How To Turn A Mobile Home Into An Educational Center
The education industry in the United States is always growing. There will always be a need for different types of learning environments. Recently, there is an emphasis on organizations that provide additional assistance and training for students as well as adults.
According to Global Industry Analysts, the international private learning and tutoring market is on track to becoming a $227.2 billion industry by 2022.
If you are interested in teaching, opening an educational center can be a brilliant business venture. For all the entrepreneurs out there, we will cover the basics of turning a mobile home into the perfect learning environment.
Choosing a business model
The best place to start is by deciding what type of educational center you want to open.
Luckily, there are hundreds of possibilities to choose from. But to make the venture a success, you will have to narrow it down.
In general, there are several factors that you should base your decision on. First, you need to consider your skills and training. What can you do? Or what are you willing to learn?
Secondly, you need to perform some market research. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for you to open a preschool if there is one on every block in the neighborhood. Try to find out what is in demand and if there are any gaps in the market.
Thirdly, you should check the specific requirements for the type of center you are considering. Do you need to get a license? Are formal qualifications necessary?
Here are a few ideas for popular services that you can offer:
- Tutoring students in specific subjects or providing support for studying.
- You can start a homeschool center where you provide lessons for children.
- If you are experienced in a hobby or skill like carpentry, you can offer classes.
- Another option is to provide employee training for businesses where you take them through specific courses.
- Skills development centers for adults are in demand.
- You can start a center that provides help with test prep.
- If you are proficient in one language or more, you can provide classes to teach it to adults children or both.
Planning and administration for an educational center
Now that you have decided what you want to do, it’s time to start putting your plans into motion.
With any entrepreneurial venture, there are some administrative matters that you need to get out of the way.
One of the critical tasks is setting up your business plan. This is a comprehensive document on your education center, which outlines how you are going to set up and operate.
Among other things, the plan should cover:
- The services offered
- Price list
- Rules of the educational center
- Financial backing
- Target market
- Plans for growth and expansion
- Marketing strategy
Another vital step is figuring out your coverage. In general, you want to get property and general liability insurance for your business. On top of this, setting up a corporation or a limited liability company can help you avoid being held personally responsible for any accidents.
Rules and regulations
Next, you need to check if there is any potential red tape. Your local authorities will probably have laws or policies concerned with setting up and running an education. Find out if there is anything you need to do to register the business etc.
Especially if there are children involved, you probably need to follow certain regulations regarding health and safety.
Qualifications and certification
You should find out if you must obtain any qualifications. Necessary or not, it will certainly be beneficial if you have at least some certification in the areas you will be teaching or providing support for.
For example, it will be easier to provide high-quality science tutoring if you took it as a subject in high school and college. Remember that this extends to any potential staff too.
Developing a curriculum
Finally, you must work out a curriculum for your educational center. This step is essential, no matter what type of teaching services you will provide. Once you have done this, you need to get all your staff on board.
Creating a space for learning
The setup is obviously critical to the success and effectiveness of any business. How you set up your mobile home will depend on services, like classes, that you choose to offer. It’s important to create dedicated areas to optimize the way you, and in this case, your clients work.
To help you, we will cover a few of the common spaces for an education center and how to renovate your mobile home to fit the bill.
eLearning is a bit of a buzzword nowadays. Increasingly teachers are using it in conjunction with conventional methods to assist the learning process. There are also more and more courses like web design for which technology is central.
But besides this, computer literacy is a necessary skill for most employees today. A Microsoft study found that the average U.S worker spends about six hours a day on a computer at work. So not being able to use one can be a serious disadvantage.
All in all, setting up a computer lab is an excellent idea.
For this you need to consider:
- Get comfortable seating and desks that have enough space for the equipment and a bit extra to work on or write notes.
- Choose a room with the most power outlets. Even then, you will probably need to install additional outlets.
- Invest in surge protectors.
- Get air conditioners and fans, as all those computers can really raise the temperatures.
- You should burglarproof the room by installing alarms, locks, etc.
- Positions the desks so that they can see the lecturer.
- Install a projector with a screen and hook it to the teacher’s computer to help you explain or demonstrate the work.
If it isn’t a central part of your classes or services, you should still have at least one computer. You can place it on a desk in the corner of a lecture or study room.
Science is a vital subject for many possible study directions and careers. Besides this, it is a pretty challenging topic.
