Who studies at Mercer Education?
Our students represent a wide range of ages, cultural backgrounds, and educational goals. We teach students from the 3rd grade and higher. Many younger children attend our Language Arts group classes to strengthen core reading and writing skills as a long-term strategy to prepare for high school. High school students, including native speakers and new immigrants, who are preparing for the SAT and the college application process form a large percentage of our student population. We frequently work with college and graduate students who need assistance researching and editing their writing projects, while some of our adult ESL students are working to improve their conversational or business English or studying to pass graduate school exams.
Whether students desire to improve foundational skills, prepare for standardized tests, master specialized areas of study, or receive academic counseling and admissions prep, our programs enable them to gain the necessary confidence, learning skills, and performance in pursuit of higher academic or professional achievement.
How often do classes begin?
ME offers private and small group classes year round, seven (7) days a week, from 9am to 9pm. Students can enroll at any time and start classes on a “first come-first serve” basis throughout the year. Tuition is based on 2-month blocks of pre-scheduled classes (January-February, March-April, etc.). Students beginning classes after the start of a 2-month session will be responsible only for those classes scheduled to occur after their enrollment date (i.e., the bill will be prorated from the agreed upon start date).
Private classes generally meet once or twice a week, though we can arrange more frequent classes when necessary. Most group-class students attend a specific class once a week throughout the year, though our 2-month enrollment cycle provides maximum flexibility so that students can determine for how long they wish to attend.
Language Arts group classes, College Admissions Prep Camp and College Application Essay Writing classes are limited to no more than six students, while SAT and ACT group classes (verbal and math classes are separate) and other group classes (Chemistry, Physics, Calculus) are limited to no more than eight students.
The majority of our group classes are scheduled all day on Saturdays and Sundays during the school year, though we often have multiple group classes after school on weekdays, too. During the summer, most group classes are scheduled for after 3pm on weekdays and all day on Saturdays.
If spaces are available, students may enroll in group classes at any time and do not need to wait until the start of the next 2-month session. If we cannot start a class at the time you contact us, we will add you to our wait list, and we will do our best to fit you in as soon as we can.
In what subject areas can Mercer Education provide tutoring?
Our teachers can help with multiple subjects areas such as Science, History, Social Studies, Foreign Languages, Academic Counseling and Admissions Prep, as well as Special Projects, though the subjects available generally vary depending on staffing. (E.g., we have at times offered help in Organic Chemistry, German, French and other subjects, but not all subjects are covered at all times.)
For core subjects such as English, Math – from grade school mathematics to advanced Calculus – and Chemistry and Physics as well as SAT/PSAT and ACT prep, we pretty much always have veteran instructors available to help. Please contact us if you need help in one of these areas, and we will do our best to match you with the right instructor.
How much of a commitment must I make to the school?
A cornerstone of our business philosophy is the idea of cultivating relationships based on trust, one step at a time. While we generally are planning long-term strategies for student success and provide curricula spanning an entire semester or school year, our billing cycles are always short-term and do not require families to shell out exorbitant amounts of money. (Our summer camps require a one-month commitment, while our weekly tutorials and group classes are billed two months at a time.) Essentially, we are “on probation,” for we know that students will not re-enroll if they are not happy with their classes.
Student and parent feedback is encouraged, and rather than acting as a “firewall” between parents and teachers, our administrative staff facilitates communication to help ensure that objectives are clear and students feel supported. In the case of SAT or ACT prep, students will often invest half a year or more, patiently working to achieve their desired scores, and we strive to ensure students are sufficiently satisfied and confident in us to continue their studies. Oftentimes, a family will have multiple children enrolled with us in Language Arts or tutoring classes followed by SAT prep and then college admissions over five or more years, though the billing cycle is no more than two months at a time.
In terms of a financial commitment, the requirements to enroll are modest. For new families starting at Mercer Education, we charge a $40 non-refundable registration fee. Mercer Education charges tuition based on 2-month blocks of pre-scheduled classes (Jan-Feb Session, Mar-Apr Session, etc.), and tuition is due by the first day of the first month of the 2-month session. Students make a commitment of regular attendance for each two-month session for which they are enrolled.
Parents and students receive ME’s School Policies and have ample opportunity to discuss the school’s policies which emphasize a commitment by parents and students to regularly attend the pre-scheduled block of classes established for each two-month session a student remains enrolled at ME. In the case of one-time or very short-term classes, our policies vary. Please contact us if you would like more information about our tuition rates and policies. We understand that busy parents and students must juggle complicated schedules, and we try our best to accommodate our clients with as much flexibility as possible.
What is the difference between "Summer Camps" and "Summer Classes?
Mercer Education offers multiple one-month summer academic “camps,” some of which meet daily, M-F until 2:30 or 3pm and some of which meet twice a week from 3:30-6pm. ME’s summer “classes” are scheduled and held in the same way that weekly group and private classes are during the school year, while our camps are more involved and (for high school students in our SAT and ACT camps) more rigorous. You can find more information on our Summer Camps page.
Does Mercer Education provide teachers who can come to my home or "distance learning" classes?
Classes offered by Mercer Education are held both at the school, which is across from Overlake Hospital close to downtown Bellevue, and online via Zoom video conferencing software. Since Governor Inslee’s “shelter in place” order in March of 2020, we have conducted all of our classes remotely via Zoom. At present, it is not clear when we can resume in-person classes at our Bellevue office, but we will post updates as soon as we reopen our physical location.
We do occasionally offer in-home tutoring when it is convenient for our teachers, though this is very rare. In-person and distance learning rates are the same, though tuition rates vary when we send an instructor to an off-site location, and we require that students commit to classes of at least 2 hours in length in such cases. See details on page 2 of our Fee Schedule.
Does Mercer Education offer academic credits or I-20's?
We can administer for-credit programs for homeschoolers in all subjects, though we do not offer for-credit classes. We do not offer I-20’s to foreign students seeking full-time ESL programs, and non-resident students are responsible for obtaining their own visa documentation.
How can I learn more about the school or enroll for a class?
Mercer Education’s director would be happy to show you the facility and meet to discuss your goals, our programs, and other enrollment details. Likewise, we would be happy to answer questions over the phone or via email. If you would like to schedule an introductory meeting and to see the school, please contact us at your convenience.
Visitors to Mercer Education are encouraged to make an appointment in advance to ensure that the school director or another school representative is available at the time of your visit. Applications for enrollment are available on our Apply page.
If you know exactly what you want or are on deadline and would like to begin classes right away, you are welcome to send in or drop off the enrollment paperwork seven days a week; no “intake” meeting is required, and we will follow up with you right away to discuss scheduling.