Plenary Panel - Assuring Quality and Supporting Innovation


Dr. Darla Spence Coffey

Dr. Darla Spence Coffey is the president of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). CSWE is a national association of 2,500 individual members and 730 undergraduate and graduate programs of social work education. CSWE aims to ensure and enhance the quality of social work education for a professional practice that supports individual, family, and community well-being, and promotes social and economic justice.


Dr. Leah Matthews

Dr. Leah Matthews is the Executive Director for the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Dr. Matthews comes to DETC from her previous position as Vice President for Recognition Services at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the national coordinating organization for higher education accrediting organizations. In that role, she managed the CHEA recognition process for 60 accreditors that provide regional, national and programmatic accreditation. Prior to working with CHEA, Dr. Matthews served nearly 12 years on the staff of the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges, of which for seven years she held a senior leadership position.

Dr. Alan Dettlaff

Dr. Dettlaff is the Chair of the CSWE Commission on Educational Policy. His research interests focus on improving outcomes for children of color in the child welfare system through the elimination of racial disparities. Specifically, Dr. Dettlaff is actively involved in research addressing the overrepresentation of African American children in the child welfare system and identifying and understanding the unique needs of immigrant Latino children who come to the attention of this system. Dr. Dettlaff is also Principal Investigator of the Jane Addams Child Welfare Traineeship Project, which provides advanced training and financial assistance to students pursuing careers in child welfare.

Dr. Jo Ann Coe Regan

Dr. Regan is currently the Director of Accreditation at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Previously she was the Director of Distance Education at the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina where she taught online and hybrid courses. She has been involved in the planning, teaching, administration, and evaluation of social work distance education programs and online courses for the last 15 years at the University of Hawaii, California State University-Long Beach, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Her research and publications have focused on distance education and the use of technology for social work practice with children and youth.