(903) 892-2020


WISR (“Wiser”) is known as a premier academic institute for social change since its inception in 1975.  WISR offers individualized BS, MS and Doctoral degree programs for working adults.*  Areas of study are: Psychology (an MS program that leads to the State’s Marriage and Family Therapy License as well as for those seeking to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor), BS in Community Leadership and Justice (which draws on such areas as Social Sciences, Human Services and Community Development), an MS in Education and Community Leadership, and an EdD (Doctor of Education) in Education and Social Change. Over the years, our interdisciplinary EdD program* in Higher Education and Social Change has been an exceedingly popular program for talented and highly innovative professionals and community leaders. *Since June 1, 2013, WISR has admitted all new doctoral students to an EdD program, while previously enrolled doctoral students are allowed to complete their PhDs.  We made the decision to switch the designation of the PhD program to an EdD program to enable us to explore the possibility of seeking national accreditation with an accrediting agency that is approved to accredit professional doctoral degrees.

Our tuition is very affordable for working adults with modest incomes and family commitments–at $7,500/year; $625/month.  

DEFERRED TUITION OPTION FOR LIMITED NUMBER OF STUDENTS:  Although WISR has no access to Federal grants or loans, students with great financial need may inquire as to the potential availability of having a tuition deferment of $225/month, at 5% interest while enrolled.  Once they are no longer enrolled students must either pay the entire balance of deferred tuition, or alternatively make monthly payments of $225/month, and at that time 5% interest per annum is charged on the unpaid balance while the student is making monthly payments on the balance due. The tuition deferment option is limited to a certain number of students, and we cannot guarantee that this option will be possible at any particular time. In any case, students must apply for this option, if available, and discuss their financial need and the extent of their commitment and readiness to pursue a WISR degree program to its completion, without having to take a leave of absence.

VERY LIMITED NUMBER OF WORK-STUDY POSITIONS: In addition, there may be one or two institutional work-study positions sometimes available.  Occasionally, WISR has some needed work that can be performed by a few qualified students at a rate of 6 hours work for $100.  At this point, work-study earnings are limited to a maximum of $500/year.

IMPORTANT!  Information about WISR’s unaccredited degree, the new State requirement that WISR and other State licensed schools must achieve accreditation by July 1, 2020, WISR’s financial integrity and legally required disclosures are found later in this catalog and on our website at:  http://www.wisr.edu/about-2/important-legally-required-disclosures/

Calendar:  WISR operates year-round, and students may begin studies at any time, and graduate,withdraw or take a leave of absence at any time.

Distance Learning: WISR offers distance learning to all students, as well as the option to meet with faculty and students on site, in advising sessions, seminars, study groups and conferences.  All seminars, study groups and conferences are available to students both on site and from a distance by internet and phone access to video and audio conferences with those on site.  To be admitted, students must:  1) demonstrate that they are capable of successfully studying from afar, and 2) have adequate internet and telephone access, to enable them to participate in frequent telephone and/or video conferences. Students who are nearby or visiting the Bay Area are always invited to meet with faculty and other students on site, and to participate in seminars on site (that are also always accessible by phone and video conference over the internet).

Primary Staff:  John Bilorusky, PhD is the President—the Chief Executive and Academic Officer.  Vera Labat, MPH, is the Chief Financial Officer, Marilyn Jackson, PhD, is Executive Assistant to the President, Dalia Liang is Administrative Officer, and Mark Wilson is Learning Technologist.

Office Hours:

Upon request, any tuition-paying WISR student, may obtain access to WISR’s facilities–library, study space, and laptop computer 24/7.  A staff person is typically at WISR 10 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as many other times throughout the week, and by appointment upon request.

Board of Trustees:  As a private, non-profit organization with Federal 501(c)(3) status, WISR is governed by its Board of Trustees, who also closely communicate and collaborate with WISR’s President and the faculty.  Current members are:

  • Marcia Campos, MA, Chair of the Board
  • David Yamada, JD, PhD, Vice Chair of the Board
  • John Watkins, PhD, Secretary of the Board
  • Charles Greene, MBA,Treasurer of the Board
  • Vera Labat, MPH, Chief Financial Officer
  • Peggy Baxter, MSW
  • Sevgi Fernandez, BA
  • Gabriela Hofmeyer, BS
  • Suzanne Quijano, MBA, MA, LMFT
  • Sevgi Fernandez, BA
  • John Bilorusky, PhD, President/CEO


WISR’s history is indeed the stories of our students successfully building bridges to the significant things they next want to do in their lives. Our alumni have used their academic projects at WISR to network with professionals and community groups, to create new programs and even new agencies, to carve out distinctive and well-recognized specializations and consulting practices, and to obtain professional positions that carry significant and meaningful responsibilities. In sum, our alumni have generally been very, very satisfied with how well they have been able to use the combination of their WISR learning and their WISR State licensed degree to accomplish their goals, and indeed, to do more than they even aimed to do when they first enrolled at WISR. The profiles of our alumni that can be found on our website and in our catalogue attest to these successes.

Since 1975, WISR has successfully supported the creative, community involvement efforts of hundreds of adult learners–through its highly personalized, socially progressive and interdisciplinary BS, MS and EdD programs. WISR students and the communities with which they are involved, reflect great geographic, intellectual and cultural diversity.  WISR’s extraordinary students and faculty together have created a dynamic and inquiring learning community where

“Multicultural is WISeR”!!! 

photo WISR students, faculty, alumni, Board, and family members at Annual Conference in Fall 2014

photo WISR students, faculty, alumni, Board, and family members at Annual Conference in Fall 2014


WISR’s online catalogue