Admissions

Program-Specific Requirements

For admission to the MFT Program, an accredited Bachelor’s Degree is required. Explore what the MFT/LPCC Program is all about. Learn More…

 

For admission to the MS in Education and Community Leadership Program, a Bachelor’s degree is required. Explore what the MS in Education and Community Leadership Program is all about. Learn More…

 

For admission to study for the Ed.D., each student must have an accredited Master’s degree, or a minimum of 30 semester units of graduate study at an accredited institution. Explore what the EdD in Higher Education Program is all about. Learn More…

 

Calendar and Enrollment

Students may apply, be admitted, and begin study as of the first of any month of the year and may complete their programs in any month.

Programs continue year-round, although seminar activity is usually less in the summer. WISR’s fiscal year begins on July 1.

Admissions Criteria and Process

WISR is interested in working with students who find a common bond with the Institute’s stated philosophy and goals. We are also interested in students who have given some thought to their educational goals and have an initial clarity about them, although we recognize that goals frequently change as a student’s course of study progresses. WISR also seeks students who want a flexible program, tailored to their individual needs, but who also want discipline and rigor in their studies. These and other issues are discussed frankly and openly with each serious applicant, and students’ intelligent self-selection to study at WISR is very deliberately emphasized. Many tentatively interested inquirers are discouraged from formally applying if their specific interests, personal maturity, or resources of time and money do not promise success in study here. We help many potential applicants to find other ways of pursuing their studies elsewhere.

Each prospective student should read and explore our catalog and website carefully, and in particular, should read the following sections as first steps in learning about how to enroll at WISR:

For admission to a Master of Science program, an accredited Bachelor’s degree is required. For admission to study for the Ed.D. Program, each student must have an accredited Master’s degree, or a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate study at an accredited institution.

Foreign students must have their transcripts evaluated by an agency that is a member of one of the following two associations:

 

As part of the application process, each applicant must discuss her or his background and objectives with WISR’s President or Chief Academic Officer. Interested persons are routinely encouraged to visit WISR seminars and to talk with other faculty, students, and Board members of WISR, to gain several perspectives on study at WISR and a sense of the learning community that they may be joining.

This meeting is both an “admissions interview” and an exploration, together, of how well WISR’s distinctive approach to learning and our specific State-licensed degree offerings, will meet the prospective student’s needs and enable him or her to have a strong likelihood of using a WISR program in the meaningful and successful pursuit of his or her short- and long-term goals. After extensive discussions, most prospective enrollees are able to judge the kinds of student autonomy and commitment that study at WISR requires. Most applicants who do not have the necessary qualifications screen themselves out voluntarily.

The purpose of the conversations and interviews is to help each person to make a very informed decision about whether or not to apply for admissions, and also to enable the Chief Academic Officer and/or the President, sometimes in consultation with other faculty, make the decision to admit the prospective student, based on whether or not they are likely to benefit from studying at WISR. The “WISR Admissions Interview and Criteria Form,” below, shows how much we place a priority on admitting those prospective students who understand WISR’s learning methods and mission, whether or not a WISR degree is likely to aid them in achieving their future goal and who are likely to succeed in learning and pursuing an academic degree at WISR.

 

Each serious applicant is asked to file a formal application for admission by submitting the following:

1) an Admissions Application and Interview Form.

2) transcripts of previous college-level study to verify that the student has met WISR’s admissions requirements and to verify any transfer credit requested (transcripts must be submitted directly from the granting institution in order to be considered official),

3) two letters of recommendation from others who can attest to the student’s readiness for further academic study and

4) a written statement describing the scope and significance of the applicant’s study and future objectives, assessing how well these fit with study at WISR, and discussing the applicant’s commitments to professional and community work.

To support each student in understanding and participating proactively in the admissions process, we have included here an excerpt from the form that will be used by WISR leadership during the admission interviews.

In the (to be filled out by WISR CEO and/or Chief Academic Officer)

The student expressed why they chose to contact us:

The student was strongly encouraged to:

___Attend one or more seminars
___Speak with current students or alumni
___Speak with faculty members
For MFT Students only . . .
            ___Check with the BBS and/or CAMFT about any remaining questions about licensure
            ___Join the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

___Other: ____________________________

___ALL OF THE ABOVE (if applicable)

The student satisfied each of the following aspects of their interview process:

___The student demonstrates an understanding that WISR is not currently accredited, and the possible implications of that for them in the short- and long-run.

The student demonstrates an understanding of:

___How the particular degree program is suited to their personal learning interests and career goals.
___The strengths and the possible limitations of learning at WISR, as well as the WISR degree.
___And alignment with, WISR’s mission/values and how they translate into the program learning outcomes that are going to be expected of students in those programs.
___WISR’s academic emphasis on writing, self-directed learning, self-motivation, interaction and collaboration with others, and action-research.

