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Founded in 1975, the Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) offers personalized BA, MA and Doctoral* degree programs to those who wish to combine academic studies and community-based inquiry with their community and professional involvements. Its degree programs have been California State approved** since 1977, and WISR offers an MA program the meets State requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license, and the new LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) license. WISR charges a modest $7,500/year for tuition. However, WISR students are not eligible for Federal financial aid, since WISR is not regionally accredited because it is very small, by design, with a current enrollment of just over 40 students. *Effective June 1, 2013, WISR admits all new doctoral students to an EdD program, while previously enrolled doctoral students complete their PhDs–we made the decision to switch the PhD program to an EdD program to enable us to explore the possibility of seeking national accreditation with an agency approved to accredit professional doctoral degrees.

** “Approved” means, “approval to operate” which means compliance with state standards as set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 8. For more information, go to the website of the State of California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education ( www.bppe.ca.gov )

We also collaborate with community groups in community-action projects. We are a multicultural learning community that engages people who are deeply and continually committed to progressive social change. For over three decades, WISR has successfully supported the creative, community involvement efforts of hundreds of adult learners. WISR students and the communities with which they are involved reflect great geographic, intellectual and cultural diversity. Our extraordinary students offer an exciting community for your studies where “Multicultural is WISeR.”

WISR works with community groups to support participatory action-research as a way to promote critically needed inquiry into community problems and engage the community in solutions. Recently, we have worked with such groups as Neighborhood House of North Richmond on youth mentoring, community health issues, and violence prevention; Bay Area Black United Fund on health disparities impacting African American communities and people; the Omaha Tribal Historical Research Project on preserving and making accessible the history of the Omaha people; and Eco-City Builders and West Oakland residents on moving toward a sustainable urban village in West Oakland.

If you are a member of the media and are interested in doing a story on WISR please contact WISR President, Dr. John Bilorusky, 510-655-2830 (vm), johnb@wisr.edu

Listed below are some articles that have previously appeared about WISR in the news.

One issue of the Open Exchange Magazine has a featured article on “Higher Learning and Social Change at WISeR .” This article focuses on the blog and therapeutic work of WISR PhD student, Sherri Kimbell, and her presentation at WISR’s August 2011 conference on her plans to develop greatly needed therapeutic support for returning military personnel.

Another issue of the Open Exchange Magazine has an interview with WISR President, John Bilorusky, in their “Back to School” article on “Personalized Learning: No ‘Cookie Cutter’ Classes

Other articles about WISR:

The Professional Coaching Movement at the Western Institute for Social Research

WISR Graduates Build Healthy Communities

WISR Begins its 35th Year, Starting New Program: Community Action Think Tanks

A Commitment to Social Change: The Western Institute for Social Research

Learning at WISR: A Tradition of Innovation, Community Improvement and Social Change

Surviving as a Socially Progressive University

WISR: Master’s Theses and Doctoral Dissertations

Building Community: WISR