WISE was founded in 1972 at Woodlands High School in Greenburgh, New York by a group of students, teachers, parents and community members in order to address “senior slump” and to aid the transition of graduating seniors to life after high school. This initial program was dubbed “Woodlands Individualized Senior Experience” (WISE).
In 1991, when Vic Leviatin and Andrew Courtney retired from teaching, they established WISE Individualized Senior Experience, Inc. (also known as WISE Services), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, to assist other schools in developing WISE programs tailored to their own local needs. Today, WISE Services is staffed by former WISE practitioners.
Forty years after the first WISE program and 22 years after WISE Services began spreading the program beyond Woodlands, WISE programs are in place at 60 diverse public and private high schools nationwide with high school seniors of all ability levels participating each year. There are now more than 35,000 WISE graduates, ranging in age from 18 to 55.