___Student has met Technology Requirements

___What’s involved in studying at WISR (especially the above stated academic emphases), and whether this is a good fit with their learning style and the sorts of activities they enjoy.
as well as an understanding of . . .

___FOR EDD AND MS LEADERSHIP STUDENTS, especially:  The interdisciplinary nature of the program and also the opportunity and expectation to have about 30% of their work related to their personal interests and questions for inquiry, and possible future goals—that is, to relate their self-defined interests to the required content of their studies, includes the action-research projects and module assignments.
___FOR MFT STUDENTS: The licensure process, professional career expectations, and how all this might relate to their own interests and questions for inquiry, and future goals.

___ALL OF THE ABOVE (if applicable)

 

___ (check if the student has requested a disabilities accommodation, and answer below)

___The student’s request for a disabilities accommodation has been reviewed by WISR’s leadership.

___The student has been informed of what accommodations WISR can and cannot make (indicate in an attached memo or letter what, if any, accommodations WISR will be able to make).

___The student understands and accepts the accommodations that can and cannot be made.

In conclusion . . .

____(Yes or No) The student demonstrates a capability to benefit from pursuing a degree at WISR, based on the above demonstrated understandings, and based on the following (if applicable) additional information. (further comments if necessary . . .)

 

______________________________________________________________________________
Received from Student:

MS/MFT Program and MS in Education and Community Leadership Program:
___Application Form

___Personal Statement
___Transcript from accredited Bachelor’s Program (or verified equivalent foreign transcript)
___Two reference letters

EdD Program:
___Application Form

___Personal Statement
___Transcript from accredited Master’s Program or at least 30 semester units of accredited graduate study (or verified equivalent foreign transcript)
___Two reference letters

Students for Whom English is not their Native Language:

___An earned degree from an institution where English is the major language for studies

___An acceptable exam score (for details, go to:

Qualifying Criteria:

The student DID OR DID NOT satisfy the following program-specific and general admissions criteria:

Yes / No   Submitted all qualifying documentation (see above)
Yes / No   Satisfied all aspects of the interview process
Yes / No   Made a tangible effort to attend seminars or speak with students, alumni, and/or faculty

Yes / No    Demonstrated a capability to benefit from pursuing a degree at WISR.

Notes: ___________________________________________________________________________

If “YES” to all of the above, the student may be admitted, and indicate the date of Admissions and the Projected Date of Enrollment:   _____________Date of Admissions; __________ Projected Enrollment.

If “NO” to any of the above, please explain, and if applicable, select one of the following:

____No. WISR is not a good fit for the Student (state reasons in a separate letter to student and attach to this document).

____The Student May Not Yet Be Admitted, but the Following Steps May Be Taken Before Making a Final Decision at this Time (for example: further conversations with the student, specific issues of concern for the student to consider and to discuss with a WISR official, obtaining further information from outside groups regarding their career options with a WISR degree, other ways for the student to obtain potentially relevant information to make an informed decision). (state reasons, and needed steps in a separate letter to student and attach to this document).

____The Student May Be Admitted on a Conditional Basis (state reasons and what, if any, the plans could be for reviewing the student for admissions to a degree program after a period of conditional study—attach a page/memo to state reasons and plans).          

 

WISR verifies prior to admission that the student has satisfied the technology requirements. WISR delivers its graduate degree programs through Google Workspace for Education. Students are responsible to backup drafts of their papers and theses or dissertations through Google Drive available using their wisr.edu email address.

To participate in the graduate degree programs offered by WISR, students should possess or have access to:

  • A personal computer;
  • A firstname.lastname@wisr.edu email account to access WISR courses and communicate with WISR faculty and staff (to be acquired upon enrolling);
  • Internet access for video conferences for seminars and oral exams;
  • A web camera with microphone and speaker; and
  • A current web browser.

 

All admissions to study at WISR are made on the basis of intensive conversations, during the application process, with applicants about their goals, interests, and backgrounds, and applicants are told about the kinds of learning and action that are involved in studying with us.

In particular, each applicant must discuss her or his background and objectives with WISR’s President/CEO and/or Chief Academic Officer. Interested persons are routinely encouraged to visit WISR seminars and to talk with other faculty, students, and Board members of WISR, to gain several perspectives on study at WISR and a sense of the learning community that they may be joining.

The admissions decision is made by the WISR’s President/CEO and/or the Chief Academic Officer, sometimes in consultation with other faculty if they believe that added input is needed. The admissions decision is based on interviews with the student, transcripts and other evidence of the student’s previous academic work, and letters of recommendation, and if applicable, demonstrated proficiency in English. Decisions to admit a student are made based on the likelihood of the student benefiting from studies at WISR. This includes having the necessary self-motivation and previous experience or knowledge to study successfully at WISR, along with having demonstrated sufficient access to the internet to participate in online courses.

