Millburn’s ‘Academic Journeys’ Is the New Tutoring Game in Town

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Maureen McGovern of Academic Journeys

Maureen McGovern of Academic Journeys

If you’ve been driving down Millburn Avenue lately, you may have noticed a change at #227.

Chyten Tutoring is now longer there. Instead, the tenant is Academic Journeys, which provides tutoring, test prep, enrichment and counseling for third grade up through college — and beyond.

The one constant is Maureen McGovern and her staff of highly competent education professionals. Academic Journeys now has a staff of about 18, mostly tutors and some administrative. McGovern said that most of her tutors are teachers and/or have masters degrees in their subject matter. “Some are retired and some are in the ‘mom zone.'”

McGovern formerly owned the Chyten franchise, but recently decided to go out on her own.

“I seized the opportunity to become independent and on September 1, we became Academic Journeys, or AcJ, for short.”

How is Academic Journeys different?

“We really work not to just have a student come in week in week out, but we are looking for knowledge gaps to make these kids more efficient learners. We work with MindPrint Learning in Princeton for evaluations.” McGovern said that the evaluations can give her “a glimpse of whether a student is strong in audio visual processing, perhaps, but weak in flexible thinking. It shows us who they are and how they process.”

Another aspect of Academic Journeys is its scheduling software that parents can use any time of day to schedule their children’s sessions. “Kids are going in five different directions,” said McGovern. “We have parents doing scheduling at 2 a.m. This way, they don’t have to wait for me.”

A lot of McGovern’s approach has to do with the fact that she worked in human resources for a couple of decades. “I’ve always had a small practice in career counseling and executive coaching.”

That comes in handy with college. “A large large part of our work is with the college admissions process — whether working on if the transcript is strong, to find out what the right test is, working on college essays to communicate their stories well.”

The services even go beyond college: McGovern is also launching Career Journeys. “A college degree is no longer guaranteeing employment,” said McGovern. “We spend so much time telling them not to brag and helping them grow up into mature adults, but when the job search process begins, you have to start bragging.”

Something Academic Journeys helps career-bound students with is their “elevator speech,” said McGovern. “We help them perfect their 90 seconds. We tell them to make eye contact. Don’t take notes on your iPhone. It’s not interactive.”

For elementary students, Academic Journeys provides tutoring in math and English Language Arts. “We also do a lot work with folks applying to private schools. A lot of 5th graders are getting ready to apply to private schools for 6th. There are transitions points where it’s clear that a student is not advancing. We are looking to build more enrichment programs for that age group.”

And Academic Journeys offers summer camps as well. It’s a well-rounded approach.

Academic Journeys, 227 Millburn Avenue, Millburn, NJ, 973.564.5220, Visit Academic Journeys on Facebook at Visit the Facebook here.

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