Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Adaptive Leadership, Critical Theory, Course Completion, High School, Professional Learning Community


The motivation for this Organization Improvement Plan (OIP) is rooted in the issue of low course completion in a small, rural junior-senior high school in Alberta. Poor attendance is the key problem that results in poor course completion. Previous strategies to improve course completion have had limited success. An analysis of the organization’s readiness for change reveals that School X is facing the urgency of finding a solution to the problem. In this OIP, the author investigates several strategies to ensure that all students in School X complete their course requirements to enable them to meet the necessary requirements for graduation. The change is informed by a blend of critical theory, adaptive leadership, and Cawsey, Deszca, and Ingol’s (2016) change path model as frameworks to guide the process. A critical lens permeates this OIP, in that it suggests equitable and alternative ways of thinking about and acting to meet all students’ needs. Observing the problem of low course completion through a critical lens helps both teachers and leaders to make more informed judgements and actions (Brookfield & Outcalt, 2002). Adaptive leadership helps the school population, both individually and collectively, to adapt and respond effectively to the reoccurring problem of low course completion and will foster all stakeholders’ participation in solving the challenge and transforming the school. This transformation will come by way of Cawsey et al.’s (2016) change path model, which will help School X’s leaders to lead the change process by devising possible solutions and communicating actions. The proposed solution in this OIP will help the leaders in School X to use a professional learning community (PLC) model to shift teachers’ practice through collective efficacy and track and monitor students’ progress. Once implemented, the author anticipates that the OIP will ensure that students will complete their course requirements and that all learners will reach their full potential. This will be of interest to similar schools whose leaders want to increase the course-completion rates for all students.