Smart New Option In Franchising, Appleton Learning Wants America to Rethink Learning

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With Early Success in its Corporate Branch, Emerging Company Enters Franchising with First Location in Houston

Appleton Learning, an organization that provides individualized tutoring, test preparation and academic testing and assessments for students of all ages, believes it’s time to take on the status quo of learning in America with an ambitious goal of disrupting the tired teaching paradigm. Launching in 2004 with two divisions – School Services and Corporate Branches – the company enters the franchising market with an aggressive goal of expansion initially in the Southeast.

Sold on the concept and the vision of Appleton’s 25-year-old founder, Houston businessmen David Herr and Chris Spears opened the first Texas location earlier this year at 1395 S. Voss Drive in Houston. Believing without question the market opportunity and the differentiated approach of Appleton, Herr and Spears purchased six franchises in late 2010. With the first of those now open, they are looking to open the remaining five throughout the next few years.

The Appleton Advantage
In the United States, the significance of the private tutoring market is growing substantially. According to a recent report by, the global private tutoring market is projected to surpass $100 billion by the year 2017. Based on Appleton Learning’s individualized philosophy towards tutoring and test preparation, the company designed the proprietary geniuStyle™ Assessment. Unique to Appleton, it measures the mix of personality and learning traits that matter most in education, that is, how students connect with instructors and which teaching methods are easiest for certain students to understand, thus making learning more fun and engaging. Based on this leading-edge research that keys in on how a child learns best, Appleton is leading the industry in individualized education by identifying students’ unique learning personalities and thoughtfully matching them with a tutor who teaches in the same way.

“I began Appleton Learning because I realized that the existing tutoring industry wasn’t meeting student’s needs and most were looking for a more individualized way to help excel in school,” explains Glenn Clayton, CEO and founder of Appleton Learning. “Appleton Learning provides exceptional value for students and their families. Our model is based upon delivering individualized, one-on-one tutoring to help our clients reach their specific educational goals.”

Appleton is different from other educational service providers. While some focus on a passing grade or a specific test, Appleton designs programs for on-going academic improvement of students for all performance levels. The Appleton Advantage is the company’s process for understanding how a student learns and then translating that learning style, in any curriculum content, into terms that are easiest for that student to process. Appleton understands at a cognitive level how to teach each individual student to maximize their potential.

Expanding the Idea of Learning
With the addition of this Houston location, Appleton is moving forward with a three-pronged strategy – School Services, Corporate Branches and Franchised Locations – to serve communities throughout the Southeast. The company plans to open 30 branches across the Southeast by 2014. In addition to these branches, which serve private pay clients, Appleton continues to partner with schools throughout the region to help them rethink learning.

Clayton adds, “Our goal is to help schools and teachers understand that is not just “what” you teach, but “how” you teach it. We are enabling those innovative and pioneering schools to understand at a deep, scientifically-based level how each individual student learns. But it’s not just understanding how a student learns, it’s understanding what to do with that knowledge and how to help that student excel at a faster, more effective, and more engaging pace. We want to make learning fun and effective again by tearing down the barriers that students face in the traditional learning environment and tailoring their learning experience to their own unique preferences.”

About Appleton Learning
Appleton Learning is "Building a Smarter Tomorrow" by providing individualized tutoring, test preparation and academic testing and assessments for students of all ages, based upon each student's geniuStyle™ learning personality. In addition, through its School Services Division, Appleton Learning serves thousands of students across multiple states by helping the unique needs of schools and school districts. Recognized with numerous awards including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 2010 "Top 75 Small Businesses in America"; U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 2010 "Blue Ribbon Small Business Award;" and Dell's 2009 "Small Business Excellence Award- Top 10 National Finalist", Appleton has locations in Huntsville, Ala. and Houston, Texas, and is expanding aggressively across the Southeast. To learn more about Appleton Learning, visit


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Kelly Ronna
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