Carol Wood has seen it all when it comes to learning styles. With each student who comes to her tutorial and test preparation business, she aims to create a program to cultivate their unique learning style.
Before any tutorial sessions can begin, Carol assesses the prospective student’s goals, grades, and academic history before prescribing an individualized program.
“It’s similar to going to a doctor in that a diagnosis is necessary before starting a treatment program,” Carol explained.
As a state accredited business located in Lilburn, Ga., Total Learning Concepts offers more than a dozen individualized learning programs. A few popular programs include Subject Tutoring, Remedial Instruction, Skills for School Success (a motivational study skills course), Winning in Math (a math study skills workshop), SAT & ACT Preparation, and College Admissions Process and Scholarship Program “CAPS”.
“Motivational Study Skills Courses are very beneficial for students because in school, they learn the subject matter, but rarely have the option to learn specific study techniques,” Carol stated. If a student can learn how to learn, she reasons, they can achieve their academic goals.
Before founding TLC, Carol worked as a high school math teacher, and then as a corporate trainer. The work she did in each of these positions is something she calls “people building”.
To Carol, “people building” is all about empowering students to reach their individual goals by developing skills that foster self-esteem, motivation, and sound study habits.
“Summer is a great time to attend tutorial sessions since students can both catch up on any foundation weaknesses and get ahead of next school year’s classroom instruction. Summer tutoring can also provide students who will take Advanced Placement classes the opportunity to get a jump start on their course material before the semester begins and learn how to tackle the rigors of AP courses,” Carol said.
Many of her students need help with math, and so Carol, TLC’s Education Director, and instructors prescribe drills— much like athletes who train their muscles every day. Other students want to gain an academic edge and may prefer to attend sessions for enrichment and to get ahead of classroom teachers’ instruction.
Having earned a master’s degree in counseling from Capella University in 2009 and graduated from Georgia Tech in 1979, Carol is no stranger to studying. As such, she emphasizes the impact one’s environment can have on their study habits.
When parents inquire if TLC provides options for tutoring at home, Carol typically replies with the question, “How do you feel when you return home after a long day of work? You likely think of sanctuary. Students are no different. Home is their sanctuary, too. This is the place where they want to go play with the dog, shoot hoops, watch television, relax and unwind.” So, all of TLC’s instruction takes place at the center where students can best remain focused and engaged
Carol has created what she considers the ideal learning environment. When it came time to expand her at-home tutoring business into a commercial location, she drew the building on a napkin while at dinner and subsequently hired an architect and building contractor. She implemented a variety of room sizes and arrangement for individualized instruction and small group sessions. And in each of the tutorial rooms, she wanted limited distractions in the way of posters and visuals, etc., thus creating a clean canvas for learning.
Carol aims to build confidence within each TLC student so they increase their opportunity to reach their goals and potential. This is where her experience as a ‘people builder’ comes into play.
“For many students, it’s so important to have adult mentors in their lives. Often praise from an adult outside their family is more meaningful and impactful since that person doesn’t have as much of a stake in the person’s future,” Carol said.
She later added, “From some of our adult students, I’ve seen that learning insecurities have lasted a lifetime when academic challenges weren’t addressed when young,” Wood said. “At TLC we help students use techniques conducive to their individual learning style so they can start growing in confidence.”
In Carol’s book, there’s no one size fits all formula for learning. Students at Total Learning Concepts come from all sides of the spectrum and range from ages four to senior adults. For each student, she hopes they will come to share her love of learning.
“I always wanted to be a teacher. I believe it’s something I was born to do. I love helping others . . ., especially young people, and I have a heart for their plight of growing up. I guess that’s the counselor in me,” Carol said.
The instructors at TLC are a crucial part of the students’ success, Carol acknowledges. Some have taught at TLC with her for 10 plus years and have helped students overcome many challenges during that time.
“At the center, all staff are professional and degreed instructors and work at TLC, not only because they’re good at what they do, but because they have big hearts and share my passion for helping people achieve,” Carol said.
For those seeking an alternative high school degree program, TLC offers accredited high school courses, and the center also provides options for students to receive a high school diploma.
Enrollment for “Summer Tutoring” and a variety of other programs is now open. Call (770) 381-5958 or visit http://www.totallearningconcepts.com/ to learn more.