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Student Services

Newly Established Position of Student Services Coordinator (January 2020)

The Value and Role of a Student Services Coordinator:

At this point in WISR’s development, faculty see value in establishing a staff position of “Student Services Coordinator”—of having an additional, clearly identified person who can specialize in helping students address potentially unmet needs will only enhance student learning. The definition of this role and position may evolve over time, but for now, we see the following roles for the Student Services Coordinator:

  • An additional person whom students may seek out for added academic support, especially when they are having difficulties in progressing with their studies, and/or when they want to either change faculty advisors or gain the support from an additional faculty person. This will help us in our current, more intense efforts, to make sure that all enrolled students make progress during every six month period.
  • A person whom students may seek out to get counseling referrals, including when they may be uncomfortable asking their faculty advisor for a referral.
  • A person whom students may seek out who is familiar with WISR’s informal career network of alumni and friends of WISR, and with some of the resources available through our online “Career Center” of informative links.
  • An additional person, beyond the Board Chair and the CEO whom students may contact in the event of a sexual harassment issue, as well as in cases where there may be bullying or misunderstandings involving other students or faculty.

Decision to Establish the Position of Student Services Coordinator

This decision has been made after a series of conversations among members of WISR’s Faculty Executive Committee (which includes the CEO, Chief Academic Officer, Doctoral Program Chair and MFT Program Chair), as well as with the Chief Administrative Officer.  The Student Services Coordinator will report to the CEO and the Chief Academic Officer.

The Student Services Coordinator:

This position is held by WISR Faculty Member, Karen Wall, EdD, LMFT.  karen.wall@wisr.edu

Access to Student Services Coordinator:

Entering students are now informed about the role and contact information for the Student Services Coordinator as part of their Admissions Interview and in their initial meeting with a faculty advisor.  Information about the Student Services Coordinator’s role and contact information is published on WISR’s website and in the catalog.  Faculty are informed of the Student Services Coordinator’s role and contact information, and are aware of the importance of referring students who may be in need of any of the assistance and services provided by the Student Services Coordinator.  As an adjunct faculty member, the Student Services Coordinator will participate in faculty meetings.

Other Student Services Offered, and not Offered

As a small institution serving mature, working adults, WISR does not provide special student services associated with more traditional universities, such as a counseling center or job placement office.

However, as a part of the teaching-learning process, WISR faculty regularly give students personal assistance with such matters as career planning, setting personal learning goals, and evaluating their impact on other life decisions. Faculty refer students to other students, alumni, adjunct faculty members, Board members, and others in the community who may be able to help them think through career decisions, find volunteer learning opportunities, and seek jobs.

Student Housing

The Western Institute for Social Research is an institution established for mature adults who are actively engaged in the work of the communities where they live. WISR does not provide dormitories, and assumes no responsibility to find or help students find housing. Indeed, housing is not readily available near WISR’s location, and one bedroom apartments can cost $2,000 to $3,000 per month, or more, to rent. Furthermore, students are not required to live in close proximity to WISR, or even in Northern California. Sometimes, students who are visiting from a distance may receive informal suggestions from faculty regarding nearby hotels that they may wish to investigate as possible places to stay. Students visiting WISR are typically able to find good accommodations for between $120 and $150 per night.

In any case, all of WISR’s programs may be pursued at a distance.

Career Development and Networking

At WISR, career development and networking is integrated into the entire learning process. However, the assistance with Career Development and Networking does not include job placement, nor is anything stated here (in the catalog, the enrollment agrement, and on the WISR website) meant to imply that students should expect job placement assistance, or any guarantees of job placement. Read more.

Information about:  WISR Career Center

Sexual Assault Victim Information

All sexual harassment or assault incidents are to be reported immediately to the WISR President John Bilorusky (510-601-8164; 510-459-1447; john.bilorusky@wisr.edu) or to WISR Board Chair, Marcia Campos (925-788-0997; octav@aol.com ; marcia.campos@wisr.edu ), or the Student Services Coordinator (see contact info above). In an emergency, dial 911 for immediate attention.

WISR Counseling Referral Guide

WISR faculty are to use these guidelines, suggestions and resources when they are working with students who may be in need of professional counseling support and assistance:

Counseling Referral Guide