't always be successful long term...advertising local vs national cost outlays...who benefits? No transportation to and from sessions after school. Most often no daytime programs offered to support children who are homeschooled. No food or beverages even if child attends longer than 2 hours. Many families can't qualify for financing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look into why the southeast is always the lowest performing region of the country. Satellites alone cannot expand reach enough to make up for losing the schools contracts under no child left behind funding. Those funds carried many centers. Securing contracts is key, not charging parents more on top of what they already pay in taxes, private schools, and more.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Very fulfilling, long hours

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

    I have been working at Sylvan Learning Centers full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great learning opportunities and training programs. Ability to move up from with-in. Very fulfilling as students experience great success with programs.

    Cons

    Currently no 401-K option and long hours make burn out a strong possibility. There is not much time for training time when in upper management. Most needs to be done at home, after a 50 hour work week.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    asked to do developmentally inappropriate things with children

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tutor  in  Long Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Tutor in Long Beach, CA

    I worked at Sylvan Learning Centers part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    pretty decent pay per hour
    other teachers at center were friendly

    Cons

    not many hours, sometimes only would schedule you for 1 hour
    many children would be scheduled for 3 hour long sessions; it was developmentally inappropriate since 4 or 5 year old children should not have a 3 hour tutoring session
    center more concerned with profits than teaching children

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    managers do not give teachers enough support when children at their table are not behaving-leave teachers to deal with behavior problems

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great working with kids, however I would hate to own the place.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Center Director
    Former Employee - Center Director

    I worked at Sylvan Learning Centers full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    It is a great opportunity to work with children and help them succeed. The clients are really happy, although it is very expensive.

    Cons

    Not great pay, and inconsistent for teachers. For management it's a lot of work and not the best pay. Really motivated owners seem to do well but it is time intensive and a lot of luck is required.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure if the company is going to stay together at its current trajectory. Seems that many franchisees are very dissatisfied with the way things are going.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good for temporary part-time work for college students

    Current Employee - Instructor
    Current Employee - Instructor

    I have been working at Sylvan Learning Centers part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Very short hours where I worked, easy to focus on other priorities such as school

    Cons

    No real room for advancement

  7.  

    Bad Experience with owners

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Center Director  in  Northwest, OH
    Former Employee - Center Director in Northwest, OH

    I worked at Sylvan Learning Centers full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The job itself would have been great. I feel it would have given an intrinsic feeling of helping children reach educational goals.

    Cons

    Sylvan Learning Center is a Franchise and because of this, it's important to know who you're working for. My experience was horrible. I was not properly trained and then let go before given a chance because I was not moving forward.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I took a position that was offered to me by a husband and wife team who own five Sylvan Learning Centers in NW Ohio. During both interviews I was told that I would be the Center Director for two locations (which is obviously not typical) and there would be one Director of Education as well for the two centers. Both people chosen for either position would have to learn the other's job in order to be able to run the centers. I did have second thoughts about accepting this position because one center was an hour drive and the owners had set up the hours to be 10-6. Being a mother, it was going to make it difficult. However, I was told that once the center began to do better financially, that all of this would change. I went ahead and took the position and in both interviews expressed that I am a person who needs to ask questions when being trained. That although the questions may seem obvious with the answers, I was a person to make sure. This was answered to me as a good thing and that no question would be a dumb one.
    Jumping ahead now, the first week I shadowed another Center Director for three days. The owners were in Las Vegas that week that was work related. The next two weeks were two of the worst weeks that I've ever experienced starting a new company. There was barely any training. Both wife and husband were extremely impersonal, questions asked were judged immediately, both talked badly about customers, students, past employees and present employees. The husband made it clear to me that I was to sit one of the teachers in the back and the more "attractive" one in the front so that parents could see that particular person. They were both too busy to train me, put huge expectations on me without any type of structure with training. I felt so out of place and dreaded going into the work place every day. However, I tried to maintain a positive attitude. The job itself would have been great, working for different owners under different circumstances. Unfortunately, this was a horrible experience that affected my overall opinion of Sylvan. The teachers were great, the parents and the children were great, but parents are fooled if they think that their children are in good hands with people who truly care about their education. It's all about money and strictly money and short cuts are made because of money. I have never met two more judgmental, impersonal, demotivating, and clearly not knowledgeable in the training process, then these two people. I was let go after basically two weeks, because I expressed concern early on about the drive and not being home till late (in interview and asked wife a question about DE and CD being able to work mostly from office closest to us), that I wasn't "in charge" enough and that I wasn't a "good" fit. After two weeks of working with the owners, they let me go without proper training and without any warning. Extremely unprofessional.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not worth the headache

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager
    Former Employee - Program Manager

    I worked at Sylvan Learning Centers full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Somewhat flexible schedules, ability to move up quickly within the company, coworkers who really care about the kids

    Cons

    Disorganized management; treating education as a business instead of a way to really help kids; dishonest owners; horrible pay for what they charge families - even for licensed teachers; last-minute schedule changes and scrambling to "fill in the blanks"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The training for teachers should be QUALITY and should be something you are really concerned with. Don't hand this off to your program managers, who get burned out after three training sessions a week.

    When you offer a certain hourly rate to an employee, DON'T try to get around it by asking your program manager to "try to get him to accept less." Just don't play games, in general, and deal with things as they arise. Don't put things off until they are at a boiling point and then blame everyone else for your poor foresight.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Inconsistent and no follow through

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

    I worked at Sylvan Learning Centers full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Families and students were great, Has the potential to be a fun place to work.

    Cons

    Franchise was unorganized and had no follow through. Bottom line was the most important thing. No life/work balance. No regards to commitments made.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Teaching and co-workers are positives; everything else is negative.

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

    I have been working at Sylvan Learning Centers part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Started out as a nice way to earn additional income doing something I love. The students are fun, and I like the individual programs. Very flexible with time requested off.

    Cons

    Pay is ridiculously low. Instructors are sometimes required to teach three different programs in a given hour. No steady hours. Sometimes I drive all the way to the center only to be told I am not needed. Other times tables are "condensed" after the hour has started and instructors are sent home early. I have worked many unpaid hours because of poor management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Centers need more hours for updating and administration. Management seems to more concerned about optimizing profit than delivering quality instruction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Tutor

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

    I have been working at Sylvan Learning Centers part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The other tutors and students are great. There are no parent conferences or paperwork to complete. You just tutor then leave.

    Cons

    The pay sucks. I made more without a college degree. This job is just for pocket change and the love of teaching.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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