Prospective doctoral students must show that they have the potential to make creative scholarly and/or action-oriented leadership contributions during their studies.

Furthermore, entering students must demonstrate that they understand WISR’s policy on the maximum allowable time in which to complete degrees and that they have the capability of doing so.

Prospective students who are denied admissions may appeal to WISR’s Board of Trustees, who will consider the evidence presented by both WISR academic administration and faculty, as well as by the prospective student. The Board will only override the decision of WISR’s faculty and academic administration if they are convinced that severe bias was involved. In WISR’s history, there has never been such an appeal, and in virtually every case, prospective students come to mutual agreement with WISR’s faculty about whether or not WISR would be a good fit for them, and in their interests to enroll.

 

When a student is admitted, they are notified by email by the CEO or Chief Academic Officer who then complete the Admissions Application Interview Form, by signing with the date of admissions and the date of eligible enrollment.

If the student is denied admission, they are informed in writing by email mail from the CEO or the Chief Administrative Officer with the reasons stated for denying them admission. Any student denied admission may appeal that decision to WISR’s Board of Trustees.

If the prospective student is only to be admitted on a conditional basis, they are given a letter indicating this, and the letter will indicate the maximum allowable time of enrollment on the conditional basis (not to exceed a year), and they must discuss this option further with the CEO and/or CAdO, so that the prospective student may make an informed decision whether or not to proceed with enrollment on this basis.

Before enrolling, students are asked to read study and sign WISR’s Enrollment Agreement. Please call us if you would like to see the agreement before we officially start the enrollment process with you.

 

Further Admissions Policies

At WISR, we wish for students to proceed at a pace that makes sense in terms of their learning needs and purposes. Over the years, we have found that some students are interested in support for significant, personal learning goals—including help in writing a book or series of articles, creating a new program or non-profit, developing a workshop series, or support for other personal learning agendas, and that while they may wish to pursue an academic degree, they are not yet certain if they will have the energy, motivation and/or ability to complete an entire degree program at within the maximum allowable amounts of time for students to complete our degree programs—6 years for a Bachelor’s degree for those with no previous academic credit and 3 years for those transferring with 80 semester units of credit; 4 years for the MS in Education and Community Leadership. And 6 years for both the MS in Psychology and the EdD. In some cases, when a student has a disability or some other special, extenuating circumstances, they may petition for a little bit more time to complete the degree.

We advise students who are not yet certain if they want to be held to these timetables—which are designed to require the pace of consistent half-time study, or more, by each student— that we can only enroll them on a conditional status for a specified, agreed on, period of time, not to exceed one year. Then, after a specified period of time enrolled on conditional status, the Faculty Executive Committee and the student’s major advisor will evaluate the quality of their academic work and their rate of progress, and if deemed satisfactory, the student will then be enrolled in a degree program. If not, the student’s enrollment will be terminated. Based on the admissions interview and other information about the student, the CEO and Chief Academic Officer, sometimes in consultation with another faculty member, will decide which prospective students can only be admitted conditionally, and then discuss with those prospective students, the risks (loss of tuition and time if they fail to progress and perform adequately) and the advantages of this option (opportunity to see if they can manage the demands of being in a WISR degree program) to help each prospective student make a decision that is in their best interests.

Under our  policy about “conditional admissions” to study at WISR as an option for some students, a prospective student with health or energy limitations might be denied unconditional admission to a degree program, but they would have the opportunity through taking the relevant courses in their desired degree program on a “conditional student” basis, until such time that they might demonstrate the capability of completing the program within (or very close to) the maximum expected length of time for that program. In effect, the student is then given a “trial period” to learn some of the things they wish to learn, and still, to get credit toward a degree at a future date, if they end up demonstrating the motivation, energy and capacity to complete the entire degree program. Typically, a student will have up to a year to demonstrate this capability. They do not pay the $250 enrollment fee ($50 for an admissions fee and the $200 fee to register in a degree program) unless and until they are accepted as a degree student. Foreign students whose native language is not English are not admitted if they fail to meet the English language proficiency requirements.

 

The State of California is the only state in the US that has not signed the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (go to http://nc-sara.org/ for more details). Because the State of California has not signed the interstate agreement regarding distance learning, called “SARA”, there are about half of the States in the USA where the requirements of those states precludes WISR, as a California distance learning institution, from enrolling residents of those states.

Because of its small size, it is not economically feasible for WISR to seek the necessary state authorization from each state in which a prospective student resides. Those from states other than California who are interested in enrolling at WISR should contact us to find out if their state is one of the states for which WISR would be allowed to provide distance education to students. WISR is able to entertain inquiries from prospective students living in other countries, since this interstate reciprocity agreement does not apply to students from other countries.

