With more than a decade of experience in business consulting, education, and training, Helen Hanying Liu helms Wall Street Chinese to help professionals develop the language and cultural knowledge they need to thrive in their industry. Trainers with an in-depth knowledge of international business teach skills ranging from the Mandarin language to Chinese calligraphy. Adult students can opt for a six-week general intensive course, or they can sign up for the 10-lesson course in business Chinese that exclusively teaches quotes from Warren Buffett in Mandarin.
Kids also can learn to speak Mandarin in a course with interactive lessons that include fun activities such as brush painting, debate, and Chinese chess. In addition to language pros, the team of instructors includes musicians and artists, which is reflected in the diversity of private and group instruction available. Classes in Chinese medicine and Chinese art help students become well-rounded, and special events include feng shui workshops and children's kung fu.
Each one of the instructors at Bell Curves has passed a rigorous development and training program, but their value goes way beyond quantifiable metrics. Among their ranks are published authors, screenwriters, Broadway performers, and even Jeopardy contestants. Their varied life experiences coupled with impressive test prep know-how helps them prepare students for a wide variety of tests from the SSAT and ISEE to the ACT, SAT, GRE, and LSAT. Along the way, Bell Curves provides even more support to students, offering them indefinite access to the online support team and the online supply closet filled with digital No. 2 pencils.
To get the best picture of what college campuses are like across the country, Unigo did something different than its peers: it took the reins from admissions officers and gave them to current students who candidly review their personal experiences on campus and, in some cases, videotape them. What resulted is a comprehensive college guide that is “vivid in a way no guidebook can match,” according to the New York Times. As a resource the Wall Street Journal hails as "built for the age of YouTube and Facebook," Unigo makes clear its student and professional staff knows how to help teens find the school they’re looking for—its top-10 lists include Hipster Colleges and Fifty Shades of Cray, a compilation of party schools.
To these free guides, Unigo has added a paid membership program that unlocks a wealth of admissions information to ease high schoolers and their families through a process that can be strenuous and overwhelming. Unigo counts current and former admissions officers from the likes of MIT, Duke, UPenn, and UC Berkeley as contributors to video tutorials, interactive lessons, and other online tips. They cover everything from how to nail an in-person interview or essay to the most acceptable way to deliver a letter of recommendation—wrapped around a gold bar.
Staff Size: 25–50 people
Frances Kweller, an attorney, educator, and the entrepreneur behind Kweller Prep, was the first person in her immediate family to attend a top college--New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education--and graduate program--Hofstra University School of Law. Not surprisingly, this inspired her to open her tutoring and test-preparation center after she got her law degree in order to help other hardworking students achieve their own dreams. Now, many of the students who use Kweller's services have followed suit in being the first of their families to attend a top high school or college on scholarship.
Her education center's locations in Forest Hills, midtown Manhattan, and Los Angeles serve more than 1,500 families a year with everything from in-person and Skype tutoring to SAT and SHSAT prep courses, offering both one-on-one and small group services. Kweller Prep is staffed by an impressive cadre of 32 multilingual tutors, who have scored in the 99th percentile on a variety of state and national exams. The tutors also work with many adults, teaching them new technologies and helping them brush up on common job skills when they've been out of the workforce. They even coordinate college visits for students who want to attend schools such as Harvard, NYU, Princeton, and Yale, as well as graduate schools.
To keep IT professionals ahead in a fast-paced and constantly changing digital world, IT University cultivates instructor-led training courses in the latest programs and operating systems. The online school bypasses the pop-culture courses and milk-chugging contests offered by traditional universities to instead focus on material that is relevant to the current job market. Courses cover such subjects as Microsoft Office, Windows, Cisco, Oracle, (ISC)2, EXIN, and ISACA. IT University's training helps computer professionals at the top of their game with modules and certifications across a wide range of industries, including social media, marketing, medical billing, and cyber security.
ITU also offers two other trade programs, a culinary school in which students learn to make popular international foods, and a home-improvement course on basic to moderate repairs such as faucet replacement and wood-floor installation. In addition to home improvement, students can also seek out life improvement through a life-performance coaching series that addresses interpersonal communication, confidence, and leadership capabilities.
The daughter of esteemed linguist and language-learning expert Dr. Paul Pimsleur, Julia Pimsleur Levine grew up in a bilingual French-English home. When she began to teach her young son French, she used her own skills as a filmmaker, teacher, and mom to help conceive Little Pim's.
Using a research-based audiovisual method, each video taps a child's hard-wired ability to learn another language before age six. Engaging their love for learning and play, the beginner-level videos immerse children in a foreign tongue, ensuring they retain a child-friendly vocabulary and hear real native accents along with their parent or guardian. Kids study and play along with books, flashcards, and CDs in languages such as Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, and Hebrew, opening up bright futures and new opportunities whether or not they grow to be jet-setting entrepreneurs and diplomats.
Little Pim's language learning tools have garnered over 25 awards, including the National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval for many products, a Tillywig Toy Awards Brain Child award, and many more.