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Career Center

WISR Internship and Career Resource Center for Community Leadership and Justice


The WISR Internship and Career Resource Center for Community Leadership and Justice seeks to provide WISR students, alumni, and faculty with support and access to resources on career development in traditional and alternative areas–related to community leadership and justice, education, and counseling psychology.  In particular, the WISR Career Center for Community Leadership and Justice aims to help WISR learners to use their education to change the world and to help others through their professional and community leadership roles, while also surviving and thriving materially and personally.  Students will receive information and personalized guidance as they pursue, and in some cases, develop, their careers—while being mindful of their own sense of what is meaningful, and their larger personally-held commitments, which may include matters of social justice, spirituality, and sustainability, for example. 

Services, include:

1) Information about Socially Responsible Careers and Jobs;

2) Information about Socially Responsible Internships and Practica;

3) Informational Events and Workshops;

4) Materials on Careers and Building Bridges to the Next Important Things to do in Your Life.

However, the assistance with Career Development and Networking, and information available through the Career Center, does not include job placement, nor is anything stated here (in the catalog and on the WISR website) meant to imply that students should expect job placement assistance, or any guarantees of job placement.

The WISR Career Center was developed by the late, WISR faculty member, Michael McAvoy [mmcavoy@wisr.edu ], with support and assistance from WISR alumna, Suzanne Quijano, MA (MFTI), MBA, and other WISR faculty.

Also, as part of their ongoing mentoring and advising of students, WISR faculty rather consciously and continually help students to design learning activities—action projects, research, and writings—that help to build bridges to the student’s desired career path. 

Socially Responsible Careers and Jobs

  • Idealist.org: This is the best one stop site for seekers of alternative, progressive opportunities for internships, jobs, careers, organizations, social actions/projects, events, individuals and community. With 100,000 (including WISR) organizational and 800,000 individual members, individuals can sign up to receive daily notice of available jobs, or a daily blog – Idealist Careers – which provides ideas and resources for preparing, seeking , and manifesting an alternative, progressive career. There are also regular webinars in this vein – all for free @ www.idealist.org .
  • LearnHowToBecome.org
    LearnHowToBecome.org http://www.learnhowtobecome.org/ began in late 2013. Its mission is to help students (or other aspiring professionals) understand what it takes to land their perfect career. A one-stop, comprehensive resource, it can guide individuals through each of the steps they need to take to begin, further, or change their career path. Careers are described in detail including areas in social service, psychology, education, health and medicine and more. Also provided is a special section on ‘Green’ careers, socially responsible non-profit careers and domestic and international volunteer opportunities (such as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps) to prepare and gain experience for a career of service http://www.learnhowtobecome.org/volunteer-and-nonprofit-careers/ .
  • Health and Public Health: The website of the Prevention Institute in Oakland preventioninstitute.org , a progressive think and action center emphasizing ‘upstream’ (read: social inequalities/determinants) perspectives on health and public health issues has an excellent page for local and national jobs in health, psychology and social welfare.
  • Drug Abuse Careers:  http://drugabuse.com/library/drug-abuse-careers/
  • Higher Education: Academic teaching/faculty opportunities/jobs/careers as well as the same in college/university administration or Alt-Academic roles in higher education can be found @ insidehighered.com .
  • Activism/Social Change:

Begin with Amherst University’s webpage on careers in social activism.

