Alumnus gives back to SDSU with tutoring business


MathWizJohn tutors Corey Ebersole and Evan Saldivar (right) tutoring two SDSU students in the Love Library. Courtesy photo.

by Angelica Wallingford, Contributor

Inside an overcrowded Love Library students sit, study, cram and stress for their upcoming tests and quizzes. In the case of 27-year-old San Diego State University alumnus John Glick-Scroggins, the hustle and bustle of studying for classes became a growing business venture that took its shape from years of helping his fellow peers with the very same issues.

Glick-Scroggins, a Bay area transplant and 2014 SDSU graduate, started tutoring his classmates at age 16. However, he didn’t actually seriously start thinking of tutoring as an actual business until he began tutoring his friends in college. After working for various tutoring companies and seeing the way both students and tutors interacted, he officially started contracting with tutors and opened MathWizJohn’s Tutoring the year of his graduation.

“I was able to see how beneficial one-on-one learning was not only for a student’s grade, but also for their academic and self confidence,” Glick-Scroggins said. “I quickly noticed certain inefficiencies in their programs that, when fixed, could allow for a better dual-sided approach to both learning environments for students and the stability and standard for the role of a tutor.” 

Glick-Scroggins’ passion for helping others reach their potential is evident. He beams with pride when he talks about how he and his team of tutors work with students of all backgrounds, including students with developmental and special needs, and how everything is specialized to that student’s individual need.

“I’ve always just been intrigued in finding a way to give to everybody else the fulfillment that I found in my studies,” Glick-Scroggins said.

He says his tutors, who total about 100, are put through a rigorous interviewing process before being hired.

“The value of the organization lies in the value of the tutors,” Glick-Scroggins said.

Christopher Williams, who has been a tutor with MathWizJohn’s Tutoring for one year, completed his undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and economics at UC Merced, has a masters of science in economics and finance from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and is currently working on a master of applied statistics through an online program at Pennsylvania State University.

“I have had a lot of good students who are excited to learn, mostly they just need to build up their confidence,” Williams said. “I had two students who went from petrified and failing the previous semester to (getting) As and Bs and (being) confident the next.”

SDSU sophomore Jenn Schwager has been using John’s tutoring service since last year and specifically sought out MathWizJohn’s Tutoring because she said it was “tailor-made” for the student client. She said the price, availability of one-on-one sessions and tutors in specialized subjects were all appealing factors for her.

“Here at San Diego State, our prices range from $40-$50 an hour,” Glick-Scroggins said. “This is where I built my home, my original nest, and at San Diego State I’ve always committed to not raising the prices here.”

One of the other areas that MathWizJohn’s Tutoring covers is test prep. SDSU business administration senior Rebecca Reiner said that while learning in large lecture classes is doable, it’s often difficult to get professors’ attention to ask questions and get clarification.

“John was able to work with us in a small group, which was very beneficial for me,” Reiner said about the test prep services. “I was able to learn the concepts and understand it to my best ability during class, and then when I was at tutoring I would be able to specifically ask for help on certain topics.”

Glick-Scroggins says that he owes this passion for helping students from his own experiences growing up in an environment that nurtured his talent for mathematics and at the end of the day, he hopes that he can instill the same self-confidence in the students he and his tutors help and be a positive educational influence in their lives.