2018 TPAPT Conference – Details


Here is an updated version of the 2018 Conference Guide.  It is a work in progress but the session titles and presenters are largely complete.  Things may be shuffled to accommodate presenter needs etc.  The agenda is also included below.

I’ve included some details on accommodations as well as a map of the venue location.  Registration options are as follows:

Regular Registration

One Day Registration

Also, we’ve set up an economical housing option at the Boston University Dorms.  Costs are $90/person/night for a bedroom with a common area.  A number of folks stayed there last year (including me) and found the rooms serviceable but spartan.  Having said that, BU will let you extend the stay beyond the conference in case you are looking to see Boston on a budget.   Reserve a Room

Remember, the dorms are not “on site” this year so leave yourself time to commute if you stay there!

Uber is a reliable and effective way to get around the Western Suburbs of Boston. If you drive, there will be free parking at the venue both days.

We’re still seeking panelists for our working lunch.   If this interests you, contact me at  [email protected]



Test Prep, Admissions, and Tutoring Industry Conference

Thursday, July 26

4pm – 5pm:  Arrival, mixer.  Refreshments provided (light fare).

5pm – 5:15:      Opening Remarks

5:30pm – 6:00:  Culture Building, Kevin Organisciak, Founder, TPAPT .

Tutoring company brand equity is directly tied to the quality of its staff, the consistency of client experience, and the student outcomes generated.   In fact, most small tutoring firms rely on a small number of tutors for over 50% of revenue.  For that reason, it is important to “attune” rather than simply align people to organizational goals.  I’ve found that they surest path to positive  culture  is based on transparent and virtuous leadership.  We will discuss self-awareness,  time-management, and using modes of communication to build or sustain good culture.

6:00 – 7:00:  Thinking About the Business Like a Venture Capitalist. Enabling High Velocity Performance Neil Khaund, CEO,  Chyten/Endeavor Education.

Small firm acquisitions have been popular over the past few years.  What is less obvious is what happens to these business after they are acquired.  Neil Khaund will provide an insider’s view on creating “high velocity” business models from high quality educational service firms.

Friday, July 27

8:30am:                       Continental Breakfast

9:00am  Session   1:   Best Practices for Recruiting and Developing Tutors.  Aaron  Golumbfski, Director of Education, PrepMatters.

10:00am  Session   2Building a Social Media Footprint, Nikhil Thankur, Director of Social Media, Endeavor Education. 

Referral based marketing and grass-roots marketing have been integral to the growth of both Independent Tutoring and Admissions Counseling Firms.   In many ways, SEO and Social Media Marketing Campaigns allow small, high quality operations to thrive.  Nikhil will discuss some of the basics and then shift into how one practically develops effective Facebook promotional campaigns.

11:00am  Session 3:     The Pedagogy of Tutoring – Evan Wessler, Vice President of Academics, Method Test Prep.

Effective test prep instruction includes, but extends well beyond, the student-tutor interaction during tutoring sessions.  Setting realistic expectations, managing timelines, fostering parent involvement, and gaining a full understanding of students’ abilities early in the process makes the tutoring experience much more productive and successful. In addition to discussing particularly useful pedagogical approaches to teaching raw test prep strategy and content, we will focus on deemphasized and overlooked aspects of tutoring that vastly increase the efficacy of the teaching/learning aspect of test prep

12:00 Working Lunch:   Business Trends,  Panel Discussion 

2017 was the first full year of the New SAT along with updates to the ACT, and changes to the FAFSA timeline.  2018 has seen the rise of  the Test Optional movement, differential use of AP Tests, and more ups and downs for the no longer “new”  SAT.   It is unclear if these changes affected our member firms similarly or dissimilarly.    We’ll have SAT, ACT, and College Counseling business leaders discuss their observations on timing and client demand in the context of these broad changes.

1:00pm Session 3:       Product Development Workshop, Mike Bergin, Founder, Chariot Learning.

Mike Bergin will share insights into innovation, iteration, and implementation learned painfully over a career developing thousands of pages of curriculum and other educational products. In this prototype presentation, we’ll engage in a group discussion of product types, development cycles, and key concepts, all in the context of the business of education.

2:00pm Session 4:     Online Learning from the Inside, Michael Wear, Founder, GoBoard.com

Web based tutoring has been disrupting independent educational space for almost two decades.   GoBoard is a  recent entry into the space and one that may catch on with existing businesses struggling to find the “right” web tutoring platform    Michael will share a fair amount of data on tutoring session data across 1000’s of tutoring sessions and discuss how boutique tutoring and admissions firms can economically transition to more of a hybrid-service provider (in person + remote delivery) without sacrificing brand equity.

3:00pm Session 5: (Case) View from a Combined Services Firm  Nicole Oringer, President/Founder Ivy Ed.

10 years ago Nicole Oringer and her then partner, Jacqui,  started Ivy Ed. Nicole was an expert in College Planning and Jacqui was an expert in Test Prep.  This combined expertise helped Ivy Ed. grow into a leading provider of Test Prep, Tutoring, and College Admissions Planning in heavily competitive NYC area. Nicole will join us remotely to talk about  Ivy Ed.’s journey from a small and specific provider to larger and more diversified firm.

3:30pm  Session 6:  Marketing Essentials, Kevin Organisciak, Founder TPAPT)

4:00pm  Understanding the Test Optional Movement and the Implications for Test Prep & Admissions Firms,  Scott Clyburn, Founder/Director of North Avenue Education and Jason Breitkopf, Director of Academics Chyten Tutoring.


5:30pm  Closing Remarks –  Additional Networking Time