Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Acevedo, Nancy


The California Community College system and its vision for success, which includes a focus on increasing students' degree and certificate completion, as well as increasing the percentage of existing Career and Technical Education students who report being employed in their field of study is highlighted. To help support these goals, the California Community College System has adopted the Guided Pathways framework. This framework requires all campuses to fundamentally redesign their programs and support services to ensure they are clear, more educationally coherent pathways to credentials that in turn prepare students for success in the workforce and further education. To do so, this study explored a deeper understanding of Career Services to understand the sensemaking process of practitioners as they implement Guided Pathways in their institution. Career services have a long history of helping students become connected to various career opportunities, particularly those in four-year institutions. However, there is very little research to understand the role of Career Services within the community college sector. This study employs organizational change, specifically, and sensemaking as guiding frameworks to understand the role of Career Services practitioners and their role in the implementation of Guided Pathways in the California Community Colleges. Career Services practitioners in this study include: professional staff, faculty, career counseling staff, and faculty coordinators. This study found two interrelated themes. The two themes identified were: (a) executive leaders not understanding Career Services contributes to unresolved sensemaking, and (b) the evolution of Career Services should be college-wide, not just departmental.