Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Cabren Derossett laughs as he works on his the valentine's caterpillar he is making in class Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at The Study in Soldotna, Alaska.

Study time: Local learning center continues to grow

Studying really does pay off for one local business.

The Study, located on Marcus Avenue in Soldotna, is an accredited learning center that caters to the educational needs of students of all ages.

Owner and teacher Kerri Nelson started The Study in 2011 as a tutoring center to help students achieve academic success.

Because there was an overwhelming demand for courses, Nelson started to offer full day, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes as well. Next school year, The Study will offer full day first and second grade classes for the first time.

Currently, the curriculum for the full-time pre-kindergarten and kindergarten covers a variety of subjects including reading, writing and Spanish. Nelson said that all the students can be successful and she encourages them while maintaining high standards.

To ensure that each student gets the attention necessary for success, Nelson capped her classes at 15 students. Students are also required to wear uniforms.

“(Uniforms help the students) focus on academics,” Nelson said. “They’re not focused on frills, Nike, bows, this that or the other thing.”

Nelson said that there are many reasons why The Study continues to grow in popularity.

“(Parents) like the small class size,” Nelson said. “They like that I cap it. They like that it’s highly academic. They like the uniforms.”

Like other Kenai Peninsula schools, The Study is accredited through AdvancED. Nelson said that while the process was long, having the school be accredited was vital.

“I wanted the study to be credible,” she said. “Not just be a place out there.”

During June and July, The Study offers two summer school courses. There is also a two-week reading course offered before the normal school session starts to help students who may have regressed during the long summer break.

“It gives them that shot in the arm that they need,” Nelson said.

Aside from being an elementary school, The Study offers tutoring services to people of all ages. High school students can also take courses including Spanish, algebra and art exploration for school credit.

A plethora of courses are offered, ranging from math, voice and guitar, to reading and even private pilot ground school.

Nelson said that while The Study offers numerous courses, she has heard unusual requests.

“The funniest was somebody asked for Yodeling,” Nelson said.

While Nelson said that she loves what The Study is doing, she said the support she has received has caught her off guard.

“I’m shocked daily,” she said.

Reach Ian Foley at

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Nate Hadfield reaches for a pair of ‘googgley eyes’ to glue onto his valentine’s caterpillar he is making for class Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, at The Study in Soldotna, Alaska.

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