Strong Collaboration Promises a Successful Future for More RI Area Students

This Friday afternoon in the front room of the Academic Advantage Warwick office, a student and tutor are engaged in compelling dialogue. They are reviewing the text of Jane Eyre and identifying key themes of the novel to prepare for an English test this student will take next Tuesday. This week, it is British Literature; tomorrow it may be AP Physics or Algebra II. Regardless of the day, Academic Advantage’s Warwick office is bustling with dynamic tutors and attentive students eager to take their academic performance to the next level.


In another office, founder of this premier tutoring company Rick Deutsch is busy answering phone calls from new clients interested in experiencing this innovative approach to tutoring for themselves. Deutsch, a “double alum” of Rhode Island College, received his bachelor’s degree in 1970 and a master’s degree in Secondary Administration six years later. He has been an active member of the education community in Rhode Island for over 40 years, and has a keen sense of what students need to reach their full academic potential.


Clients of this company range from five to 58 years old and the services that Academic Advantage provides range from academic enrichment programs for elementary school students, to mathematical skills training for adults preparing for a new career. Each client is paired with a tutor qualified to teach in the subject area in which he or she is having trouble. Once a tutor is paired with a student, this instructor reaches out directly to the family in need of services to determine a convenient time, location and frequency to meet. Some pairs meet once a week, while others meet once a day. Some even meet virtually through online tutoring via Skype. These in-person tutoring sessions take place at the most convenient location agreed upon between tutor and client. Some meet at the local library, others at the student’s home, and some meet in the office in Warwick.


“We tutor 150 students a week and have over 40 qualified tutors on staff,” shares Deutsch. “We have helped a large number of students with everything from increasing fifth grade reading comprehension, to preparing for AP exams, to writing college essays. We want our clients to know that no matter how a student is doing in school, he or she can improve.”


The combination of a company culture that strives to promote academic excellence and the relationships that develop between a tutor and student have produced remarkable results. Math and reading enrichment services provided to elementary school students foster an early love of learning. Foreign language students develop a more complete understanding of the material in oral and written interactions. High school seniors have significantly improved their SAT scores from the initial exam, which has led to acceptances at notable universities, such Boston University, Northeastern University and Catholic University.

The college prep services Academic Advantage provides are incredibly hands on: the client and tutor develop a customized plan to accomplish goals in test taking, essay writing, and application completion. While this business continues to be a growing success, Deutsch has just struck a partnership that will extend his services beyond college preparation and adult academic services.

This past January, Academic Advantage joined forces with Workforce Performance Solutions, a skills training company that prepares students for careers in computerized manufacturing and assists with job placement. The trainings offer guidance for job placement and a completed certificate translates to transferrable college credit. This collaboration will allow Academic Advantage to not only work with high school students preparing for college, but also students who are not going directly to college at this time, and may be interested in career training opportunities. “We are excited for the opportunity to help more students,” explains Deutsch, “there are so many different paths to academic success…assisting students reach their full academic potential, that has always been our motto, no matter what that path may be.”

The benefit of this particular skills training program is that it cuts right to the point. As company founder, Barbara Jackson explains, “We give people what they need for this job market. Our goal, from the very first day of the course, is to provide the training, show companies the individuals who are well trained for these positions, and get those who are involved with a program a job…it’s a no frills, no nonsense approach to career success.” With free placement assistance and established relationships with many local manufacturing companies, Workforce Performance Solutions has been extremely successful in maintaining a remarkably high rate of job placement upon graduation from the program. The twenty-six week Intro to Manufacturing and CNC Machining course not only provides a number of certifications necessary for positions in computerized manufacturing, but also offers two MSSC courses that come with three recommended college credits that are accepted at some Rhode Island universities. Overall, the collaboration will help both companies achieve the mutual goal of helping individuals succeed and thrive, no matter their academic goals, skill level or career aspirations. The partnership between Academic Advantage and Workforce Performance solution is a strong partnership helping all students achieve a strong future.


Katherine Bacino

Digital Marketing Manager at Academic Advantage

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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