 

As an educational institution devoted to personalized education, there are many things that WISR does to aid students with various disabilities, especially those with psychological and learning disabilities. First of all, as a matter of routine practice, faculty meet with students regularly to discuss their special needs and challenges as well as their strengths, in order to better support each individual student’s learning efforts. This includes working with the student to develop learning strategies–study schedules, uses of special resources, and approaches to each assignment that will work best for the student, and to make the needed adjustments over time. In this context, when meeting with students with disabilities, faculty give special attention to those students’ special needs, and make accommodations to the extent of WISR’s capabilities as a small, institution with a limited budget. Therefore, prospective students with disabilities fill out the Disabilities Accommodation Request Form prior to making an enrollment decision, so that WISR’s ability to meet their needs can be realistically assessed and evaluated. WISR is committed to including the widest variety of students, and with varying needs, as is possible. If WISR cannot accommodate a particular student’s needs, the student will be informed of why WISR cannot and what specific challenges and limitations that they would face if they were to enroll. Based on this information, in order for the student to enroll at WISR, the student and WISR’s CEO or CAO must both agree that, overall, WISR can still meet enough of the student’s needs well enough that they will benefit from study at WISR. If it is determined that WISR cannot meet their needs, WISR’s CEO will inform the prospective student, whether or not it is feasible and likely that WISR can make sufficient changes in the 12 months to accommodate their needs. The CEO will state in writing the reasons for this assessment, and further, if changes are stated as likely, the CEO will also share in writing the key steps in the plan to make these changes. The prospective student will be informed that they should not take this as a guarantee, but instead, these statements are to be taken as a public disclosure of WISR’s intentions of the steps to be taken to become more accessible.

As a matter of routine practice, faculty meet with students regularly to discuss their special needs, and to make accommodations, including but not limited to: 1) gaining extra help and support with writing and the use of grammar and spell check software, 2) obtaining extended time for completing courses and the entire degree program, 3) in special cases, the student and their supervising faculty member may request from the Faculty Executive Committee permission to re-design some assignments so that the student with special needs can learn and demonstrate knowledge in equivalent ways (e.g., supporting students in learning how to use voice to text software for writing, and by substituting added oral exams for some of the shorter writing assignments).

Our courses are not yet optimized for the visually impaired, but our tech staff person is going to work on that and give that a priority in the next year.  Because our online courses are heavily text-based, and do not make use of images or pdf files except in rare cases, they are mostly accessible for people using text voice readers. The videos used (mostly of our own seminars) are accessible by web links.  However, they do not have closed captions because the cost of that with zoom is prohibitive for a school as small as WISR.

 

Foreign Students—No ESL Instruction, no I-20 status, but assistance in obtaining permission to visit:

WISR does admit students from other countries. However, WISR does not provide English as a Second Language, or English as a Foreign Language, instruction. All instruction is conducted in English. Some students who are not native English speakers, but who are fluent in English, have enrolled and successfully completed programs at WISR.

Students who do not have a previous college degree from an institution in which English was the primary language of instruction may be considered for admission at WISR, if they demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English through one of the following assessments:

they meet (for the degree program for which they are applying) one of the following conditions (see below), AND ALSO

if in the judgement of WISR’s CEO or Chief Academic Officer, the prospective student demonstrates (through conversations with WISR faculty, the writing of a brief admissions statement, and if applicable through their current work experience) that they are capable of making good progress in their studies at WISR.

Prospective students whose native language is not English and who have not earned a degree from an appropriately accredited institution where English is the principal language of instruction may be considered for admission at WISR, if they demonstrate college-level proficiency in English through one of the following for admission:

  1. Master’s Degree: A minimum total score of 60 on the paper-delivered Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), or 71 on the Internet Based Test (iBT); 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS); 50 on the Pearson Test of English Academic Score Report; 100 on the Duolingo English Test; or 55 on the 4-skill Michigan English Test (MET), or 650/LP on the Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE), or 650/LP on the Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE)
  2. First Professional Degree or Professional Doctoral Degree: A minimum score of 65 on the paper-delivered Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), or 80 on the Internet Based Test (iBT); 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS); 58 on the Pearson Test of English Academic Score Report; 105 on the Duolingo English Test; or 55 on the 4-skill Michigan English Test (MET), or 650/LP on the Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE), or 650/LP on the Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE).
  3. A minimum score on the College Board Accuplacer ESL Exam Series as follows: ESL Language Use: Score of 85 ESL Listening: Score of 80 ESL Reading: Score of 85 ESL Sentence Meaning: Score of 90 ESL Writeplacer: Score of 4
  4. A minimum grade of Pre-1 on the Eiken English Proficiency Exam;
  5. A minimum B-2 English proficiency level identified within the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) standards and assessed through various ESOL examinations, including the University of Cambridge;
  6. A transcript indicating completion of at least 30 semester credit hours with an average grade of “C” or higher at an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or accepted foreign equivalent that is listed in the International Handbook of Universities where the language of instruction was English. A “B” or higher is required for master’s degree, first professional degree, or professional doctoral degree.

