WISR’s Library has a copy of most books that are required or recommended for reading by WISR students in each degree program. They are available for students from the reserve section of our library. WISR’s library is estimated to be about 6,000 books, with several hundred periodicals, as well as some reprints, videos and audios of relevance to our students. Our collection is strongest in these areas: higher education and adult education, education and society, qualitative and action-oriented methods of research and evaluation, counseling psychology and general psychology, ethnic studies and multiculturalism, strategies of community leadership and social change, and environmental issues, as well as recent developments in the natural sciences. Smaller collections are in community development and social policy, human services, philosophy, literature, and the arts.

News & Events

Each month students from all of our degree programs come together to learn, to share and discuss their experiences, and to socialize. WISR seminars are always small enough to allow everyone to participate actively in the discussions. Often community events are are held at WISR, co-sponsored with other community groups for educational purposes.

Currently WISR has an intern Learning Designer\Technologist giving a monthly workshop on critical digital pedagogy and educational technologies. These “Yack & Hack” sessions are open to the community each second Monday of the month from 6-8 pm. Contact for more information.

Twice a year there is an All School Gathering attended by WISR students and faculty, alumni, board members and friends of WISR. Held on a Saturday, these half-day social events are a time to gather and share experiences and ideas.

WISR holds an annual conference. Faculty and students come together for three days to participate in faculty and student presentations, discussions and to get to know each other better. Participation in this event is optional, but those students who travel to attend, even from other countries, have always enjoyed their learning experiences and socializing.

All events are held at WISR and can also be accessed by phone or video conferencing via the internet.

Faculty & Staff

WISR faculty have a rich background of involvement with community organizations, other educational institutions, and consulting practices. This practical experience enriches their contributions to student learning and supports the practical community concerns of our students. They have many years of teaching experience in both traditional and non-traditional academic settings. WISR has deliberately sought faculty members whose range of ethnic backgrounds, academic disciplines, work experiences, and community involvement allow them to act as resource people for WISR’s adult, community-involved students in ways that go beyond intellectual specialization and unite academic with professional and community concerns.

Degree Programs

The Western Institute for Social Research’s (WISR’s) California State-licensed degree programs prepare our students for successful and productive professional careers, community leadership and civic engagement in a multicultural world, and for personally meaningful lifelong learning. WISR faculty provide personalized, learner-centered education for transformative learning and for building bridges to the most important things the student wants to accomplish in their career and/or in the community. All WISR degree programs develop these core competencies: action-oriented inquiry; inter-cultural communication; social justice and sustainability; critical and creative thinking; conscious, purposeful and improvisational learning; community leadership and collaboration; and expertise in one’s chosen area(s) of specialization.

About WISR

WISR is one of the very few alternative, multicultural and social change-oriented institutions of higher learning that have survived for over four decades. WISR’s Board, faculty, staff and alumni have continued to hold WISR to these initial commitments—to create and sustain a multi ethnic academic institution for people concerned with community improvement, social change and educational innovation; to provide individualized degree programs for working adults; and to continue to refine and enhance the teaching-learning methods that work best for our students.