By Jill Nagy
Huntington Learning Center in Clifton Park offers individualized tutoring for young people trying to catch up, attempting to get a leg up on their peers, or looking for help preparing for college entrance exams or other standardized tests.
The center, a franchise of a national company, has been owned since 2014 by Randal and Katherine Hagen. Hagen is the executive director. Her husband, Randal, is part owner but not active in the business. The facility opened under other ownership in 2008.
The tutoring facility serves children in grades K-12, and a few adults working toward high school equivalency certificates. There are three tracks: academic skills, exam preparation and subject matter tutoring.
The first track concentrates on reading, math, writing and study skills for grades K-12. The students are trying to get caught up or, in some cases, get ahead and move into an accelerated track in school, she said.
Exam preparation provides one-on-one instruction for students preparing for college entrance examinations, military placement tests, the high school equivalency (TASC) exam, and Common Core exams. It is a Common Core-aligned center, she said, with a curriculum that tracks Common Core standards. Time is also devoted to test-taking strategies and techniques to minimize test anxiety and stress.
Most of the students are in either the learning center working on academic skills or in the exam preparation program. A smaller number come for straight subject matter tutoring, often in preparation for Regents examinations.
There are about 70 students using the center. There are two full-time teachers in addition to Hagen and about 28 part-time teachers. The teachers are state-certified and several have special education credentials. Hagen’s background is in business but, she said, “I have always tutored … I love what I do and have an amazing staff that loves what we do.”
Each student begins with an academic evaluation and then, Hagen said, a program is built for each student. If parents agree to it, Hagen or one of her teachers will visit the student’s school and, if appropriate, sit in on Individual Education Program meetings. There are monthly meetings with parents.
There is no charge for an initial consultation.
In addition to Hagen, the center has a full-time director of education, responsible for the learning center, and a full-time director of exam preparation. Students come from the Shenendehowa, Saratoga, Rexford, Niskayuna, Burnt Hills, Ballston Spa and North Colonie school districts.
The center is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Summer hours will begin at the end of June.
Fees begin at $49 or $59 an hour, depending on the program. There are no scholarships but the center can work out a payment plan.
The website for the center is clifton-park.huntingtonhelp.com. The phone number is 280-2671.