Statement of Non-Discrimination and Affirmation of Diversity
WISR admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the Institute. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, or sex or disability in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, or any program that it administers. In addition, WISR seeks actively to build a multiracial, multicultural learning and teaching community, in which the central values are built on the worth and distinctiveness of each person’s background, going beyond our differences to celebrate qualities and needs that we all share as humans. WISR actively encourages interested members of ethnic and racial minority groups, women, and other underserved persons to discover whether its programs and methods fit their special, personal and community interests and goals.
For undergraduate admission, a high school diploma or GED certificate is required. For admission to a Master of Science program, a Bachelor’s degree is required, and for admission to study for the Ed.D., each student must have a Master’s degree.
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. WISR is interested in working with students who find a common bond with the Institute’s stated philosophy and goals. 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.
In particular, each applicant must discuss her or his background and objectives with a core faculty member, usually WISR’s President. 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. In practice, an informed self-selection process typically takes place.
Calendar and Enrollment
WISR’s fiscal year begins on July 1. Programs continue year-round, although seminar activity is usually less in the summer. Students may apply, be admitted, and begin study in any month of the year, and may complete their programs in any month.
State Regulations Requiring WISR and All Approved Schools to Obtain Accreditation by July 2020
§71775.5. Pre-enrollment Disclosure; Notice to Prospective Degree Program
Students; Institutions with Existing Approvals to Operate.
(a), An approved unaccredited institution enrolling a student in a degree program shall, prior to execution of an enrollment agreement, provide the student with the following notice, which shall be in at least 12-point type in the same font as the enrollment agreement:
“Notice to Prospective Degree Program Students
This institution is approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to offer degree programs. To continue to offer degree programs, this institution must meet the following requirements:
• Become institutionally accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, with the scope of the accreditation covering at least one degree program.
• Achieve accreditation candidacy or pre-accreditation, as defined in regulations, by July 1, 2017, and full accreditation by July 1, 2020.
If this institution stops pursuing accreditation, the following will happen:
• The institution must stop all enrollment in its degree programs, and
• Provide a teach-out to finish the educational program or provide a refund.
An institution that fails to comply with accreditation requirements by the required dates shall have its approval to offer degree programs automatically suspended.
Institutional Representative Initials: __________ Student Initials: __________13
Date: ___________ Date: ___________”
(b) The student and an institutional representative shall initial and date the notice prior to executing an enrollment agreement. An initialed copy of the notice shall be given to the student and the original shall be retained in the enrolled student’s records.
(c) The notice shall also be posted immediately adjacent to wherever an institution’s degree granting programs are described and shall include, at a minimum, the following locations:
(1) The institution’s catalog.
(2) The institution’s website.
(3) The institution’s degree program brochures.
(d) This section shall remain in effect until July 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed.
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 94803, 94877, 94885 and 94885.1, Education Code. Reference:
Sections 94885, 94885.1, 94897, 94900, 94900.5, 94909, 94927.5 and 94932 Education Code.
What does this mean for WISR and for WISR students?
- Prior to this new law and regulation, WISR had already decided to pursue national accreditation (see below)
- With all accreditation efforts, there can never be a guarantee that an institution will be successful.
- WISR Board, faculty, alumni and students are strongly committed to obtaining accreditation, and will keep students, prospective students and the State informed of our progress (see update below). If WISR does not obtain accreditation by July 2020, WISR faculty will do a teach out with all WISR students, and those students will be able to receive an academic degree that is fully approved by the State of California.
Update on WISR’s steps in our progress toward National Accreditation:
- Prior to the creation of this new State regulation, WISR’s Board decided in early 2014 that WISR should pursue national accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS, founded in 1912). ACICS is recognized by the US Department of Education.
- In June 2014, WISR was visited by Dr. Joseph Gurubatham, Senior Vice President of Accreditation and Institutional Development, ACICS. Dr. Gurubatham conducted ACICS’ Inital Resource Visit, and following that visit, he shared his observations and suggestions with Dr. John Bilorusky, WISR President. Following this conversation, a decision was made that WISR could continue the next steps involved in formally applying for accreditation with ACICS.
