Portrait of M. Sebrena Jackson

M. Sebrena Jackson, PhD, LICSW

Associate Dean of Educational Programs and Student Services, University of Alabama School of Social Work

Dr. Jackson’s diverse career in academia has spanned from Title IV-E Coordinator/Instructor of an undergraduate social work program at an HBCU, to Director of Field Education for the first fully online university to receive CSWE accreditation for an MSW program, to her current role as a tenured Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Educational Programs and Student Services of a Research I university. 

As a first-generation college student, Dr. Jackson is passionate about education. This passion has guided her practice, research, and scholarship. Her two lines of education research include (1) post-secondary education access and success for youth transitioning from foster care, and (2) online social work education. Dr. Jackson’s research on transition-age foster youth is grounded in her extensive practice experience and expertise in this area. In 2008, she founded the National Social Work Enrichment Program (NSEP), a pre-college program which seeks to encourage foster youth to consider social work as a college major, while inspiring youth to graduate high school and enroll in college. Dr. Jackson continues to lead this organization with the vision to improve the educational outcomes of youth, while collecting significant pre-college program data, an unchartered area of post-secondary foster care research. Dr. Jackson was honored as the Social Worker of the Year in two states—NASW-GA in 2009, and NASW-AL in 2017—for her work with transition-age foster youth. 

Dr. Jackson has also maintained an active research and scholarship agenda with her second line of education research, online social work education, and she has presented at national and international professional conferences on this topic. She was recently selected as a keynote speaker for the 2023 Online Learning Innovation Summit (OLIS) and elected to serve as the CSWE Technology Track Chair for 2023. Dr. Jackson was selected to participate in the Institute on Pedagogy and Technology for Online Courses at Columbia University and the Online Learning Consortium’s Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning (OLC IELOL). She has received awards as an Innovation Team Scholar and Innovation Scholar in Residence from the UA Office of Teaching Innovation and Digital Education (OTIDE). She currently holds a Quality Matters Teaching Online Certification. 

As a former CSWE Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) recipient, Dr. Jackson continues to be a leader in social work education. She currently serves on the CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education and was selected for the CSWE Program Director’s Leadership Academy. She is also a CSWE Site Visitor. Dr. Jackson is a trailblazer in our profession, and through her leadership, practice, and research, a college education has become a viable option for hundreds of youths transitioning from foster care.