Jesse Senechal, Ph.D.
MERC Director and Assistant Professor, Foundations of Education
Dr. Jesse Senechal serves as the director for the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC), a research alliance between VCU's School of Education and seven surrounding school divisions. A School of Education alum as well, Senechal received his Ph.D. in education, with a concentration in research and evaluation, from the school. Through his work with MERC, Dr. Senechal has led a wide range of applied research and evaluation projects in close collaboration with surrounding Richmond-area school divisions, local non-profits, institutions of higher education, and state agencies including the Virginia Department of Education and the State Council for Higher Education.
His current projects include a study of professional development for success in culturally diverse schools, teacher retention, and a study of new teacher preparation for an Urban Teacher Residency program. He has also led regional cohorts of teachers conducting action research in their schools. In 2016, Dr. Senechal served was the principal investigator of MERC’s Understanding Teacher Morale study, which explored the factors leading to demoralization and how to support teachers as professionals.
Prior to his career as an educational researcher, Dr. Senechal spent 14 years teaching in public high schools in Chicago and Richmond.