(903) 892-2020


WISR (“Wiser”) is known as a premier academic institute for social change since its inception in 1975.  WISR offers individualized Master’s 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), 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.

In order to focus on our graduate programs, which have always been our main emphasis, we have discontinued our BS program in Community Leadership and Justice, as of February 2021 (all BS students enrolled in the past five years have completed their degrees!)

Our tuition is very affordable for working adults with modest incomes and family commitments–at $8,400/year ($700/month) [annual payment plan: $7,500; semi-annual payment plan: $8,000] on November 1, 2021  

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 continue to show strong progress toward accreditation, and about WISR’s financial integrity and legally required disclosures are found later in this catalog and on our website at:  https://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.  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:  Primary Staff: John Bilorusky, PhD, is the President—the Chief Executive Officer, Brian Gerrard, PhD, is Chief Academic Officer, Marilyn Jackson, PhD, is Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Operating Officer, David Ross, EdD Candidate, is Quality Improvement Officer, Julian Tao, MS, is Chief Finance Officer, Mark Wilson is Learning Experience Designer/Technologian. Sudia Paloma McCaleb, EdD, is Director of the EdD Program and of the MS program in Education and Community Leadership, and Ronald Mah, LMFT, PhD, is Co-Director of the MFT Program. WISR Faculty Member, Karen Wall, EdD, LMFT, is Co-Director of the MFT Program, Coordinator of Student Services, and Chair of the Institutional Research Board.

Office Hours:

Upon request, except during COVID, any tuition-paying WISR student, may obtain access to WISR’s facilities–library, study space, and laptop computer 24/7.  Except during the COVID pandemic, when all instruction is online and by zoom or phone only, a staff person is typically at WISR 10 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays Thursdays, and Fridays, 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:

  • David Yamada, JD, PhD, Chair of the Board
  • Marcia Campos, MA, Vice Chair of the Board
  • Charles Greene, MBA, Treasurer of the Board
  • Brian C. Harris, BA, Secretary of the Board
  • Che Kum Clement, PhD
  • Richard Lawrence, MDiv
  • Non-voting members:
  • John Bilorusky, PhD, President/CEO
  • Sudia Paloma McCaleb, EdD. Faculty
  • Toni Nemia, LMFT, MS. Director of WISR’s Center for Child and Family Development
  • Karen Young, MPH. EdD Student
  • Nicole Bilorusky, BA. MFT Student

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.

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 catalog