Upon celebrating its 40th year in business, Huntington Learning Center's co-founder and chairman, Raymond J. Huntington, Ph.D., shares how the tutor and test prep educational center has stayed current in an ever-changing academic atmosphere.
Celebrating 40 years as a pioneer and industry leader in tutoring and test preparation is an incredible honor. Achieving our ongoing mission of helping children be more successful learners makes it that much more rewarding. How does it feel to be celebrating such a milestone anniversary?
Since establishing Huntington Learning in 1977, Eileen [Huntington] and I have always found our work personally and professionally fulfilling. Eileen brought her education background as a junior high and high school teacher, while I infused my knowledge and extensive experience in business research to create our first learning center in 1977. Our commitment to quality, and treating each child as a unique learner, continue to be our guiding philosophy. And, while we have grown from one center to almost 300 and won numerous awards and accolades, the true gratification is providing tens of thousands of children of all ages and abilities with the skills for improved learning and renewed self-confidence. And the overwhelmingly positive results validate our efforts and assure we are accomplishing our goals.
How has Huntington Learning Center stayed current in an ever-changing academic atmosphere?Huntington Learning Center has remained consistent in its approach to helping students. We develop an individualized program for each student to meet his or her specific needs. Then we closely monitor the student’s progress and adjust his or her program as needed. We stay on top of changes in education; for example, with the addition of Common Core we have curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core standards so children can work on the skills necessary to meet the schools’ expectations. We also have adaptive curriculum that students complete on the computer that engages the students and teaches the skills they need to improve upon.
What ’s the biggest change or shift you ’ve witnessed in education and tutoring in the past 40 years?The biggest shift in education is the increasing use of technology in the classroom. At Huntington, we, too, have incorporated technology into our highly interactive, curriculum-based tutoring programs. The use of technology is an extremely effective tool for our teachers to analyze and monitor the learning needs of our students, while our students’ use of our proprietary, computer-based programs reinforces their skills. Our personalized interaction, combined with technology-based instruction and testing, are a successful means of building our students’ skills, as well as their confidence and motivation. Students, then, take these valuable life and learning skills back to the classroom to be even more successful, confident, motivated learners.
Technology has changed a lot in the past 40 years—how does Huntington incorporate it?Technology, at Huntington, is most effective when used to support our students and the teachers who work with them. Many children come to Huntington with gaps in their skills, which take a toll on their confidence and motivation. Building confidence and motivation requires face-to-face interaction and encouragement. Technology will never replace that personal interaction, but it is extremely beneficial as a tool to identify, and provide data on, the student’s learning needs at every point in time, so we can deliver optimal tutoring. We also incorporate technology-based programs to reinforce the students’ computer and comprehension skills. At one time technology supported the staff managing the centers, but now we see a real benefit to the direct use of technology by the teachers and the students.
Where do you see Huntington Learning Center in the next 40 years?As chairman and co-founder of Huntington Learning Center with my wife, Eileen, I am deeply humbled by our success for the past 40 years and very optimistic about our company’s bright future! We are confident children will continue to benefit from our industry-leading, personalized tutoring and test preparation programs and that parents will choose Huntington because of our consistently highly-ranked programs and superior results. We are proud and committed to our mission of providing every student the best education possible and we believe this will continue to drive our strategic decisions for the future. Huntington has excellent brand recognition and we will continue to build and promote our brand through traditional, as well as digital and social media. Our franchise business will also continue to expand domestically with increased demand, enabling current and new franchisees to own and operate businesses that are both financially and personally rewarding. And, our privately-held, family run business will certainly be in extremely capable hands, as our daughter Anne will lead Huntington with the same commitment to quality and help our next generation of children achieve improved learning and self-confidence.
Turn Math Homework Tears into Cheers
What Math Homework Will My Child Have?
15 Questions to Ask When Looking For a Special Needs Tutor
Main image: (from left to right) Raymond Huntington and daughter Anne Huntington next to Oradell Mayor Dianne C. Didio and Eileen Huntington. Courtesy Huntington Learning Center