Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


The Latino student population faces lower high school graduation rates, college enrollment, and higher office discipline referrals (ODR). Interventions, such as Positive Behavior Intervention System of Supports (PBIS) are a popular intervention program that aim to increase schoolwide positive behavior via positive modeling. PBIS decreases ODR and expulsions when implemented with fidelity and can be followed by an increase in academic achievement. A quasi-experimental quantitative design was used to compare two 10th grade science classes academic achievement. The hypothesis was: PBIS tier one incentive cards increase Latino students’ academic achievement. The treatment group (n = 24) received PBIS tier one incentive cards for on-task behavior, and the control group (n = 18) did not receive incentive cards for on-task behavior for three weeks. Independent and paired sample t-tests were completed to determine the difference in student academic achievement between the groups. The results suggest that both groups increased in academic achievement, however there were no statistically significant differences in academic achievement between the control and treatment groups on the post test. The hypothesis was partially accepted, because there were greater gains by the intervention group (4.0 points) in comparison to the control group (3.33 points) in academic achievement. Further research should examine the effects of incentives for on-task behaviors, and PBIS implemented with fidelity in high schools.