U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Associations between a technical assistance model to build school organizational capacity and improvements in student perceptions of school climate

NCJ Number
American Journal of Community Psychology Volume: Online Pages: January 2024
Date Published
January 2024

This paper presents the results from a study, indicating that schools receiving technical assistance had more positive changes in perceptions of school climate, differences in school climate changes were relatively small, and organizational capacity models may help improve school climate.


Organizational capacity building—the process of developing leadership, collecting and analyzing data, building buy-in, and implementing programming—is foundational to effectively changing schools, and frequently relies on technical assistance. This study employed a quasi-experimental, repeated measured design to evaluate the role of technical assistance provided through Safe School Certification model in improving school climate. Schools worked through an eight-element framework, using data from a sample of six middle and high schools in Washington, D.C., that completed data collection in all years of the evaluation. Students in schools receiving technical assistance for implementing the SSC Framework had more positive changes in perceptions of school climate than students in schools that did not receive support, but those differences were small. The results from this study offer limited evidence that providing schools with technical assistance to improve organizational capacity is associated with more positive student perceptions of school climate. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2024