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Multi-Unit Franchisees Look to Bridge the Education Gap with Sylvan Learning’s Innovative STEM Initiative
Sean and Hillary Tilton are on a mission to provide Minneapolis students with programs that open up the door to future career options.

When Hillary and Sean Tilton took over ownership of multiple Sylvan Learning centers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they didn’t realize how passionate the local community was about education. But now that they’re playing an active role in bringing top tier personal tutoring services to students and families in the area, the Tiltons have no plans to slow down.

With many large metropolitan areas currently facing criticism for their lack of funding and passion for education, the Tiltons feel fortunate to be a part of a community that places such a high value on it.

“The community here really recognizes the power that a good education brings to the table. That’s why Sylvan Learning is such a great fit in the Minneapolis area—the brand perfectly aligns with its culture and values,” said Sean. “We’re looking forward to building on that momentum as we continue to capitalize on the growth potential here.”

One of the ways that the Tiltons are looking to grow alongside Sylvan Learning in the Minneapolis market is by offering STEM and robotics classes at their centers over the summer.

“STEM is something that is so important now, especially as students are considering what they want their future career to be. We want our Sylvan centers to be a place where these kids can be excited about their education—every program that we offer, including our STEM initiative, is designed to be both fun and informative,” Sean explained.

By being ahead of the curve when it comes to the STEM education trend, Sylvan Learning is helping to bridge the gap between popular university degrees and degree demands in the workforce. And by exposing children to STEM education at an early age, Sylvan is opening up the door to a potential career in that booming field. According to iCIMS, recruiters are increasingly looking for STEM based degrees over more traditional communication, psychology and education fields. But in order to make the most of that opportunity and climbing demand, Tilton says that students need to be learning in an environment that enables them to discover their true passion.

“Kids love our tutoring programs because they have the opportunity to learn something new in a fun and unique way. It’s incredibly rewarding to watch our students learn a new skill without even realizing it. That’s what makes Sylvan Learning so unique—we take a one of a kind approach to helping our students be successful and confident in school,” said Sean.

Sylvan Learning’s classes are designed to supplement what students are being taught in school. But with large class sizes and state mandated testing, children are often denied the opportunity to explore a subject that they’re passionate about at length. That’s where Sylvan comes into the picture—the brand is able to provide them with a chance to grow while helping them either catch up, keep up or get ahead. And with more than 750 locations currently operating across the country—including the Tiltons’ centers in Minneapolis—it’s clear that the brand has created something special.

“Every program that we offer is designed to enhance what’s being taught in schools. I wish that I had access to this when I was in school—we have the ability to change people’s lives,” said Sean. “Growing up, I saw my brother—who is an engineer—learn everything on his own. But now, Sylvan Learning is the best resource for anyone looking to explore the STEM arena. As we continue to expand with Sylvan in our local community, I’m looking forward to helping more and more students lay a strong foundation for their future careers.”

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