Higher Education

  • The IIRP Graduate School class of 2008On June 21, 2008, the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School held its first commencement ceremony, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, conferring 14 master’s degrees: five in Restorative Practices and Education and nine in Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling.

    The IIRP Graduate School received its charter to confer master’s degrees and a certificate in restorative practices from the Pennsylvania Department of Education in June 2006. Classes began that August, and 160 students have enrolled since then. The IIRP’s mission statement asserts that the institute is “dedicated to the advanced education of


  • After a preamble acknowledging those in attendance and acceptance of his new responsibilities as president, Wachtel began his speech.

    Thirty years ago my wife Susan and I, both public school teachers, were looking for solutions to the increasingly challenging behavior of young people in schools, families and communities. We left public education, founded the first of several non-profit organizations and developed schools, group homes and other programs for delinquent and at-risk youth. As time went on we realized that the successful strategies we were using with the troubled young people in our programs had implications for all young people, and for adults as well.

    We and our colleagues also got involved with an innovative approach in the field of criminal justice, called “restorative justice,” which provides opportunities for victims, offenders, and their family and friends, to meet and, to the extent possible, repair the harm caused by a