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Revolutionizing the way people work to ensure the world is a healthier place.

About the Academy

About Us

Academy for Professional Excellence, a project of San Diego State University School of Social Work, was established in 1996 with the mission to provide exceptional workforce development and learning experiences for the transformation of individuals, organizations, and communities. Providing over 80,000 learning experiences to health and human service professionals annually, the Academy creates experiences that transform the heart, mind, and practice with the goal of revolutionizing the way people work to ensure the world is a healthier place. The Academy continues to grow with new programs and a diversity of workforce development solutions for the health and human services community in Southern California and beyond. The Academy invests in its staff with an innovative work environment that promotes staff well-being and a culture that builds on and fosters the strengths of its diverse staff.

The Academy is committed to being an anti-racist, recovery-oriented, and trauma-informed organization.

Core Values



We provide exceptional learning and development experiences for the transformation of individuals, organizations, and communities.


We envision a world where the quality of life for individuals, organizations, and communities is transformed into a healthier place.


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 $13 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

The Academy for Professional Excellence program evaluations are guided by the RE-AIM Framework. Developed by Glasgow (1999), the framework is designed to enhance the quality, speed and impact of efforts to translate research/training into practice in five key steps:

  • Reach your intended target population;
  • Efficacy or effectiveness of the intervention is determined;
  • Adoption by target staff, settings, or institutions is measured;
  • Implementation consistency, costs and adaptations made during delivery are documented;
  • Maintenance of intervention effects in individuals and setting over time is documented.
    The RE-AIM framework allows the Academy to payclose attention to essential program elements including external validity; ensuring that we are implementing effective, generalizable, evidence-based interventions.
  • 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
Chief Executive Officer

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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