Partner Spotlight: California Institute of Integral Studies

California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is an accredited university that strives to embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to individuals, communities, and the earth. CIIS expands the boundaries of traditional degree programs with transdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and applied studies utilizing face-to-face, hybrid, and online pedagogical approaches. Learn more about CIIS in our latest Partner Spotlight.


Why was San Francisco the ideal place to launch CIIS?
It was the time of the “Summer of Love,” and our founder Haridas Chudhuri had been living and teaching in San Francisco. The alternative nature of the university fit well within the inspiring cultural milieu of San Francisco in the late 1960’s. Many key figures of the time attended classes and lectures, including Beat poet Gary Snyder and Esalen founder Michael Murphy. As we can now prove, it was the right place for such an innovative university.

How has CIIS worked with the San Francisco community to draw in students as well as give back to the city?
CIIS educates the largest number of psychotherapists of any university in the country, and our students consistently earn some of the highest pass rates on the California licensing exams. The University provides low-cost mental health and acupuncture services to the San Francisco Bay Area through its 10 award-winning counseling and acupuncture clinics, which provide services on a sliding-scale basis.

CIIS ClassroomAdditionally, CIIS faculty and students are engaging clients with pioneering therapeutic techniques such as expressive arts therapy with children at the Glide Family, Youth and Childcare Center, and in partnership with the San Francisco Sherriff’s Department Women’s Resource Center, providing somatic therapy and acupuncture—the first program of its kind to blend these two modalities—to formerly incarcerated women to help reduce recidivism.

The University is a contractor with the City and County of San Francisco, and it provides an excellent program in Community Mental Health. CIIS draws 20,000 people a year to its Public Programs and Performances, which is often a gateway for Bay Area residents to learn more about the University.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow has being a SF Chamber partner helped CIIS?
While we are new members of the SF Chamber, our hope is to connect further with the corporate community so that they know about our many courses, degree programs, certificate programs, workshops, and performances that could be of benefit to them. CIIS wants to serve the corporate community by continuing to offer courses in professional advancement through the lens of integral education so that people can better work together to improve their lives and the world.

What is a particular program that will resonate with the SF community?
Public Programs & Performances resonates most with the SF community as it can offer certificates that address the challenges faced by local businesses. For example, certificate programs in “Consciousness and Technology,” “Human Sexuality,” and “Organizational Development” can be designed to help our corporate neighbors. Public Programs can design courses to meet the human resource challenges of our local corporations. After all, the most important assets in our corporate community are people, and our programs help people meet the challenges of business while being fully human.

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