About Us

We are dedicated tutoring professionals who understand the various ways in which today's students learn, as well as the challenges that today's students face and the educational structures that they must navigate. We are committed to working with students to foster confidence and success, not just on the test, but beyond it as well.

Our tutors are chosen for their mastery of all aspects of standard core curriculum (language arts, humanities, math and science), as well as their commitment to students and their desire to excel as professional educators and mentors. Our tutors are not just "looking to make a little extra income"; tutoring and teaching is what we do, period.

Our Brand

Other Companies

Other tutoring companies run on a management-employee model: management hires marketing specialists to book clients and charges these clients an hourly rate, then hires specialists to design curriculum and hires tutors to teach it. We believe this model is both inefficient and ineffective: marketing and management incurs costs (which are passed along to clients); those who teach the curriculum have no say in the design process, while those who design the curriculum cannot see what works for students and what doesn't. And, since everybody in the chain is taking his or her cut, what the client gets is an overpriced, watered-down product, taught by tutors who are not fully invested in their clients' success.

Our Model

Wise Owl Prep is a tutoring collective, composed of life-long students and teachers who enjoy and excel at learning and teaching others how to learn. We run on a partnership-associate model (akin to most major law firms), meaning that our partners are professionals in every sense of the word-- we make our living as tutors, and eat (or starve) on the basis of how well we serve our clients. This means that we are more personalized, more dedicated, more flexible and more committed than others in the industry.

Our Tutors

MARK WALTERS, MA, MLIS-- FOUNDER AND TUTOR

Mark has been working with students-- as a college instructor, librarian and tutor-- since 2005. In that time, he has helped dozens of students prepare for standardized tests. Mark's students generally see score improvements of at least 100-250 points on the SAT (2-4 points on the ACT) after just a few sessions. Mark's students often retain him for academic tutoring after successfully taking their exams.

Mark holds a BA in Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington (2001), an MA in Literary & Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University (2003), a Master's in Library & Information Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh (2005), and is ABD in Communication & Science Studies at UC San Diego (2014).

 

Nick Walker Hirsch, MA—Partner and Tutor

Nick has garnered years of experience working with students from the beginning of their education through college. Nick has four years' experience working for literacy programs in public libraries in the DC area, and remains passionately committed to literacy, access and social justice. Nick worked as a writing instructor for the Revelle Humanities program at UCSD for several years, and now works with students for SAT, ACT and PSAT preparation, as well as college consulting and general academic preparation. 

Nick holds an Associate’s Degree in the Arts from Tidewater Community College (2006), a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Maryland, College Park (2012), and an MA in History of Science from UCSD (2016).  Nick has published several short stories, and even written a play which was performed on stage in Buffalo, NY (his home town) in 2007.  

 

Dr. Alice Walters, PhD-- Partner and Tutor

Alice is a lifelong, high-level education professional. She has served as faculty at the University of Massachusetts and has a passion for working with students. Her students have gone on to earn graduate and professional degrees at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world.

Alice holds a BS in Physics and History from the University of Washington, and a PhD in History from UC Berkeley. She has worked as both faculty and administration at a number of universities, and has twenty years' experience in designing and teaching undergraduate core curriculum in the humanities. She believes that all students can learn science and math, and is especially pleased to work with young women.  Alice has also worked extensively with adult students.

You can view her LinkedIn profile here.

 

Dr. Kyle Rentschler, PHD-- Associate and Tutor

Dr. Kyle Rentschler is a lifelong teacher and tutoring professional with a background in multimedia design. Kyle has worked as an independent SAT/ACT tutor for over a decade, and has led volunteer outreach programs in various public libraries throughout the country. Kyle is also passionate about environmental justice issues, and routinely volunteers his time and expertise to advance California's effort to rehabilitate its green spaces and bring back threatened or endangered wildlife.

Kyle holds a BA in Film Studies and Rhetoric from UC Berkeley (Summa cum Laude, 2008), as well as a PhD in Media, Culture & Communication from New York University (2015). He has taught undergraduate courses in Media History, Media Ethics and Video Game History; he also routinely leads SAT/ACT study groups and review classes throughout San Diego County.