Other useful sites:

–tips on developing a resume, interviewing for jobs, types of jobs


Making a Living While Making a Difference: The Expanded Guide to Creating Careers with a Conscience by Everett, Melissa

While we are enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in decades, our need to mesh career with purpose is at an all-time high. And, as business and society continue to place greater emphasis on social and environmental responsibility, opportunities for career-seekers with a conscience have never been better. This completely revised second edition of “Making a Living While Making a Difference” updates the rapidly expanding career opportunities in socially responsible and green business, industry, commerce, and non-profits. Professional career counselor Melissa Everett guides the reader through a 10-step program for career development that stresses personal fulfillment, integrity, and contribution. Unlike traditional career guides that focus on defining skill areas, “Making a Living While Making a Difference” focuses on personal, social, and environmental values as the driving force for career decisions. Expanded and updated self-assessments, exercises, and visualizations point the reader toward defining their personal area of commitment. Compelling stories such as the origins of the Endangered Species Chocolate Company or the success of Stonyfield Farm, the feisty little yogurt company, illustrate how ordinary people are doing good and doing well. Everett provides a compassionate self-help framework for dealing with the unique challenges of establishing and maintaining a value-driven life/work career path. Whether a new job-seeker, job-changer, or someone who would like to make a difference right where they are, “Making a Living While Making a Difference” is the definitive “how-to-make-it-happen” guide for anyone who wants to customize their work lives to reflect their values morefully. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction PART ONE: THE WORK TO BE DONE Self EmploymentThe Work to be DoneHeadlines We’d Like to See, I: Environmental Protection and RenewalHeadlines We’d Like to See, II: Social HealingCatalysts for a Positive Future: Occupations that Make a Difference PART TWO: A TEN STEP PROGRAM FOR PRINCIPLED CAREER DEVELOPMENTStep 1: Wake UpStep 2: Stabilize Your LifeStep 3: Create a Vibrant Support SystemStep 4: Turn On the Light of Connection

100 Jobs in Social Change by Harley Jebens

The methods and opportunities to call for and implement change can be found virtually anywhere. From the high-rise offices of corporate America, to the door-to-door activities of canvassers and candidates, to the computer screens of Internet users worldwide, people from all walks of life have engaged their professional skills and personal experiences to help shape a better world. 100 Jobs in Social Change explores= those skills, experiences, and jobs to introduce you to the various opportunities available in this compelling and challenging arena of work. Spanning corporate, nonprofit, and freelance careers, 100 Jobs in Social Changeprovides all the basics needed – including brief descriptions of each job, typical salary levels, prospects for finding work, and qualifications and characteristics you should possess – to flourish in a chosen line of work. Along with each entry, there is an insightful profile of a person from each field that describes a typical day on the job and details the steps each took to rise to his or her current position.

The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry

A career guide with WISR students in mind (see review below):
“ You don’t have to stifle your creative impulses to pay the bills. For anyone who’s ever been told, “Don’t quit your day job,” career counselor Carol Eikleberry is here to say, “Pursue your dreams!” Now in its third edition, her inspiring guide provides knowledgeable career guidance, real-life success stories, and eye-opening self-evaluation tools to help artistic individuals figure out how to remain different, unconventional, and hard-to-categorize while finding work they love.

The revised third edition of the popular guide for offbeat [alternative/activist] individuals seeking work that suits their unique skills, talents, and passions. Updated throughout, including new inspiration and tips for keeping a creative job notebook. Descriptions of more than 270 creative jobs, from the mainstream (architect, Web designer) to the unexpected (crossword-puzzle maker, police sketch artist). Previous editions have sold more than 60,000 copies.Reviews“What a great manual for young rebels and older freethinkers who are plotting their next career move.”—Boston Globe

Careers for Nonconformists: A Practical Guide to Finding and Developing a Career Outside the Mainstream by Sandra Gurvis

Life-Work: A Career Guide for Idealists by William A. Charland

From Making a Profit to Making a Difference by Richard M. King

Good Works: A Guide to Careers in Social Change (Good Works) (Paperback)
by Donna Colvin (Editor), Ralph Nader (Editor)

Careers for Good Samaritans & Other Humanitarian Types  by Marjorie Eberts (Author),Margaret Gisler (Author)

