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Western Institute for Social Research: NA MS & EdD, $8400/yr Subscription-Priced
#1
Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) is a small, nonprofit, nontraditional graduate school in Berkeley, CA founded in 1975. Its focuses are social change, education, and counseling and marriage and family therapy. In 2024 WISR became nationally accredited by the DEAC, after long having been a favorite answer on our sister forum to the question, "What's an unaccredited but legitimate degree-granting school in the US?" WISR is not regionally accredited.

WISR takes what it calls a "mastery learning approach," and prices tuition on a subscription basis at $8400 per year.

WISR's degree programs are an EdD in Higher Education and Social Change, MS in Education and Community Leadership, and MS in Psychology. The MS in Psychology is 60 semester hours and designed primarily towards California licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), and can additionally qualify towards California licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Students not pursuing licensure may also take the degree. (Without regional accreditation and without professional accreditation from CACREP or COAMFTE, licensability in other states will be limited.)
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#2
As far as I know, a number of states have removed the "regional accreditation" language from their requirements as schools continue to move to the term "Institutional accreditation" to be in line with the U.S. Department of Education's terminology and perspective on the matter.

Most states will accept non-CACREP programs as long as the courses line up with the state's posted course requirements. States know that there is a shortage of qualified counselors at this level so they're working with it. They need to work with it at the Doctoral level as well, but no chance of that in sight.
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#3
Thanks for sharing, this is an option for many. For most programs, if there is an RA counterpart that's very comparable, I usually recommend going for them instead. An example is at ACE.edu, there are similar EdD and at a similar price point. Even though CHEA or USDOE no longer distinguishes NA vs RA, institutions still have a 'say and view' of it slightly differently.

Anyways, previously, I recommended undergrad at RA and grad can be NA/RA, now I've shifted slightly, to undergrad & masters at RA, doctoral can be NA/RA as most doctoral degrees are harder to find, there are more masters online that can be done relatively inexpensively. I would investigate options and make sure the degree/institution is the one on your list...
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#4
In the context of this thread for a degree leading to licensure as a Counselor, I'll use New York as an example institution. New York is an interesting example because they are known as an overly strict state when it comes to licensing, but they've lifted the regional accreditation requirement:

https://www.op.nysed.gov/professions/men...quirements

They've set up an entire department (Bureau of Comparative Education) dedicated to helping people meet requirements if they went to a non-CACREP school (or other types of schools depending on discipline and programmatic accreditation type). That really surprised me when I learned about it some time back. New York even became more accepting of foreign and unaccredited medical degrees which really threw me back.

Having said all of that, most schools that held the NA designation didn't (and still don't) offer degrees in Mental Health Counseling and the like, so despite our discussion here, I doubt it was ever a big issue.
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#5
They are located right by me in Berkeley. It's located in a Church that also houses a school named Andrew University. There are normally very few students at WISR and I am not sure it would be worth the effort to study at a non-accredited school.

They tend to focus more on their therapy programs.
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#6
(04-29-2024, 07:49 PM)humboldtjake Wrote: I am not sure it would be worth the effort to study at a non-accredited school.

WISR became nationally accredited, by DEAC, this year.
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#7
That's awesome! I know they have been seeking accreditation for some time.
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#8
(04-05-2024, 09:09 AM)bjcheung77 Wrote: Thanks for sharing, this is an option for many.  For most programs, if there is an RA counterpart that's very comparable, I usually recommend going for them instead.  An example is at ACE.edu, there are similar EdD and at a similar price point.  Even though CHEA or USDOE no longer distinguishes NA vs RA, institutions still have a 'say and view' of it slightly differently.  

Anyways, previously, I recommended undergrad at RA and grad can be NA/RA, now I've shifted slightly, to undergrad & masters at RA, doctoral can be NA/RA as most doctoral degrees are harder to find, there are more masters online that can be done relatively inexpensively. I would investigate options and make sure the degree/institution is the one on your list...

ACE is great when it comes to education degrees, whether that be an M.Ed., Ed.D., or the like. Yet, last I checked their psychology offerings are basically non-existent.

Whether those looking to get into MFT, to become a LPCC, or to do something comparable in their field/region (such as becoming an educational psychologist), it'd be nice to have a few options (whether RA, NA, or even course outside of the US).

Anyone know of anything that might fit those parameters?
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#9
MSW is a great alternative if someone wants to go the LCSW route. MFT can be a little harder from a reimbursement perspective from payers.

MFT/Masters in Psych:
MFT/Master of Arts in Counseling - Kairos University - $12000
MS Psychology - Avila University - $21000
MS Psychology - American Public University $16k


MSW Programs:

Arkansas State MSW - $21,000
UA Little Rock - $23k
University of Missouri - $34,000
$21k Missouri State MSW
27k Delaware State
19k Fort Hayes State
$24k University Of Alabama
$40k UC Berkeley
$30k Cal Poly - Humboldt
$16k Western Carolina U
$20k Kennesaw State
$18k Albany State University
$14k CSU - Stanislaus
$28k Eastern University
$36k Northern Arizona University
$19k Louisiana Christian University
$15.7 Valdosta State (Georgia)
$30k PennWest University
$24k Concord State (WV)
$28k Jackson State
$30k University of Alaska (with WUE credit)
$34 Metropolitan State (Colorado)
$30 University of Utah
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