- In October 2014, Dr. John Bilorusky, attended the initial, and required, accreditation workshop for CEOs of institutions seeking accreditation with ACICS.
- Since July 2014, WISR’s Board, faculty, students and alumni have been taking a number of steps as part of the accreditation process . . .
In monthly faculty meetings, and through the work of various subgroups, we are working on the institutional self-study.
We have added to and strengthened our program of faculty development–to support WISR faculty in their roles as professionals, mentors at WISR, and academicians.
We have added several new faculty to diversify and strengthen further our already highly qualified and experienced faculty.
Board, faculty, alumni and students have donated (as of February 1, 2015) $24,000 to help with the costs associated with the accreditation effort, and another $16,000 has been pledged for the year 2015.
We have arranged for the services of two experienced librarians, one with a Master’s of Library Science. They are working with faculty in laying the groundwork for cataloging WISR’s library (the process will begin in March 2015, with a goal of completing this sometime in Fall of 2015). They are also working with WISR’s President and faculty, to identify the most affordable and effective ways to give WISR students increased access to library databases.
We are analyzing the results of a detailed questionnaire and interview survey of recent WISR students–to learn about, and to document, student satisfaction, as well as any dissatisfactions, with their learning at WISR, to obtain suggestions for improvements.
WISR faculty are reviewing the details of WISR curriculum, with a view to adding some structure to each course syllabus in compliance with ACICS’ requirements, while also preserving WISR’s important emphasis on enabling each student to personalize his or her studies within the framework of WISR’s broad academic requirements and stated learning goals and objectives for each program and course of study.
We are increasing the numbers of seminars available to WISR students each month, so that all students will have at least two seminars each month that will meet their learning needs. Each seminar will be held onsite at WISR, while also being available to students, who live at a distance from WISR, by telephone conference call, and soon by video conference, as well.
Transfer of Academic Credit to WISR Received from Other Institutions
Subject to the specific qualifications and limitations listed below, students may transfer credit to WISR from other California State Approved programs and from regionally accredited institutions. If the student has received credit from an institution that has neither of these statuses, then WISR faculty will evaluate the student’s work and/or other evidence regarding the quality of the student’s work at the previous institution to determine if it is comparable in quality to the work typically done in California Approved and regionally accredited institutions. [Note under current California law, “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)
No more than 90 semester units may be transferred from other institutions toward WISR’s 124 semester units required for the BS. No more than 6 semester units of graduate study may be transferred toward WISR’s 36 semester units required for all MS degrees, other than the MS in Psychology, offered by WISR. 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 12 semester units of transfer credit. No more than 15 units of doctoral level credit may be transferred toward Doctoral studies at WISR.
Undergraduate: All undergraduate units earned by a student from any regionally accredited or California State-approved college or university are routinely accepted for credit by WISR. Undergraduate units from foreign institutions or from unaccredited institutions and those not approved by the State of California are accepted by WISR if they can be translated into U.S. equivalents or in quality of work expected of students at WISR. Nationally recognized standardized tests such as the CLEP tests WISR will also be considered for credit.
Graduate: 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 six semester units of transfer credit. Courses transferred for students entering the MFT program are evaluated by WISR’s President, 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.
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. At the request of the prospective student, the President, often in consultation with a Board-appointed subcommittee of two or three Board and/or faculty members, who hold graduate degrees, evaluates the student request for transfer of credit. 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 comparable in substance and quality to work expected at WISR. For MS students a maximum of six semester units is transferable, and at the doctoral level, a maximum of 15 semester units is transferable.
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. WISR’s admissions process helps all prospective students to assess their skills, learning needs and interests, and aids the prospective student in determining whether or not WISR can meet his or her 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 requires 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.
For More on Admissions
Each prospective student should read and explore our website carefully, and in particular, should read the following sections as first steps in learning about how to enroll at WISR:
- Admissions Application
- Admissions Interview
- Learning About WISR
- Tuition and Fees
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
And, of course, each student should carefully read the extensive details in the various subsections under “Academics.”