Academic Approach


Our mission is defined by a deep commitment to student success. Founded by Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Academic Approach is not just a tutoring service, but a mentorship platform dedicated to building student skills and confidence while bridging essential curriculum gaps.

We aim not just to enhance test scores, but to cultivate well-rounded, resilient learners capable of overcoming any academic challenge. Our mission is grounded in the belief that true learning extends far beyond mere test-taking, propelling students to future success in their educational journeys and their lives.

Program Description:

Since 2001, Academic Approach has pioneered personalized, skills-based test preparation and tutoring. Upholding the principle Tests are Standardized. Students are Not.™, we design custom programs for each student. Our approach goes beyond test scores, nurturing lifelong learning and empowering students to reach their full potential.

We offer personalized one-on-one, small group, and classroom academic and test preparation instruction for middle and high school students. We kick-start our tutoring programs with analysis of a student or school's academic and testing needs. This initial exploration involves a diagnostic test tailored to a student's academic level: ACT, SAT, or a high school admissions practice test. For those seeking academic support, we delve into a comprehensive review of previous tests or quizzes to pinpoint specific learning needs. This thorough examination allows us to understand each student's unique academic profile, setting the stage for a personalized tutoring program crafted to their distinct needs and learning style.

We believe that every student deserves a tailored approach to learning. Whether a student or cohort requires a few lessons or more in-depth instruction, we design a program to identify high-impact gaps in skills and strategies, match students to an instructor who provides a personalized teaching experience, and leverage our exceptional curriculum to help master the most impactful skills. Throughout a program, we consistently guide and motivate students to become more confident, successful learners and test takers. Through ongoing support, we aim to foster growth that extends beyond the classroom, preparing students for a lifetime of learning.

Type of service
Tutoring Program,
Technology Platform
Year Started
Headquarter Location (City, State)
Chicago, IL
States of Operation
Operation Locations
Chicago, Winnetka
Most recent number of students served
Subject Offered
English Language Arts (ELA),
Social Studies,
Other subjects
Computer Science, Foreign Languages, Economics, Study Skills
Grade Levels
6th Grade,
7th Grade,
8th Grade,
9th Grade,
10th Grade,
11th Grade,
12th Grade,
Post secondary
Languages Offered
During School
Out of School
Delivery Mode
Tutor-Student Ratio
1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4
Number of Sessions Per Week
One day per week, Two days per week, Three days per week
Number of Minutes Per Session
30-45 minutes, 46-60 minutes, 61-90 minutes, 91-120 minutes
Number of Weeks Per Program
6 weeks or less, 7-12 weeks,13-20 weeks, 20-38 weeks ,> 38 weeks
Family Engagement
Family Engagement Description

To support scheduling, Sharing academic progress, Goal setting and monitoring progress toward goals

Organization Type
For Profit
Customer Type
District, Nonprofit, Parent, School, Student
Cost to District/ School/ Non-Profit
Type of Tutor
Professional tutors receiving 30+ hours of training
Randomized controlled trial (RCT) study conducted?
Quasi-experimental (QED) study conducted?
Contact Name
Amanda Aisen

The information contained in the Tutoring Database is a compilation of publicly available information and information voluntarily provided by the identified organizations. THIS DATABASE AND ALL ITS CONTENTS ARE PROVIDED AS IS and are for informational purposes only. Neither Stanford University nor Systems Change for Advancing Learning and Equity (SCALE) at Stanford University nor the National Student Support Accelerator make any guarantees, warranties, or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the database or the information it contains, and none assume any responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions that the database may contain. Use of this database is at the sole and exclusive risk of the user, and neither Stanford University, nor Systems Change for Advancing Learning and Equity (SCALE) at Stanford University, nor the National Student Support Accelerator shall have any liability for any claim, act, or omission arising out of or in connection with the use of the database.

The inclusion of an organization's information in the Tutoring Database does not indicate that Stanford University, Systems Change for Advancing Learning and Equity (SCALE) at Stanford University, the National Student Support Accelerator, or any individual associated with these entities endorse or support that organization. The National Student Support Accelerator includes all tutoring programs it is aware of in the Tutoring Database. In contrast, the Accelerator uses the following inclusion criteria for academic intervention materials. To be included, interventions must: 1) have a randomized control trial or quasi-experimental study, 2) that produced an effect size of +0.20 or greater OR 3) have particularly high-quality instructional materials but do not yet have RCT or QES research.