This post initially appeared on George Cigale’s blog, ceotutor.blogspot.com.
I am excited to share that IAC/InterActiveCorp has acquired Tutor.com. IAC owns more than 50 successful Internet businesses, including Newsweek, Ask.com, About.com, Match.com and Dictionary.com. As an IAC company, Tutor.com will have the opportunity to innovate and meet our customers’ needs like never before, while maintaining our devotion to the highest quality learning for the students who have come to rely on us every day. Our team and I are looking forward to this next stage in Tutor.com’s growth and evolution. More on the acquisition in this press release and in a New York Times article today.
Back in 1998, I founded Tutor.com because I thought the Internet would revolutionize the way we learn. While other companies were putting courses and content online and adapting their software products, I thought we should focus on the best way to learn — from another expert human being in a one-to-one setting, at the moment you need help. The Internet could help connect experienced tutors and teachers to all types of learners, in a way that was never possible before. By 2000, my small team had created what would be one of the first interactive, online classrooms. With a few dozen experienced tutors, we were open for business. Twelve years later, millions of students credit Tutor.com for their academic success. We now work with over 2,500 experienced tutors, professional teaching coaches, and credentialed librarians who work from all over North America. Our tutoring, homework help, reference, career and professional development services are offered through colleges and universities, public libraries, public school districts, virtual and charter schools, corporations and the U.S. Department of Defense.
2012 was a great year for Tutor.com. We completed over 1.3 million one-to-one learning sessions. Our tutors served about half a million hours of personalized learning. As my data-driven team noted, there are 8,760 hours in a year, so we served over 57 years of help in 2012. And we received our best ever ratings from students – an average of 4.6 out of 5 for excellent tutoring, and a 96% average recommend rate in post-session surveys.
Among our many success stories in 2012 — students who failed seventh grade algebra took it for the second time with Tutor.com and earned the highest grade in the class; students in the Red Clay School District earned almost a full point higher on their AP exams when using Tutor.com. Older students returning to college passed their challenging writing courses and had the confidence to stay in school; and thousands of middle school and high school students with military parents deployed overseas had one less thing to worry about by connecting to our tutors for help 24/7. These are just a few examples of how having access to an experienced expert when you need help is changing lives for the better.
We have so much more to accomplish in the coming years. I still believe, more than ever, that personalized learning through a one-to-one immediate connection to a tutor, is the best way to overcome a learning challenge. Tutor.com is for everyone, and should be available to everyone, because every learner experiences an obstacle at some point and gets stuck. Help should be easy to get, before it leads to frustration, loss of confidence, and bad grades.
Unfortunately, most of our schools, universities and home lives are not set up to provide help when you need it. Too many students find themselves frustrated, failing and giving up. And the stakes are only getting bigger. As a professional educator and father of three, I know that obtaining a great education and the right skills for the workforce at an affordable price has become more difficult. We can change that — one student, one question, one learning session at a time.
Our team is full of new ideas for the coming years, to drive the personalized learning revolution that we helped start over 10 years ago. As an IAC company, we will have access to more resources that can help us make these dreams into realities — work that will help millions more students achieve their academic and career goals on their terms.
George Cigale, Founder and CEO, Tutor.com