Sheryl Jackson-Matthews

My decision to pursue my Bachelor’s degree was guided by my passion for knowledge.


“My decision to pursue my Bachelor’s degree was guided by my passion for knowledge,” Sheryl Jackson-Matthews, of Houston, TX, explains. She had already earned two paralegal certifications and built a strong career, but, as she explains it, “I wanted the personal satisfaction of knowing that I had finished what I started many years ago.”

Sheryl’s career began in marketing for a major airline, and then, in 1991, she became a consultant in the business sector. “My specialty is administrative law and compliance. I am also fluent in Spanish, which has opened a whole new world of cultural experiences.” Sheryl also volunteers as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate through Child Advocates, Inc.

In 2008, Sheryl decided she was tired of regretting her unfinished college education. She chose Ashford University because she was able to transfer several of her previously earned credits and also because of the brick-and-mortar campus in Clinton, Iowa. “During my research I found that Ashford was established in 1918 [as Mount St. Clare College]. This was the single most important factor in my decision - I knew that this school had a history and had the students’ best interest in mind.”

The University's instructors also impressed Sheryl. “My Ashford instructors really understood that adult students learn from each other. Our life experiences, our hopes and dreams, and our perspectives make us prone to teach ourselves. You never know what your classmates, or even your instructors, will learn from what you post on the discussion board. This is why I enjoy online learning!”

One month after completing the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Sheryl enrolled in Ashford’s online MBA program. She graduated from that program in 2011.

We caught up with Sheryl who told us, “My MBA helped me to prepare for my current role by giving me a broader prospective of the family law process. When parties are divorcing, the reasons are usually about four paramount things: custodianship of the children, property, division of the assets, and spousal support. In the State of Texas child support is a pre-calculated formula, however the other issues mentioned are generally negotiated or mediated prior to going to trial. Having an advanced degree is extremely helpful in explaining to the client what to expect during the divorce process.”

Sheryl believes that education is a continuing process. To that end, she is earning her family law specialization for paralegals. Having these credentials indicates that the recipient knows the Texas Family Code. She told us, “The process tracks what aspiring attorneys go through to obtain the bar license, however there is no licensing for paralegals in Texas.”

Sheryl said her time at Ashford dramatically changed her life. “Once your brain has been stretched by the learning experience at Ashford, it will never return to its original state. I see life through a different lens.”

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