Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Academic Advising, Student Success, Student Retention, Polytechnic, Organizational Theory, Distributed Leadership


Over the past decade, Polytechnic A unsuccessfully implemented several academic advising models. As provincial funding for post-secondary institutions has continued to decline, Polytechnic A has commenced the most significant transformation and restructuring in its history to ensure a successful and agile future state. As resources are limited and will likely remain so, it is imperative that each portfolio critically examines its work to ensure it supports student success, financial sustainability, optimization, and innovation. Student retention will be paramount. Opportunely, the literature advocates for academic advising as a critical strategic enabler to support student success and, ultimately, student retention. Consequently, the problem of practice (POP) explores how to develop a sustainable, agile, and adaptable academic advising program in a Polytechnic environment that supports a diverse student body and optimizes resource utilization. This organizational improvement plan (OIP) recommends combining transformational and distributed leadership approaches to lead the proposed change. These approaches are congruent with the organization’s culture and align with the change leader’s leadership lens. The OIP seeks to understand the forces that shape the problem through a historical overview, a review of recent academic advising literature, and institutional and organizational theory lenses. I identified that the environment was ripe with driving forces to support the change through a force field analysis. Galbraith’s STAR model was used to conduct a gap analysis. Several possible solutions were analyzed, and the preferred solution to this OIP is to implement a centralized advising model and develop an academic advising strategy.