Therefore, it is one of the areas that students often need assistance with. It is certainly a space you should investigate if you are planning on providing tutoring, test-prep, or homeschooling.
An equipped lab, even if it’s basic, will be a fantastic selling point.
To do this, you need to research what experiments are suitable for the curriculum and age group. You won’t be able to do everything. So to start off, you should decide on a few activities. And then get the supplies and equipment that are necessary for this level.
Take a look at these ideas for setting up a science lab:
- Get a cabinet with a lock to store any potentially hazardous chemicals or equipment when not in use.
- Buy or build suitable work surfaces. Standing desks are often the best, except if you will give lectures here as well.
- Create STEM kits such as these for each member of the class. This is a great way to organize the supplies and improve the workflow.
- For the sake of comfort and safety, you want to place the lab in a room that has windows for ventilation.
- Invest in basic equipment like safety goggles, lab coats, fire extinguisher, gloves, thermometers, Petri dishes, flasks and beakers, funnels, pipettes alcohol burner, stopwatches, and timers.
- If you are short on space, set up the workspaces for groups of 2 to 5.
More likely than not, you will need to have at least one classroom. This will be where you teach lessons or courses.
One of the first things to decide here is how many people will need to fit. But you also have to decide how you want the layout to work.
If the class involves lots of group work, consider getting larger round tables or placing individual desks against each other to encourage collaboration. Or if the focus will be on discussions, place the seating in a horseshoe or a circle.
For a more formal setup, you want all the students to face the front. Typically individual desks will work better for this.
However, no matter the content or style of the course, you should invest in a blackboard or whiteboard. Mount this on a wall that you want to act as the front of the classroom.
Additional tips are to:
- Make sure the room is well lit.
- Minimize clutter and distractions. Be very deliberate about the posters or decorations that you put up.
- Set up a teaching station in a corner where the lecturer can work from and store their stuff.
- Think carefully about the paint colors for the walls. Warmer palettes are better for younger children, while cooler ones are best for older children and adults.
- To save space, you can divide the classroom and combine it with another learning space. For example, use the back half of the room for the science lab or computer lab.
People are rediscovering the importance of skill-based training. That’s why workshops form such a central part of many educational centers for adults. But it is also much sought after by parents who want their children to learn more than the mainstream schooling system offers.
A few of the skills and classes that are great options are:
- Welding and metalworking
- Electrician classes
- Painting and sculpture
Some people might be interested in these skills as a potential occupation and others for enrichment. It can be a good idea to decide whether you are going to offer more in-depth courses in these or rather on an amateur level.
The workshop for each of these skills will differ significantly. Each will require other equipment and supplies. But the following are some considerations that can be helpful no matter the course:
- A blackboard or whiteboard can still be useful to help you demonstrate and explain the task and techniques.
- There is some risk involved with many of these pursuits like woodworking. So you should keep a first aid kit and other safety equipment on hand.
- The work surfaces for this space will ideally be bigger than standard desks.
- Keep some basic cleaning supplies in this room for any spills.
- Some of these activities can be pretty noisy. Preferably, you should set the workshop up in a room on its own.
- For activities like welding, we recommend that you place up warning and safety signs in the room and possibly on the door leading to it.
Study or resource room
In many cases, it would be beneficial to create a room that is specifically for studying and using resources. Students can go there during an off-period to do some preparation or homework. You will find this particularly useful if your educational center offers homeschool services.
Depending on the number of students, the room doesn’t necessarily have to be as spacious as the others. But you do want it to be relatively quiet to help people concentrate.
For the same reason, you should paint and decorate the room with neutral colors like pastels.
Besides this, the main requirements for this space are comfortable seating and a place to store any resources like textbooks.
There is only so much work anyone can do in one day. Taking breaks is a crucial part of the learning process. It facilitates memory and recall.
So we recommend that you create a break room or rest area of some kind.
Younger children will enjoy having an area outside where they can play. Make sure to install enough shade and seating. Some playground equipment will be welcome.
A similar set up can work for older children and adults too. But an indoor area will work great too.
Learning never stops. That’s one reason why there will always be a need for educational centers. However, it’s your job to provide high-quality services in a direction that is in demand in the local market. A crucial part of this is renovating your mobile home to fit all your needs.
Thankfully, these types of properties are incredibly versatile. There are endless options for transformation. For more ideas, take a look at how to turn a mobile home into a daycare facility and how to add an extra electrical outlet in your mobile home.