Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




degree progression, first-generation students, organizational change, university, authentic, transformational and shared leadership


This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) is concerned with the problem of inequitable access to an automated degree audit tool at a large metropolitan university in central Canada, which is affecting year-to-year progression and timely graduation. Despite the implementation of this tool 17 years ago, it has not been fully adopted, leaving the campus community to navigate degree progression inconsistently and in isolation, with nearly half the students underserved; of particular concern are first-generation students. Stakeholder theory underpins the organizational change management plan, which espouses authentic, transformational, and shared leadership approaches. Following internal and external analyses, it was determined that the institution has the capacity and readiness for change. Using an interpretive paradigm to consider multiple perspectives, four possible solutions are considered. After assessing time, finances, human resources, and impact, the preferred solution is to implement an incremental working group. An inclusive and comprehensive change model and an iterative review cycle comprising immediate and ongoing monitoring and evaluation is proposed for effective implementation. As well, strategic communication for equitable access to information sharing needed for degree progression will enhance the overall student experience and improve administrative efficiencies. The execution of a five-stage change plan will see all academic advisors using the automated degree audit tool by 2025. Successful implementation of this OIP will allow for exploration of other initiatives to improve the student experience using technology and a social justice lens in leadership.