Twenty-four-year-old Michael Lutz remembers the learning curve when he arrived at college.
The William Penn High School graduate struggled during his first semester at University Delaware, but he eventually graduated with a bio-chemistry degree. Now as a tutor and marketing director with Collegiate Excellence, Lutz says he wants to use his experience to help students prepare for college.
"I know what kids need to know to succeed in college," Lutz said. "It's really a sad state of affairs that so many students aren't prepared for college math and science courses."
Math classes have moved away from traditional algebra 1, geometry, algebra II and trigonometry courses into integrated curriculums that dumb down information, he said. Science classes no longer include hands-on dissection or chemical experiments, leaving students with dry lectures on scientific principles.
"They've taken all the fun out of it. It feels like they keep watering classes down," Lutz said about curriculum changes made in public schools.
Childhood friends Jennifer Lovelette of Fenwick Island and Ashley Bickel of Rehoboth Beach opened Collegiate Excellence last spring in the Bay Vista Business Center.
"When I moved to the area, I noticed there weren't a lot of tutoring options," said Lovelette, a former math teacher who has taught at University of Maryland and Warwick Community College.
Though Lovelette and Lutz have strengths in advanced math and science, tutoring is available in all academic areas for kindergarten to 12th-grade students. The cost is $50 an hour tutoring in homes or at the Rehoboth facility. A couple of 20-hour SAT prep courses that include two practice tests will begin Jan. 1 to prepare students before the official SAT is held in March. The course is based on popular Stanley Kaplan and Princeton Review programs, Lutz said. The cost is $689.
GRE prep classes and college tutoring also are available; enrollment for an etiquette class is under way.
Five students are aleady enrolled in the tutoring program, Lovelette said. Collegiate Excellence tutors are certified teachers who have completed criminal background checks. Many are current teachers, she said.
"We're really excited about this," Lovelette said. "Once parents know we're here, we're hoping to grow."
Anyone interested in Collegiate Excellence and programs offered can call 604-0539 or go to www.collegiateexcellence.com.