Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




: mental health, wellbeing, college, social justice, people-centred leadership


As the postsecondary education sector has evolved toward mass education, the proportion of students studying at postsecondary institutions experiencing mental health and wellness-related challenges has continued to rise. This continued growth in prevalence and severity of mental health and wellness conditions impacting students in the postsecondary sector has occurred without similar growth in resourcing for departments responsible for supporting these students in successfully navigating their learning environments. These realities require that institutions begin developing strategies to address this gap. This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) presents a possible solution to enhance the capacity of a large urban College in Canada to support the increasing complexity of, and demand for, mental health and wellness-related services and interventions which foster students’ personal and academic success.

Introducing the Model for People-Centred Leadership through Praxis (PCLP Model), which incorporates principles of transformational and distributed leadership through a social justice lens, this OIP addresses the gap between institutional capacity and student demand for support while also navigating the process of amalgamating personal counselling and accessible learning departments. Through meaningful engagement and co-construction, this OIP focuses on three key priorities: unifying the team’s vision and values, identifying opportunities to enhance services and collaborative approaches, and communicating and integrating the new state into the institutional culture. This OIP may provide a model for other institutions working toward empowering students in meeting their wellness goals while creating conditions that maximize students’ potential to thrive.