Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




skills gap, skills awareness gap, on-campus employment, employability, high impact practice; transformational leadership, collaborative leadership


The pressure and expectations on institutions of higher education to ensure that graduates are equipped with the skills required to successfully transition from a learning environment to the work force are increasing. Growing societal and political expectations to effectively prepare post-secondary graduates for successful career outcomes are intensifying. Ongoing criticism from employers indicates that many new graduates lack career readiness to enter the workforce, due to the absence of required skills, often referred to as a skills gap. These skills are regularly identified as soft, human, or non-technical, and transferrable across multiple settings. This Organizational Improvement Plan counters that position and proposes that the issue is not a skills gap but rather a skills awareness gap, with graduates unaware and unable to articulate the skills gained from various curricular and co-curricular learning experiences throughout university. To address this problem, a solution supported by the literature, and the knowledge and expertise of the change leader, proposes redesigning a large, on-campus employment program at Institution X into a High Impact Practice, increasing students’ awareness of the transferrable employability skills acquired though this experience. The solution is presented through transformational and collaborative leadership approaches and uses the Change Path Model (Cawsey et al., 2020) as an implementation framework. The Plan-Do-Study-Act Model of Improvement (Langley et al., 2009) and a Program Logic Model (Markiewicz & Patrick, 2016) are applied to iteratively monitor and evaluate the change. A detailed communication plan is outlined to garner support from various internal stakeholders to address the skills awareness gap and embrace the proposed changes to an established, existing on-campus employment program.