Date of Award

4-23-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David D. Chambers, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gwendolyn B. Torges, Ph.D.

Abstract

Restorative justice philosophy and practices have been utilized in a variety of settings. Legislative reform prompted their application in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. They have also been utilized in employment, education, civic, human services and community settings. While their integration in elementary, intermediate and secondary educational settings has evolved, application in the collegiate environment has been slow to develop. One area utilizing restorative practices in higher education is the student conduct process. This research was designed to explore the student conduct administrator's experience with restorative practices in the student conduct process to gain a better understanding of this phenomenon. Since few colleges currently utilize restorative practices as part of the student conduct process, the use of qualitative methodology is appropriate. Through individual telephone interviews nine student conduct administrators conveyed the meaning derived from their experience utilizing restorative practices. This research uncovered how restorative practices were introduced as part of the student conduct process, identified the categories of restorative practices utilized, and discovered factors contributing to integration of the restorative practice. The impact of integration on the student conduct program and student conduct administrator, as well as affirmation that restorative practices meet the educational purpose of the student conduct process, were also discovered. Recommendations were offered for student conduct administrators, the field of student conduct administration, and future research related to restorative practices in the higher education student conduct process.

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