Tutoring is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and students have many things to consider when deciding where to turn for help.
Enter MindSpree: a website that takes out the guesswork and gives students options up front.
Keith Rezendes, CEO and founder of MindSpree, took inspiration from the Uber and Airbnb business models to create what he calls a “marketplace” for students and tutors.
Students have taken to MindSpree for everything from help with English and math to yoga, violin and basketball.
One student asked for help in studying the British Museum to get the most out of an upcoming trip to London. She got two willing tutors within hours.
Tutors decide how much they charge as well as how, where and what they tutor. Students can sort through profiles depending on preferences like price range, subject and online versus in-person meetings.
The name-your-price option is rare in the big business of tutoring, where students often pay steep fees and tutors see only fractions of the revenue. With MindSpree, Rezendes says there’s a connection between the tutor, student and the results they see, which is why they keep coming back.
The relationship between tutor and student has always been important to Rezendes, who has been an educator for more than 30 years. He’s a veteran tutor who has attended and worked at universities across the country from Minnesota and Hawaii to ASU.
It was actually a Hawaiian vacation that inspired Rezendes to create MindSpree. He had been working as a tutor, but found himself in a need of his own when it came to surfing. He wanted to take lessons from a local expert.
“After all, the best way is if you want to learn French, get a Parisian,” says Rezendes.
Now, the site features more than 4,000 registered tutors. Each tutor is background checked to ensure quality and skill set.
“Our value is in our tutors. We’re like a virtual mall,” said Rezendes, “And each tutor has their own store window.”
Ana Spraetz, a freshman at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, used MindSpree during her senior year of high school to prep for her ACT and SAT tests.
“I was doing a lot of tutoring through school and a teacher recommended I try MindSpree,” says Spraetz. “It was a lot more specialized.”
Kharissa Carras, a junior at DePauw University in Indiana, worked with Rezendes for test prep while attending high school in Arizona.
She turned to MindSpree for chemistry help, meeting with her tutor via Skype sessions anywhere from one to three times a week.
“Unlike being tutored by fellow classmates, which is a system that most universities offer, most of the tutors available on MindSpree are either professors or are professionals in their field,” says Caras.
That is one of the key parts of MindSpree for Rezendes, who lives in Arizona and tutors locally and across the country online.
He has seen partnerships with students begin in high school, continue through college and last into the professional world. He says students have also come to him for help with job presentations or graduate school courses.
Right now, MindSpree is offering students the first hour for free, though Rezendes finds most students return for more sessions.
“A lot of [university]tutoring centers are all about their schedules. Those tutors tend not to be high quality and most people aren’t happy about their services,” said Rezendes, “With MindSpree, the quality is a lot better. You pay for what you get.”