About Us

The Academic Approach


Matthew Pietrafetta

Founder & CEO

Matthew Pietrafetta founded Academic Approach in 2001 and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer. Since 2001, Matthew has supervised the organization’s instructiona …

Academic Approach is an organization of educators

Founded in 2001 by Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Academic Approach differentiates its instruction through a unique brand of skills-based test preparation™. While teaching college freshmen at Columbia University in New York City and tutoring high school students preparing for the SAT and ACT, Pietrafetta developed a rigorous instructional commitment not only to raising his students’ test scores but also to developing their vital college-readiness skills.

What Makes Academic Approach Different?

Teaching Beyond the Test™

We take a skills-based approach to test preparation, focusing on our teaching as a means to raise test scores, to grow vital college and career readiness skills, and to provide in-depth academic enrichment.

Tests are Standardized. Students are Not.™

We are flexible, committed educators, dedicated to supporting growth for all students at any level of achievement.

We work closely with parents, educators, and school systems to rethink the role of test preparation within education.

We strive to

  • Customize and personalize our instruction to each student to provide the highest growth in student achievement
  • Support and enhance the good work teachers perform every day in the classroom by providing high-quality instruction and resources

Our Culture

Since 2001, Academic Approach has focused on two goals:

  1. Becoming the very best at raising test scores by providing high-impact, customized, academically rigorous test preparation that “teaches beyond the test.”
  2. Reaching and teaching a wide range of students through our One-on-One tutoring and school-based programs by providing high-impact, customized, innovative services, products, and partnerships.

Some might see tension in this work: test prep vs. rigorous academic enrichment; one-on-one instruction vs. school-based programming; customization vs. standardization; personalized instruction vs. designing towards an average student; rapid innovation vs. long-term research & development.

Academic Approach team members, however, have a different mindset: we see that our mission presents opportunities to grow, learn, think critically, problem-solve, and create high-impact solutions.

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