Professor Jackson is an advocate for information literacy and is passionate about facilitating the process of helping people learn. "I'd always been concerned about how prepared freshmen were when they started college," she said. "I want students to know that with the right tools and the right resources, they can succeed."
She is engaged in a collaborative research study has the potential to become a national model to improve information literacy. The study started with a librarian survey and site visits to Madison County's six K-12 school districts. Researchers found that students are neither equally nor adequately prepared across districts.
The first step was a series of K-12 librarian workshops and students in grades 6-12 were invited to the Lovejoy Library to learn about information tools. At the same time, she collaborates with SIUE professors to develop stimulating teaching methods to enhance student success. Professor Jackson and her research colleagues plan to measure the success of this research project by monitoring how well prepared SIUE freshman are in using information in the coming years.
She sees the results of her work first-hand. She coordinates the general education instruction program and teaches the Freshman Experience at SIUE, a course specifically designed to help students succeed in college. "I tell students to go for it," she said. "Pursue your dreams. You need higher education to succeed and we have the resources to help you." She enjoys her direct contact with students. "Teaching enlightens me and them at the same time. It's a two-way street."