Students whose native language is not English and who do not meet the above requirements may NOT be admitted. They must meet the above standards.

WISR’s admissions process helps all prospective students to assess their skills, learning needs and interests, and aids WISR faculty and the prospective student in determining whether or not WISR can meet their educational needs. Enrollment at WISR does not provide foreign students with I-20 status (i.e., WISR students do not qualify for foreign student visas). However, WISR has and will vouch for a student’s enrollment status and verify that WISR encourages all students studying from a distance to visit WISR for a few days every year or so. By so vouching and verifying, WISR is usually able to assist foreign students in obtaining permission to visit the United States for a brief period, for this purpose.

 

WISR will only accept transfer credit from accredited institutions, and further, entering MS students must possess an accredited Bachelor’s Degree, and that entering EdD students must hold an accredited Master’s degree or 30 semester units of graduate study at an accredited institution, and demonstrate the ability to make creative scholarly and/or action-oriented leadership contributions during their studies.

Foreign students must have their transcripts evaluated by an agency that is a member of one of the following two associations:

MFT Students: For WISR’s MFT program, students who have completed (accredited only) academic work which clearly meets State guidelines and WISR’s descriptions of the core courses required for WISR’s MFT MS in Psychology option may then receive up to 21 semester units of transfer credit.

For WISR’s MFT program, students who have completed academic work which clearly meets State guidelines and WISR’s descriptions of the core courses required for WISR’s MFT MS in Psychology option may then receive up to 21 semester units of transfer credit. Courses transferred for students entering the MFT program are evaluated by WISR’s President or Chief Academic Officer, sometimes in consultation with licensed MFT’s on WISR’s faculty, to make certain that the course titles/descriptions closely parallel State guidelines, as well as WISR’s descriptions for core MFT courses. Only courses and credits for courses, that are clearly aligned with WISR’s subject matter requirements and current coursework will be accepted for transfer credit. 

In other graduate programs at WISR, each student’s prior graduate study is taken into careful account, in planning out her or his program of study, in order to build on the student’s strengths and avoid duplication of efforts. Some graduate course work is accepted for transfer in such cases. Credit is accepted for transfer only if it is determined, after examining the student’s transcript(s) and/or samples of the student’s academic work, that the work to be accepted for transfer credit is relevant to the degree program into which they are transferring and comparable in substance and quality to work expected at WISR Some graduate course work is accepted for transfer in such cases. At the request of the prospective student, the President and/or the Chief Academic Officer, often in consultation with a subcommittee of WISR’s faculty, evaluates the student request for transfer of credit, based on the student’s transcript and other relevant evidence, such as course syllabi and/or samples of the student’s academic work.

Doctoral Students: No more than 15 units of doctoral-level credit (only from accredited institutions) may be transferred toward Doctoral studies at WISR. Only courses and credits for courses, that are clearly aligned with WISR’s subject matter requirements and current coursework will be accepted for transfer credit. 

MS in Education and Community Leadership Students: No more than 12 semester units (only from accredited institutions) may be transferred toward the MS in Education and Community Leadership. Only courses and credits for courses, that are clearly aligned with WISR’s subject matter requirements and current coursework will be accepted for transfer credit. 

 

Under no circumstances does WISR award credit for prior experiential learning.

 

WISR has not entered into any transfer or articulation agreements with any other college or university.

 

Upon enrollment, each student is asked to sign the following disclosure regarding online and distance learning:

  1. A WISR faculty member will confer with each enrolling student to discuss the first steps and activities in their learning at WISR, whether the student is living at a distance from WISR, or not, within 7 days of the student’s date of enrollment. WISR uses a combination of online learning—through a Learning Management System (Google Workspace for Education)—and real time interaction between students and faculty, and among students. The real time interaction occurs by phone or by internet. All WISR seminars are offered by video/audio conference (accessed by either phone or internet). In addition, most seminars are recorded and available later, online, through WISR’s Google Workspace for Education.

  2. When first enrolling at WISR, students must verify their identity by showing an official ID with a photo (e.g., passport or driver’s license) and having a WISR official check their identity by video conference. At each end of course oral exam, during mid-program reviews, and when meeting with the Graduation Review Board, a WISR faculty member confirms students’ identity by comparing their government-issued photo ID (i.e., a driver’s license, passport, or military identification) to the government-issued photo ID students submitted during the application process.

  3. WISR protects students’ privacy and students will be updated annually on WISR’s policies. WISR complies with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations, and we are currently in the initial stages of taking steps toward complying with the more stringent requirements of European Union’s GDPR laws (General Data Protection Regulation).

