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About the Academy

About Us

Academy for Professional Excellence, a project of San Diego State University School of Social Work, was established in 1996 to provide exceptional workforce development and organizational support to the health and human services community by providing training, technical assistance, organizational development, research, and evaluation. Serving over 20,000 health and human service professionals annually, the Academy continues to grow with new programs and a diversity of training focused on serving the health and human services community in Southern California and beyond.

Please see our Annual Report for more information.

Academy Annual Report thumbnail

Core Values



To provide exceptional workforce development and organizational support to the health and human services community.


To inspire, nurture and support those dedicated to improving the quality of life in our communities.


The Academy for Professional Excellence primarily serves the Southern California region including Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties (though trainings offered vary by county).

Most of our customers are line workers, supervisors, managers, and executives employed by southern county human service agencies. However, we do offer trainings and consulting services to other non-profit organizations as well as CEs and other educational opportunities for the general public.  For more information, please contact us.


The Academy manages an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million dollars, which is comprised of grants and contracts from the state, federal and local governments, and private foundations. The fiscal agent for the Academy is San Diego State University Research Foundation, which was incorporated in 1943 and administers grants and contracts on behalf of San Diego State University. It is a nonprofit corporation, self-financed, and authorized as an auxiliary organization by the Education Code of California.

Commitment to Quality Training

All programs are evaluated using a six-level evaluation schema based on Kirkpatrick’s model. Individually, these six levels focus on a different aspect of a training and, when viewed in concert, these six evaluation levels help to build a chain of evidence about a training’s effectiveness. By evaluating our training in these six levels, we make a commitment to providing quality training.  For more information please see Quality Assurance and Training Evaluation.

The Academy for Professional Excellence is a project of San Diego State University’s School of Social Work, managed through San Diego State University Research Foundation.

Consulting Services

The Academy for Professional Excellence provides a full spectrum of organizational development services, including training, facilitation, needs assessments, strategic planning, and research, all of which are designed to address challenges faced by health and human service agencies and community-based social service agencies. Specialized projects can be negotiated based on your needs.

To explore the services we offer, please contact:

Jennifer Tucker-Tatlow, MSW


Job Opportunities

Open Academy positions are listed on the SDSU Research Foundation website. For a listed of job opportunities at SDSU Research Foundation, see the Careers page.

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