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Admissions Interview

As part of the application process, each applicant must discuss her or his background and objectives with a core faculty member, usually WISR’s President or Chief Academic Officer. This meeting is both much an “admissions interview” and an exploration, together, of how well WISR’s distinctive approach to learning and our specific State-licensed degree offerings, will meet the prospective student’s needs and enable him or her to have a strong likelihood of using a WISR program in the meaningful and successful pursuit of his or her short- and long-term goals. Prospective students are urged to have a face-to-face meeting at WISR; however, if it is more convenient, or if the student is living at a distance, two or more indepth phone conversations often suffice. An hour long conversation is scheduled so that the prospective student will not feel rushed, and indeed, students are welcome, and even encouraged, to have more than one conversation with WISR’s President. After extensive 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.

The purpose of the conversations and interviews is to help each person to make a very informed decision about whether or not to apply for admissions, and also to enable the Chief Academic Officer and/or the President, sometimes in consultation with other faculty, make the decision to admit the prospective student, based on whether or not the they are likely to benefit from studying at WISR. 

Admissions to Non-Degree Studies as an Option for Some Students

At WISR, we wish for students to proceed at a pace that makes sense in terms of their learning needs and purposes. Over the years, we have found that some students are interested in support for significant, personal learning goals—including help in writing a book or series of articles, creating a new program or non-profit, developing a workshop series, or support for other personal learning agendas, and that while they may wish to pursue an academic degree, this is not of prime importance. Consequently, we advise students that there are maximum allowable amounts of time for students to complete our degree programs—6 years for a Bachelor’s degree for those with no previous academic credit and 3 years for those transferring with 80 semester units of credit; 4 years for the MS in Education and Community Leadership. And 6 years for both the MS in Psychology and the EdD. In some cases, when a student has a disability or some other special, extenuating circumstances, they may petition for a little bit more time to complete the degree.

We advise students who wish not to be held to these timetables—which are designed to require the pace of consistent half-time study, or more, by each student—that they should instead enroll as a non-degree student.  Then, if after completing several courses of study, they wish to formally enroll in a degree program, they will be given credit for the courses completed. Students must do non-degree studies selected from courses in a degree program in which they would be eligible for admission. Faculty discuss these options with prospective students to help determine which options would likely be in their best interests.

In order to think about some key issues that any prospective student should contemplate, please read the section on: Learning About WISR.

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