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Transfer of Academic Credit

Transfer to WISR of Academic Credit Received from Other Institutions

Except for the limited exceptions noted below, WISR will only accept transfer credit from accredited institutions, and further, that entering MS students must possess an accredited Bachelor’s Degree, and that entering EdD students must hold an accredited Master’s degree or 30 semester units of graduate study at an accredited institution, and demonstrate the ability to make creative scholarly and/or action-oriented leadership contributions during their studies. 

Here are the two exceptions which may then lead to faculty giving the student’s application for admission further review: 

  

  1. Students will be able to transfer coursework, up to the 12 semester unit maximum, to WISR’s MS in Psychology/MFT program, if they have received coursework from an unaccredited institution that has been approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (which oversees MFT and LPCC licensure requirements). The rationale here is that the California BBS’s approval of a degree program for licensure means that student coursework from those institutions meets the standards for State licensure, which is the main purpose of this degree program.
  2. Occasionally, and rarely (currently only on two occasions, with  NewlaneUniversity and Andrew University), WISR may enter into an articulation agreement with an unaccredited institution—for admitting their graduates and/or transferring credit—and only when that institution is in the progress of seeking regional or national accreditation. Most importantly, WISR will only do so, after WISR faculty have reviewed that institution’s curriculum and decided that it is of the quality expected of accredited institutions as well as meeting WISR’s added, special standards and expectations for student learning.

Furthermore, WISR will SERIOUSLY CONSIDER accepting transfer credit from such institutions, and/or admitting students with degrees from that institution, only after 1) WISR faculty have reviewed samples of the student’s work (papers that they have written), 2) reviewed in detail the descriptions of their prior coursework, AND 3) also have (as is always the case with prospective students) interviewed the student about their knowledge, interests, previous experiences, and readiness for study at WISR.  These decisions cannot be made by the CEO or CAO alone, but are also made in consultation with at least one other faculty member (or by the CEO and CAO together), before admitting the student.

The rationales for these limited exceptions are as follows:

  • We want to be fair and equitable, and in these special cases, at least, not punish students from unaccredited institutions, if they can provide sufficient evidence that they can do the rigorous study required at WISR, and that pursuing a degree at WISR will benefit them in terms of their learning and their future goals.
  • We have no interest in soliciting the enrollment of large numbers of students from unaccredited institutions. Indeed, there are only several instances of our enrolling such students in the past 20+ years. These provisions are meant to be very targeted exceptions to the rule—1) students from two institutions whose curricula are strong and whose student populations might be appropriate for WISR (still, likely at most two or three such students in the next two or more years); and 2) students who were previously pursuing the State MFT (or LPCC) license at a State-approved school. 
  • We will only admit students in these “exceptions to the rule” categories after faculty have evaluated the quality of their previous academic work and are convinced that they can benefit from learning at WISR and succeed in achieving WISR’s learning outcomes. 
  • Finally, as noted below, in some cases, these students will only be admitted “provisionally” to see if they can succeed at WISR. 

In addition, WISR faculty will review the agreements with the two unaccredited institutions annually, based on an examination of the institution’s curriculum each year and the institution’s progress toward accreditation.

In some cases, we may decide to admit students from these particular unaccredited institutions on a “provisional” basis.   In these cases, we will inform the student that we can only admit them provisionally, and that they cannot be admitted as a degree-seeking student until they have completed at least 13 semester units of coursework satisfactorily, and with good progress that provides WISR faculty with evidence that they will complete the program not only satisfactorily but also within the expected time. This decision will then be made by the Faculty Executive Committee after the student has completed 13 units.  The $600 enrollment fee will be waived until, and only charged, if, the student is later accepted into full degree-seeking status.

Subject to the specific qualifications and limitations listed below, students may transfer credit to WISR only from nationally and regionally accredited institutions, and from these two special, exceptional categories. 

 

Undergraduate:

No more than 80 semester units may be transferred from other institutions toward WISR’s 120 semester units required for the BS. 

BS students may transfer no more than a total of 30 semester units based on credit for prior experience (from other institutions, but WISR does not itself award credit for prior experience), and credit by testing by the nationally recognized CLEP exam, combined.  All undergraduate units earned by a student from any nationally or regionally accredited college or university are routinely accepted for credit by WISR, so long as the course content is applicable to WISR’s BS program. Undergraduate units from foreign institutions or from unaccredited institutions and those not approved by the State of California are accepted by WISR if they can be translated into U.S. equivalents and if we can verify that the quality of work expected of students at WISR.

Foreign students must have their transcripts evaluated by an agency that is a member of one of the following two associations:

Graduate:

For WISR’s MFT program, students who have completed academic work which clearly meets State guidelines and WISR’s descriptions of the core courses required for WISR’s MFT MS in Psychology option may then receive up to 12 semester units of transfer credit.

For WISR’s MFT program, students who have completed academic work which clearly meets State guidelines and WISR’s descriptions of the core courses required for WISR’s MFT MS in Psychology option may then receive up to 12 semester units of transfer credit. Courses transferred for students entering the MFT program are evaluated by WISR’s President or Chief Academic Officer, sometimes in consultation with licensed MFT’s on WISR’s faculty, to make certain that the course titles/descriptions closely parallel State guidelines, as well as WISR’s descriptions for core MFT courses.

In other graduate programs at WISR, each student’s prior graduate study is taken into careful account, in planning out her or his program of study, in order to build on the student’s strengths and avoid duplication of efforts. Some graduate course work is accepted for transfer in such cases. Credit is accepted for transfer only if it is determined, after examining the student’s transcript(s) and/or samples of the student’s academic work, that the work to be accepted for transfer credit is 1) relevant to the degree program into which they are transferring and comparable in substance and quality to work expected at WISR Some graduate course work is accepted for transfer in such cases. At the request of the prospective student, the President and/or the Chief Academic Officer, often in consultation with a subcommittee of WISR’s faculty, evaluates the student request for transfer of credit, based on the student’s transcript and other relevant evidence, such as course syllabi and/or samples of the student’s academic work.

No more than 9 units of doctoral level credit may be transferred toward Doctoral studies at WISR, and no more than 6 semester units may be transferred toward the MS in Education and Community Leadership.

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