Dr. Jhenai Chandler oversees the direction and implementation of TICAS’ College Completion advocacy and policy strategy. A significant part of Jhenai’s focus is on expansion of state and federal support for evidence-based student support programs that have been demonstrated by researchers to help more students graduate. Additionally, she leads coalition efforts to advance state policies that will support college completion efforts. Dr. Chandler brings over 15 years of professional experience as a higher education practitioner, researcher, and consultant.
Prior to joining TICAS, Jhenai was an Associate Director for Postsecondary Transitions at Education Strategy Group, a national education consulting firm. In this role, she worked with state and regional education policymakers to adopt and enhance policies and practices related to advising, early postsecondary opportunities, and mathematics pathways. Dr. Chandler was the inaugural Director for the Florida-Caribbean Louis Stokes Regional Center of Excellence, a National Science Foundation research-practice initiative to pilot Growth Mindset interventions in STEM courses at community colleges and HBCUs in the southeast and Caribbean. The center was successful in its mission to broaden STEM participation through faculty development and classroom interventions. Dr. Chandler held various leadership roles in Academic and Student Affairs at Tallahassee Community College, Florida State University, Santa Fe College and at the state-level in the Florida College System office.
As a former college student parent and Pell grant recipient, Jhenai is committed to advocating for more college accessibility, affordability and comprehensive supports that foster success for all students no matter their personal or financial circumstance. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Dr. Chandler is a first-generation college graduate with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy from Florida State University. She also earned a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University, bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and an associate’s degree from Florida A&M University.