SPSI Distance Learning Policy


The previous Distance Learning Policy was approved by the faculty in February 2020. In the subsequent months, Covid changed the way in which we all communicate and necessitated adaptations to in-person learning. That policy was out of step with current SPSI operations and in need of revision.

SPSI’s capacity to provide education from a distance has improved. This is true in terms of instructor and candidate competence and comfort. It is also true with respect to the technological infrastructure allowing for quality stable connection and communication. This capacity, we believe, can be balanced with the desire for maintaining a critical mass of in-person learners.

While being mindful of the importance of facilitating class cohesion, modifying the previous policy makes it less burdensome for those in our region to train at SPSI and will enrich our community and augment our efforts to train psychoanalysts.

Current Distance Learning Policy

Designation as a Distance Learner is available to those applicants and candidates who live more than 70 miles from Seattle Psychoanalytic Society & Institute (SPSI).

Distance Learners are expected to attend in-person for approximately 25% of the first trimester. Distance Learners are expected to attend in-person once per trimester for the remainder of their education.

The proportion of Distance Learners in a cohort should be no more than one-third of the total cohort at the time of cohort class formation.

Exceptions to the in-person attendance requirements can be sought on a case-by-case basis and will be decided in collaboration as needed with the Progression, Curriculum, and the Diversity committees.

On rare occasions, a strong applicant may be considered for admission whose life-situation prohibits meeting the above stated in-person expectations. This may be considered especially in the circumstance of SPSI finding itself in an admission cycle with an anticipated smaller class size. The overarching goal of in-person candidates comprising greater than half of any given class is to be considered while making such an exception.

This policy was adopted on October 11, 2023 after a vote at the SPSI Business Meeting.