A large market for tutoring

Considering the recent allegation toward several tutoring centers, The Bull's Eye examined the rising prevalence of these after-school programs in Diamond Bar culture.

As the stress of excelling at the SAT, ACT and AP exams continues to overwhelm students, many have turned to tutoring and learning centers outside of school.

Within a five-mile radius of Diamond Bar High School, there are more than 10 tutoring or learning centers, each with its own specialties in SAT and ACT preparation, homework help, college counseling and other academic areas. Parents often pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for a package of classes at tutoring centers, though individual classes may cost a few hundred dollars.

Keystone Education was established in 1993 and was originally called ACI Diamond Bar. The tutoring center helps students from third grade to 12th grade, as demonstrated by its math and English programs, test preparation classes and counseling services. Many high school students take the PSAT and the SAT preparation classes at Keystone. Over the summer, the center will have about 40 DBHS students.

When she was in seventh grade, senior Pearl Choi took an Algebra 1 class at ACI to supplement the math class she was taking at school. In addition to getting math help, she also took PSAT classes for two years to prepare for the PSAT and the SAT.

“I think tutoring centers are pretty common among DBHS students,” Choi said. “I wouldn’t say popular, but you’ll definitely meet at least one person who’s been to say Lee’s Review for example.”

Established in 1997, Lee’s Review focuses on SAT I, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, AP exam preparation and college consulting, with SAT I and college consulting being the most popular classes. In the past four years, around 300-350 DBHS students attend per year, out of the estimated 400 students enrolled at the tutoring center.

Sophomore Aileen Park, who started taking trigonometry classes at Lee’s Review last October and SAT classes in February, believes that tutoring centers are extremely popular among DBHS students.

“A lot of students want to do especially good at school and excel in their grades and/or the SAT, so they go to after-schools and tutoring centers to help them with that,” Park said.

A different kind of learning center is Total Learning Education, an after-school tutoring service that provides K-12 students with a place to do their homework, gives students additional practice material and offers one-on-one tutoring services. Many students receive math help and assistance at TLE. Out of its estimated 120 students, around 40 are DBHS students. The center was established 15 years ago, but it was bought by its current and third owner in 2008.

At SAT Professionals, SAT I and AP sciences are the most popular classes. In addition to the test preparation classes found at other tutoring centers, SAT Professionals also provides one-on-one sessions on various subjects, college planning and a GPA after-school program that helps students with their homework and focuses on specific subjects like math, science and English. Around 100-120 students from DBHS are enrolled at SAT Professionals.