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Sean LaCroix: Economics Professor

Tidewater Community College’s 2014 Professor of the Year almost never got started in higher education.

Sean LaCroix always wanted to end up in the classroom, but after 12 years in industry, he thought that ship had sailed. “My passion is teaching; that’s why I pursued my master’s in economics. During the day, I was working as a business consultant, but at night I came alive while teaching a subject that simply fascinated me,” said LaCroix, who taught night classes at University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Northern Virginia Community College and University of Phoenix.

When an economics faculty position opened at TCC’s Chesapeake Campus in 2006, LaCroix got his chance to teach full time. “My experience at TCC has been great, and I’m so thankful to be part of the fabric that makes up this college,” LaCroix said.

LaCroix is humbled by the recent honor, as he credits his colleagues and TCC leadership with creating the environment that makes learning possible.

“As teachers here, we are charged with helping students succeed, and that means being accessible and getting to know our students,” LaCroix said. “Every student comes with dreams and goals, and it’s a privilege to be part of helping them meet those goals, even if in some small way.”

As a professor, LaCroix brings real-world subjects front and center. “This semester we discussed everything from raising the minimum wage to passing on the national debt to our children,” he said. “Connecting course concepts with the headlines and news trends help illustrate what might otherwise be boring academic concepts.”

Competitive at heart, LaCroix often puts students in groups and has them project economic indicators before they come out. “When they are released, we compare the students’ picks to what actually happened,” LaCroix said. “It’s fascinating to see how close some of the picks are.”