Our Story

Emily Brookhyser opened The Prep Center after working as a public school teacher and private tutor for many years. She had tutored & mentored kids through the PEOPLE program, AVID/TOPS, Neighborhood House, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, among other programs. Leaving her comfort zone as an educator, she opened her own small business because she saw a need for tutoring delivered to meet each student’s learning style.

The Prep Center is 100% locally owned. We have one location on Monroe Street in Madison, and also offer virtual tutoring.

We offer a wide range of services. We have the best tutors in Madison! Emily fully supports all of her tutors, and hires very strategically. The Prep Center team is a close knit group that works hard to give each student academic support, build confidence, and strengthen skills.

The Prep Center is a member of Dane Buy Local and Monroe Street Merchants Association. Tutors from The Prep Center also work with The Urban League Schools of Hope program and UW-Madison’s Odyssey Junior program, donating our services.


Everyone at The Prep Center uses methods of child-centered education and mentorship to help each student achieve not only academic and test score goals, but overall confidence. We believe in each of our students and are here to support them.

What is Child-centered Education?

At The Prep Center we put the student first and focus on each child as a unique person. We do not use packaged materials or lessons; we write our own curriculum tailored to each student. Through this approach, we achieve amazing results, not just in quantitative data, but in the quality of the experience and the impact on the child.

Mentorship & Building Confidence

We focus not only on teaching core concepts, but on a deeper understanding. Our tutors show each student that he/she/they is capable of grasping even the most difficult concepts. Students get a tremendous sense of personal accomplishment and build their overall confidence. You will never hear “I can’t do math” again.

Versatile Tutors, Multiple Subjects

Our tutors are adaptable and versatile, often tutoring multiple subjects at once. Does your child need support in math and Spanish? English and ACT prep? The Prep Center is the place for you!

Individualized Education

At The Prep Center, we do not have a set curriculum. Instead, all of our lessons are specifically tailored to meet each student’s needs. We fundamentally believe in working with each student as an individual with unique learning needs, and therefore we do not promote cookie-cutter lesson plans, bootcamps, workshops, or packages that you may see at other tutoring centers. Our tutors will work with you to develop a plan for your child to achieve their goals.

One - On - One Relationships

All of our lessons are one-on-one. We do not offer drop-in tutoring. Your child will be matched with a tutor who best meets their needs. They develop a close relationship, working together regularly. Our tutors really get to know their students and are excellent mentors and role models.

Test Prep Methods

We use the same methods of one-on-one, highly individualized education to prepare students for the ACT and SAT. Tutors focus on specific areas that each student needs to study in order to rapidly improve scores. We also teach test-taking skills and work with each student on strategies and timing. Students will go in feeling confident and prepared.

We tutor for a wide variety of standardized tests, including ACT, SAT, PSAT, APs, PSATs, College Placement exams, course placement exams, and more. Please contact us to inquire about specific tests.