  4. For our students who are learning online, instruction centers on real time interaction between students and faculty—either by zoom, Google Meet, or phone conference. Instruction is further aided by asynchronous learning–by the use of online courses through the Google Workspace for Education, as well as sometimes by viewing WISR seminar videos online and by e-mail of communications, drafts of papers, and comments on drafts between students and faculty. All WISR students are required to obtain a wisr.edu email address, and they will be shown how to have those emails forwarded to the current, primary email address. Students are responsible to back up drafts of their papers, and especially of theses and dissertations—through the Google Drive available with their wisr.edu email address. No student wants to write several pages of work, much less dozens or hundreds of pages, and lose their writing if their computer crashes. It does happen!

  5. Students are required to respond to two to four annual surveys from WISR—this is an important part of WISR’s ongoing commitment to improving our curriculum and instruction and to sustaining WISR as a quality and valuable institution of higher learning. Usually, there will be at least two surveys during the summer—one to evaluate WISR faculty and their teaching performance, and another to evaluate WISR’s contributions to each student’s learning and to elicit suggestions for improvement. Sometimes, there will be one or two other surveys each year—for example, as part of WISR’s Strategic Planning Process. Students may count the time spent responding to surveys as part of their required hours of collaboration for WISR courses.

  6. As stated in WISR’s enrollment agreement, a Full Refund may be obtained by withdrawing within 7 days of the beginning of an enrollment agreement, or at the student’s first meeting with a WISR faculty person to plan and begin their studies for their educational program, whichever is later. Since all students meet with a faculty member within 7 days, they will still have the 7-day period in which to cancel and receive a full refund.

  7. WISR offers distance educational programs in which some instructions may not be offered in real time (as noted above). WISR shall transmit the first lesson (e.g., assignments in the initial course pursued by the student) through WISR’s provision to the student of access to WISR’s online courses, to any student within seven days after WISR accepts the student for admission.

  8. The student shall have the right to cancel the enrollment agreement and receive a full refund before the first lesson is accessed through WISR’s provision to the student of access to WISR’s online courses. Cancellation is effective on the date written notice of cancellation is sent. If WISR provided access to the first lesson and to related learning materials, through WISR’s provision to the student of access to WISR’s online courses, before an effective cancellation notice was received, WISR shall make a refund within 30 days after the student’s cancellation, using as the date of cancellation the student’s notice of desire to cancel or withdraw.

  9. WISR shall transmit access to all of the lessons and to other, related learning materials to the student, through WISR’s provision to the student of access to WISR’s online courses, once the student makes an initial payment of tuition in any amount and has signed all the enrollment agreements, even if they haven’t yet paid for the entire program. So long as the student is officially enrolled, even when they are not up to date in their tuition payments, WISR shall remain obligated to provide the other educational services it has agreed to provide, such as responses to student inquiries, student and faculty interaction, and evaluation and comment on lessons submitted by the student, but shall not be obligated to pay any refund, other than the required pro-rata refund of any tuition paid in advance, after access has been provided to all of WISR’s online courses, which is the vehicle by which all of the lessons and material are transmitted.

  10. Faculty feedback to student learning activities and assignments, such as the submission of drafts for comment follows principles of diligent reading of student drafts and papers and responding thoughtfully in a timely fashion. Faculty make every effort to give students rapid feedback on drafts of papers and theses. Typically, faculty give students feedback on papers and other drafts that are 20 pages or less, within 7 to 10 days. Faculty may need as much as three to four weeks to read and give feedback on longer papers, and especially on drafts of theses and dissertations. Faculty are available to set up hour-long conferences with students, either face-to-face, or by phone once every week or two, as needed by students. Generally, it is best to set up appointments a week in advance, so students can coordinate their own schedules of availability with the openings in the faculty member’s schedule.

  11. All WISR students are expected to have a high degree of self-motivation and capability for self-directed learning and are expected to contact faculty for support and assistance, whenever they feel they need it. To support, student academic progress, students are expected to do the following, and although the following are student responsibilities, faculty should be supportive in reminding and guiding students to:

    —Generally, confer with a faculty member at least once every two weeks about their studies.

    —At any one time, the student should have one faculty member whom they have identified as their primary faculty advisor, and the student should communicate, and verify, with that faculty person that they are in this role, so that the understands that the student wishes for them to take on this role, and then have communicated that they are willing to do so.

    —The student should consult with their primary faculty advisor before beginning to work on a new course. In addition, generally it is recommended that students should not work on more than three courses at a time without permission from their faculty advisor.

    —The student should be familiar with WISR’s policies and practices on Faculty Review of Student Progress in WISR’s catalog.

  12. A student may withdraw at any time. Notice of cancellation of an Enrollment Agreement must be in writing to WISR’s President, and a withdrawal may be effectuated by the student’s conduct, including, but not necessarily limited to, a student’s lack of attendance. Students are expected to be in touch with faculty twice per month, or at least once per month unless they notify faculty of special circumstances (e.g., health or vacation where they will be unavailable for longer than a month). If a student is disenrolled for lack of attendance, they have the opportunity to appeal to the Faculty Executive Committee, and then to the Board. Students are expected to be in touch with faculty twice per month, or at least once per month unless they notify faculty of special circumstances (e.g., health or vacation where they will be unavailable for longer than a month).  

