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Admissions Application

Entering undergraduate students must attest to having a high school diploma, or having passed the GED exam.  If you cannot conveniently obtain an official copy of your high school diploma or transcript, you may instead attest to and sign to these requirements by filling out and signing the  High School Diploma or GED Verification Form. In addition, those with no previous college credit, must demonstrate in the first course at WISR that they are capable of doing this level of academic work.  If they are not able to do this, they will have their tuition money refunded and not be allowed to continue in the program. They may, at a later date, reapply for admission if they successfully complete college level work elsewhere (e.g., in a California community college) and are subsequently able to study and perform well in the introductory course on “Learning the WISR Way.”

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.*

*Academic credit earned from unaccredited institutions, including California licensed institutions, and foreign institutions, will be evaluated on a case by case basis, to determine if the quality of student work is comparable to that of students in many accredited institutions. Specifically, the student may submit evidence of the quality of their previous academic study (e.g., copies of papers or recommendations from academicians who hold accredited doctoral degrees, or evidence of the consistency and quality of the work done by students from the particular unaccredited institution).  Such applicants may also submit professional or scholarly papers or projects that they have produced–which suggest that their previous study was at the level expected of accredited programs. The Chief Academic Officer (currently, WISR’s President) will evaluate this evidence, in consultation with a subcommittee of WISR’s faculty, or in some cases, by consulting with an admissions officer or knowledgeable academic official at an accredited institution of higher learning. For the Bachelor’s degree, WISR’s natural science and humanities breadth requirements may be met by previous academic work at other institutions when the student has had at least eight (8) semester units in either one or both of these areas of study. WISR will also consider for credit course challenge examination results from such nationally recognized standardized tests as the CLEP tests. A maximum of 90 semester units may be transferred.

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) a one page-Admissions 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.   The application for admission must 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.

Obtain:  WISR’s Admissions Application Form

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 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, so long as the student possesses the required previous academic work, completes the needed application paperwork, has access to and ability to use the internet and email, and has no language barriers. 

From such 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.  Where special questions arise about the appropriateness of a student’s application for admission (or readmission after withdrawal), the Chief Academic Officer (currently, the President) asks a subcommittee of WISR’s faculty to discuss these issues and advise him or her.  Final decisions on individual admission are made by the Chief Academic Officer, but any rejected applicant will be notified in writing that admission decisions may be appealed directly to the Board.

40th Anniversary w-out 2015