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An Alternate Route For A Career Related To Engineering Education: A Kumon Franchise

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Special Topics in Entrepreneurship

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.150.1 - 10.150.11



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Paper Authors

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Doreen Lawrence

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Barbara Oakley

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Alternate Route For a Career Related to Engineering Education: A Kumon Franchise Doreen Lawrence†, and Barbara Oakley†† † Kumon North America, Inc. Glenpointe Centre East- 5th Floor, 300 Frank W. Burr Blvd, Teaneck, NJ, 07666/ ††School of Engineering and Computer Science, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, 48306

Abstract Kumon North America, Inc. (KNA) is North America’s largest supplemental education provider. In studying the relation between KNA and engineering, it has been found that nearly ten percent of all Kumon mathematics instructors have left successful engineering positions to run their own Kumon franchises. These franchisees work either full or part time with pre-K and K-12 students to ensure their students’ success in mathematics. The engineering background appears to serve as optimal background in guiding Kumon students towards potential careers in mathematics, science, and the technology fields. Simultaneously, by moving from engineering to entrepreneurship, these instructor/engineers find themselves in an excellent, independent job position. This paper discusses the flow of practicing engineer from a regular salaried position to independent entrepreneurship involving the K-12 supplemental education environment. It also provides information about the benefits and disadvantages of the career change, based on interviews with Kumon franchisees.

Introduction While in the last decade Kumon NA has enjoyed substantial growth, the potential for growth in the upcoming decade is enormous. Kumon NA is presently serving just under 200,000 students in 1,500 centers in the United States and Canada. However, to reach the same type market saturation currently seen in Japan, Kumon would have to add over three million students to their North American markets. Clearly there is vast potential in this area for engineering entrepreneurs, with their unusually strong background in mathematics.

Background Kumon utilizes a methodology created in Japan in the early 1950s by a high school mathematics teacher, Toru Kumon (Figure 1). It begins with the philosophy that all children have enormous, unseen, untapped potential to learn and grow. The goal of the Kumon Method is to provide each individual child with the tools, plans and guidance to achieve their true potential. Kumon uses a highly Fig. 1: Mr. Toru Kumon, Founder individualized program that allows students to progress at of Kumon Institute of Education their own pace, working at their individual achievement Company, LTD. “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Lawrence, D., & Oakley, B. (2005, June), An Alternate Route For A Career Related To Engineering Education: A Kumon Franchise Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14576

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