  13. Students have access to the online library database paid for by WISR. By the terms of our agreement with LIRN students cannot share access/login information with anyone outside of WISR. In addition, by signing this document, the student agrees to respect all copyright laws, which includes, but is not limited to the following considerations:

    —None of the content shared in WISR’s online courses may be shared with anyone other than students and faculty at WISR, unless it is explicitly stated that it can be shared under open access, Creative Commons licensing.

    —When using resources from LIRN, from ScribD, online databases accessed through professional association memberships or library card/memberships, students may not copy and share any of those materials, unless explicitly stated as open access under Creative Commons licensing.

    —When writing papers, or making posts on the online forum, students are to cite and reference their sources. For assistance in using the proper format, consult Easy Bib (com).

    —Students having any questions about copyright issues and the sharing of articles and/or videos, should contact WISR’s librarian (roberson@wisr.edu), WISR’s CEO (johnb@wisr.edu), or another faculty member for guidance.

  14. WISR students are expected to collaborate with other students at WISR, and these expectations and requirements are outlined in each course.

  15. In order to participate in seminars and real-time conversations with WISR faculty, all WISR students must have regularly accessible, reliable, and well-functioning internet service, sufficient to participate in seminars and oral exams by video conference, and this must be tested with a WISR staff person prior to enrollment. Having a webcam is essential for oral exams, and ideal for seminars. Having a headset with a microphone is desirable. Sometimes students are able to converse by phone, but very importantly regular internet access is essential for pursuing studies with WISR’s online courses, and best for most seminars.

  16. Students should be prepared to spend about $50 to $100 on books (or e-books) for as many as 50 percent of the required courses. In addition, all students are required to:

    —purchase and maintain a monthly membership in ScribD (access to many required readings—books and articles, for $12/month.  scribd.com);

    —purchase a membership in a major professional association such as the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (camft.org), American Educational Research Association, or American Sociological Association. (These fees are typically less than $150/year.) Depending on the student’s interests, faculty may approve a membership in another association, instead. All MFTs students must obtain a membership in CAMFT, because, among other things, this provides access to psychology journals through the EBSCO library online database

  17. By signing this, the student states that they understand that WISR provides no English language services for those for whom English is their second language, and by signing this, the student affirms that they understand that if they do not have a previous college degree from an institution in which English was the primary language of instruction in order to be considered for admission at WISR, they demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English through one of the assessments outlined in WISR’s catalog and on our website.   In addition, some students are allowed to enroll in one or two courses, and then after completing those courses, their proficiency and ease in handling the course(s) is assessed by WISR faculty before they are officially enrolled in a degree program.

  18. WISR Academic Integrity and Honesty Policy: WISR embraces the value of learning that builds on the knowledge, efforts and experiences of others. In particular, WISR actively encourages students to collaborate with one another, and with others throughout the larger community. Academic honesty and integrity require that students disclose and make transparent what they have learned from others, and how their learning and inquiry are indebted to, or have been importantly influenced by, others. This includes not only making the appropriate citations of the literature used in one’s papers, theses, and dissertations, but it also includes acknowledging the informal contributions that others have made in shaping one’s ideas, questions, and actions. WISR students are encouraged to write in their own voice, discussing how their studies and inquiries have led to their conclusion, recommendations, and further lines of inquiry.

    —At WISR, faculty and students meet regularly and engage in continual and detailed dialogue about the student’s studies, and for this reason, faculty are usually aware of how others have contributed to student learning. Furthermore, WISR students are expected to be highly motivated and committed to genuine inquiry, and uninterested in purely expedient strategies for producing the required academic writing.

    —Violations of academic honesty and integrity at WISR have been virtually unheard of in our decades-long history. In case of a violation, the work submitted will not be accepted for credit, and a second violation of this standard will result in dismissal from WISR. All such decisions are subject to student appeal first to WISR’s Faculty, and then to the Board of Trustees.

    —Nothing in this policy should discourage students from actively and fully collaborating with one another in any aspect of their studies, including a paper, project, or thesis or dissertation. Indeed, such collaboration is encouraged, and that collaboration must be disclosed by the participating students with a written description of the process of collaboration and each student’s contributions to the collaboration.

    Reporting Possible Violations: It is the responsibility of WISR faculty to be aware of, and report on, any possible violations. As noted above: “At WISR, faculty and students meet regularly and engage in continual and detailed dialogue about the student’s studies, and for this reason, faculty are usually aware of how others have contributed to student learning.” Also, the ongoing dialogue with students in combination with end of course oral exams, enable faculty to detect any possible violations.

