Date of Conferral







Dr. Tracy Masiello


Hispanic students residing in the United States have historically been the lowest-achieving ethnic group in public schools and have a high dropout rate. A stark comparison to those statistics can be found within the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter schools in San Antonio, Texas, which have a majority Hispanic student population that is thriving academically and advancing to college. Using the Search Institute's positive youth development theory, the purpose of this study was to (a) quantitatively explore how school climate moderates the relationship between Hispanic student acquisition of developmental assets and academic success at KIPP charter schools from the perspective of both students and staff members and (b) identify the catalysts for growth and academic success. The Search Institute surveys, Creating a Great Place to Learn and the Developmental Assets Profile, were used to collect data from 78 students (Grades 6-8) and 45 staff members at KIPP Aspire and Camino. A series of multiple regression analyses were conducted using Andrew F. Hayes's PROCESS, a tool within SPSS, to explore moderation effects. School climate's organizational attributes dimension had a significant moderation interaction between developmental assets (empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, positive values, and social competencies) and academic success (GPA). School climate's relationships dimension significantly moderated (a) academic success and (b) social competencies, a developmental asset. Implications for positive social change include shaping future intervention programs and school initiatives to build positive school climates, increase academic and social well-being, and help Hispanic students achieve success in school.