Career Guidance from Faculty

“As part of their ongoing mentoring and advising of students, WISR faculty rather consciously and continually help students to design learning activities—action projects, research, and writings—that help to build bridges to the student’s desired career path. “In most academic programs, a student first gets a degree, and then uses that degree to qualify for a particular type of job. Although WISR degrees are a source of credibility for most of our students in their professional endeavors, many WISR alumni have told us that it was much more significant that WISR gave them the intellectual, social and emotional support and impetus to develop, embark on and/or stay committed to their own distinctive career paths, while they were in the midst of their learning at WISR. They especially value the personalized assistance from faculty, to not limit their visions by the definitions of existing jobs and careers, and to enable them to be both visionary and realistic in pursuing a life path that makes sense to them.” [excerpt from “Multicultural, Community-Based Knowledge-Building: Lessons from a tiny institution where students and faculty sometimes find magic in the challenge and support of collaborative inquiry” by John Bilorusky and Cynthia Lawrence. In Community and the World: Participating in Social Change, Torry D. Dickinson (ed.). Nova Science Publishers, 2013].

The WISR Career Center is coordinated by President, John Bilorusky, with support and assistance from WISR alumnus, Suzanne Quijano, MA (MFTI), MBA, and other WISR faculty.

Networking & Careers

At WISR, career development and networking is integrated into the entire learning process.

At WISR, like at most colleges and universities, students use the attainment of an academic degree to give them added credibility in the pursuit of career advancement. In most academic programs, a student first gets a degree, and then uses that degree to qualify for a particular type of job. At WISR, by contrast, students are assisted and encouraged to pursue career objectives while they are enrolled, and to use their projects at WISR as part of this pursuit.

Indeed, WISR faculty make conscious and concerted efforts to help WISR students to design learning activities—action projects, writings and research—which will build bridges to each student’s desired career path and objectives. For this reason, many WISR alumni believe that it was very significant that WISR gave them the academic, social and emotional support, and impetus, to develop and embark on their own self-defined, and oftentimes, very distinctive, career paths, while they were still in the midst of their studies at WISR. They have often commented on the value they place on the personalized assistance they received from WISR faculty, to not limit their visions by the definitions of existing jobs, and to enable them to construct their studies at WISR in ways that were both visionary and realistic in pursuing the next steps of a personally meaningful life path.

WISR alumni have also frequently told us of the value of the letters of reference that WISR faculty were able to write for them—because faculty get to know students so very well at WISR, they are able to back up the letters they write on behalf of former students with considerable convincing detail and tangible illustrations about the capabilities and qualities of their students. In addition, WISR students sometimes choose to present some of the projects they completed at WISR as further proof of their capabilities—evidence which is more persuasive to most employers than a simple transcript containing grades and titles of courses completed.

It should be added that some of our alumni have professional goals that do not involve plans for further or continued employment–this is especially true of alumni who are in their retirement, or near retirement years, who want to further develop their professional knowledge and skills to help others and to make a positive difference in the world.  Furthermore, many of our employed alumni place a higher priority on using the professional knowledge and expertise developed through their WISR studies in their volunteer community involvements.

WISR Alumni panel, discussing their action-research: Vera Labat, Osahon Eigbike, Suzanne Quijano and Lydell Willis

WISR Alumni panel, discussing their action-research: Vera Labat, Osahon Eigbike, Suzanne Quijano and Lydell Willis


Some Career Options

Because of the nature of WISR’s personalized degree programs, many WISR students enroll to pursue advanced learning, not related to employment goals, including to further their non-employed endeavors related to community leadership, as well as to design career paths for themselves that are distinctive that do not yet commonly exist in the society. Those students who enroll at WISR for the purpose of entering a career, most commonly would pursue careers within the following job classifications, identified by the United States Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification System Classification Codes, at the Detailed Occupation (six-digit) level:

25-1081 Education Teachers, Postsecondary

21-1013 Marriage and Family Therapists

21-1093 Social and Human Service Assistants

21-1099 Community and Social Service Specialists, All Other

11-9033 Education Administrators, Postsecondary

11-9039 Education Administrators, All Other

11-9151 Social and Community Service Managers