    “Application of policy as noted above: In case of a violation, the work submitted will not be accepted for credit, and a second violation of this standard will result in dismissal from WISR. All such decisions are subject to student appeal first to WISR’s Faculty, and then to the Board of Trustees.”

 

The Five Steps to Admission

Reach Out to Us and Connect

Call to meet us at 1-510-655-2830.

We will want to have two to three conversations with you including an interview. During our conversation we will arrange for you the following opportunities:

  1. Speak with current students or alumni
  2. Speak with one or more faculty members
  3. Attend one or more WISR seminars
  4. MFT students only…
    A) Check with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) and/or CAMFT about any remaining questions about licensure
    B) Join the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Call to meet us at 1-510-655-2830.

 

Important Documents to Read Before Applying

Read these webpages and formulate further questions:

Your Alignment with WISR’s Mission

Important: In preparation for your interview, we ask that throughout your reading you consider whether WISR’s mission statement and the focus of your program of interest is:

  1. Aligned with your own values and therefore something you find inspiring
  2. Aligned with your intentions and sense of purpose in life
  3. Aligned with activities you have already pursued in your life

 

This is the link to the “Admissions Application and Interview Form.” 

As part of the application process, all admissions to study at WISR are made on the basis of intensive conversations with applicants about their goals, interests, and backgrounds, and applicants are told about the kinds of learning and action that are involved in studying with us. Initial discussions may be informal.

Thereafter, each serious applicant is asked to file a formal application for admission, by filling out:

  1. The Admissions Application and Interview Form,
  2. submitting transcripts of previous college-level study to verify that the student has met WISR’s admissions requirements and to verify any transfer credit requested, and
  3. providing two letters of recommendation from others who can attest to the student’s readiness for further academic study.
  4. The application for admission must also include a written statement describing the scope and significance of the applicant’s study and future objectives, assessing how well these fit with study at WISR, and discussing the applicant’s commitments to professional and community work.

WISR is interested in working with students who find a common bond with the Institute’s stated philosophy and goals.

We are also interested in students who have given some thought to their educational goals and have an initial clarity about them, although we recognize that goals frequently change as a student’s course of study progresses.

WISR also seeks students who want a flexible program, tailored to their individual needs, but who also want discipline and rigor in their studies.

These and other issues are discussed frankly and openly with each serious applicant, and students’ intelligent self-selection to study at WISR is very deliberately emphasized.

Many tentatively interested inquirers are discouraged from formally applying if their specific interests, personal maturity, or resources of time and money do not promise success in study here. We help many potential applicants to find other ways of pursuing their studies elsewhere.

As part of the application process, each applicant must discuss her or his background and objectives with a core faculty member, usually WISR’s President or Chief Academic Officer. Interested persons are routinely encouraged to visit WISR seminars and to talk with other faculty, students, and Board members of WISR, to gain several perspectives on study at WISR and a sense of the learning community that they may be joining.

 

Set Up Your Interview

Call us and arrange for your interview. In preparation for the interview, we think it is valuable for you to read the questions we will be asking the topics we will be discussing in advance. Here’s the link to the “Admissions Application and Interview Formwhich makes that clear. 

About the Interview

As part of the application process, each applicant must discuss her or his background and objectives with WISR’s President or Chief Academic Officer. This meeting is both an “admissions interview” and an exploration, together, of how well WISR’s distinctive approach to learning and our specific State-licensed degree offerings, will meet the prospective student’s needs and enable him or her to have a strong likelihood of using a WISR program in the meaningful and successful pursuit of his or her short- and long-term goals.

Prospective students are urged to have a face-to-face meeting at WISR; however, if it is more convenient, or if the student is living at a distance, two or more in depth phone or video conversations often suffice. An hour-long conversation is scheduled so that the prospective student will not feel rushed, and indeed, students are welcome, and even expected, to have more than one conversation with WISR’s President or Chief Academic Officer.

After extensive discussions, most prospective enrollees are able to judge the kinds of student autonomy and commitment that study at WISR requires. Most applicants who do not have the necessary qualifications screen themselves out voluntarily.

The purpose of the conversations and interviews is to help each person to make a very informed decision about whether or not to apply for admissions, and also to enable the Chief Academic Officer and/or the President, sometimes in consultation with other faculty, make the decision to admit the prospective student, based on whether or not they are likely to benefit from studying at WISR. 

The WISR “Admissions Application and Interview Form” shows how much we place a priority on admitting those prospective students who understand WISR’s learning methods and mission, whether or not a WISR degree is likely to aid them in achieving their future goal and who are likely to succeed in learning and pursuing an academic degree at WISR.

 

If admitted, call us to set up your start date and arrange your enrollment meeting in which you sign your enrollment agreement and set up your payment plan. 

In preparation for the enrollment meeting, make sure you have read the following WISR documents: 

WISR’s Catalog

WISR’s Consumer Disclosures

Tuition and Fees

Learn about WISR’s tuition, fees and related topics. 

 

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