At the May 2005 Faculty Meeting, the SLIS faculty officially voted to join the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE), a consortium made up of thirteen LIS schools, thereby enabling SLIS students the opportunity to take online courses from other leading ALA-accredited programs. View current Simmons WISE offerings »

On this page:

What is WISE?

"Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) is a unique and groundbreaking opportunity in online education. Leading library and information science schools have extended their reach on a global basis to broaden the educational opportunities available to students. WISE uses advanced online technology to enrich education and foster relationships among students, faculty, and universities. The vision of this initiative is to provide a collaborative distance education model that will increase the quality, access, and diversity of online education opportunities in library and information science." -- from the WISE website. See for more information.

Participating Institutions in WISE:

Indiana University-Indianapolis

Rutgers University

Simmons College

Syracuse University

University of British Columbia

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Maryland

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

University of Pittsburgh

University of Texas at Austin

University of Western Ontario

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Victoria University of Wellington

Why be a WISE student?

WISE students have the opportunity to access distance education courses through WISE member schools that are distinguished in quality and leadership in online education. WISE member schools offer a wide array of special topics courses, providing students with the ability to broaden their educational experience.

For example, a student interested in a particular topic may access expertise from a wider base of faculty and research than may be normally available within their home school. A professional who is working on the LIS degree will have greater flexibility in scheduling and have a multitude of options when considering specialized topics.

The WISE student will have the ability to select from a list of online courses, regardless of their location, and take courses with faculty who are highly regarded in their area of expertise.

How does WISE work at Simmons?

As a student at a WISE consortium school, you will have access to courses offered by participating institutions. These online courses are taught by faculty from WISE host schools using course management systems specific to their environment and academic calendar. You will have the opportunity to take electives of interest at other WISE schools, without having to transfer credits. You must respect and follow the varying delivery methods, academic calendars, and residency requirements among WISE schools.

Guidelines for Simmons Students:

General Guidelines

SLIS students who have completed twelve semester hours will have the opportunity to select from a variety of online courses, regardless of their location. As with any other course, you will register through AARC using LIS course numbers (see below). We will then notify WISE and the host institution. Descriptions of WISE courses currently being offered at Simmons are on the WISE Courses page.

Please note: in order to take a WISE course, you must have approval from the SLIS WISE coordinator, Jennifer Andrews. Please email for more information.

Any Simmons SLIS student taking a WISE course should follow these guidelines:

  • You agree to the course parameters of the host institution including course management tools, grading, dates of term and any required residencies
  • You choose a course that is appropriate to your plan of study
  • You have a home computer or access to the technology necessary for completion of course
  • You have the technical knowledge to complete an online course successfully
  • You are fluent in English
  • You may take up to six (6) elective credits through the WISE Consortium
  • You may not substitute any WISE course for a core requirement
  • You will be accepted by WISE on a space-available basis, determined by the host institution


WISE courses at other schools often do not match the SLIS course schedule. You must follow the start date, end date, and any other deadline of the WISE course at the host institution.

For the purposes of the registrar and financial aid, the SLIS version of the WISE course will begin at the start of the SLIS semester, regardless of the actual start date of the WISE course at the host institution.

If the end date of the WISE course at the host institution is after the end date of SLIS classes, a grade of incomplete will be given to you as a placeholder when SLIS grades are due. When the actual grade is awarded by the host institution, the incomplete will be replaced by the actual grade, without penalty to you.

Tuition refunds

Other than the exceptions specified here, the Simmons policies for tuition refunds and the SLIS policies for refunds apply.

WISE exceptions to Simmons tuition refund policies:

The deadlines and policies for course withdrawal or dropping vary widely across WISE host institutions. You must respect the drop or withdrawal deadline of the host institution. However, because you are also enrolled in a Simmons SLIS course, the following Simmons policies on tuition refunds for dropping or withdrawal from a WISE course also apply, regardless of the policies of the WISE host institution.

Percentage of course schedule (start and end date for the WISE course) completed when dropping or withdrawing from a WISE course:

Up to 10% Full tuition refunded
11 - 20% 80% tuition refunded
21 - 30% 60% tuition refunded
31 - 40% 40% tuition refunded
41 - 50% 20% tuition refunded
51% or more No refund