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Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2016

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Ed.D. Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gerald Pumphrey

Second Advisor

Ginger MacDonald

Third Advisor

Jan Yoshiwara


Objective: This article addresses a problem of practice in community college leadership: how to effectively use change management strategies to implement a guided pathways model at a community college. Guided pathways is a recent national movement to create more structured and better coordinated academic pathways within community colleges. Using the case study of one Washington State community college looking to implement this model, we identified change management strategies for community college leaders seeking to implement the guided pathways model. Methods: We conducted interviews with national consultants, state system leaders, and college leaders around the country who have effectively implemented this approach. We also interviewed multiple stakeholders at the case study college to identify recommended steps and strategies for implementation of a guided pathways model. Results: Our recommendations conclude that leadership must carefully lay the groundwork for the process, including building a data-driven case for the urgent need for its implementation based on student needs. The process will need to include important stakeholders in a meaningful way, with consideration for the appropriate allocation of limited resources and the impact on workloads. Clear identification of a lead or lead managers for the process will keep momentum going, as will a cohesive vision and consistent support for the change by the college President and other leaders. Conclusions: As guided pathways is a relatively recent movement, further study will be warranted as colleges around the country embark on this change process and further refine their change management approaches.