Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




international students, Transformative leadership, EDID, equity, career readiness, immigration



In the evolving Canadian landscape, permanent residency acquisition has undergone a transformative shift from land sales to educational credential procurement. Canadian higher education markets post-secondary qualifications to international students (IS) seeking migration routes, posing nuanced challenges. IS, despite holding higher education credentials, often find themselves relegated to non-field specific jobs due to existing disparities in the Canadian job market. Amid this equation, IS grapple with the essential need for pre-and-post graduate career experiences to fulfill eligibility criteria for permanent residency application. This pursuit extends beyond merely aligning with their credentials, requiring conformity to approved national occupation codes aligned with Canadian skilled labor objectives. This Organizational Improvement Plan explores factors hindering IS’ pre-and-post graduate career readiness. Leveraging the Michif term “Shakamohtaa” to emphasize community collaboration this study employs critical, transformative, and adaptive leadership approaches, the Change Path Model, and evaluative strategies such as appreciative and PDSA inquiry cycles, and the DICE Framework to incorporate key performance measures. Focused on a specific institution in rural Ontario, this investigation explores effective measures for bureaucratic institutions to transform and adapt IS career readiness approaches through adopting a culturally responsive lens to address disparities in IS career readiness, preparedness, and post-graduate employment. This study seeks to unveil a pervasive problem of practice that exists across the Canadian higher education sector and aims to develop more effective career support for IS graduating from diverse faculties.

Keywords: international students, career experience, internationalization, immigration, transformative leadership, adaptive leadership, change path model, EDID