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Business Spotlight: The Tutoring Center

Photo of co-owner Raymond Smith and daughter Sydney in front of calendar and The Tutoring Center sign

When students come to The Tutoring Center, “they go on a little bit of a journey with us,” co-owner and tutor Raymond Smith says.

“And we go with them. Each child learns a little different. It’s up to us to figure out how they learn.”


Photo: Raymond Smith and daughter Sydney

September 7, 2016

A free diagnostic test starts the trip for students ages 5-20. Five academic programs – math, 2 levels of reading, kindergarten preparation, and writing – along with four enrichment programs are explored in a specially designed classroom setting. Tutors never have more than 2 students during a non-judgmental, positive hour a week without grades and homework … but with rewards for good performance.

Students at The Tutoring Center can catch up, or get ahead. At the journey’s end, “our students will develop stronger academic skills, better concentration, focus and attention spans,” Smith said. “They’ll have more confidence, and stronger test-taking skills.”

And they’ll have fun along the way.

The Tutoring Center is a franchise. Its founder, Dr. Edward S. Thalheimer, developed “The Rotational Approach to Learning.” In the classroom, students sit at tables with their backs to one another, and they rotate through stations over the course of an hour.

At a math session, for example, students will work directly in their classroom textbooks and worksheets for 30 minutes, reviewing material and looking ahead. Then, they’ll do 15 “math minutes,” trying to answer questions correctly and quickly. That builds test-taking abilities, and confidence in knowing the material. Students spend the final 15 minutes studying from The Tutoring Center’s own skill- and grade-specific math book.

Students are tutored for 1 hour 2 or 3 times a week, depending on need, or if there’s a big test ahead. There is a monthly charge, with no contract. Most students stay for six months to a year. Some prep for improved performance on college entrance exams.

“We’re getting the results we need,” said Smith, who opened the business more than a year ago. “It’s a results-based, referral-based business.” He markets with school visits, seeking interaction with teachers.

“But really the parents,” he said. “We’re working to build relationships with everybody.”

Smith, a U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard veteran, loves and lives in Oro Valley. “Oro Valley’s just perfect,” said Raymond, who owns and operates the business with his wife Erica and their daughter, Sydney. “It’s “a lot of fun to come to work. You’re doing something that helps kids.”

The Tutoring Center, Oro Valley #2
520-297-0400 | 7883 N. Oracle, just south of Magee
Tutoring sessions Monday-Thursday, 2:30-7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, by appointment |

By: Dave Perry, President/CEO Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce