SDSU Research Foundation

  • Organization Development Specialist (Prog Spec III)

    Req No.
    Full-Time Contract
    Dept/Proj Name
    Academy for Professional Excellence
    Close Date
  • Overview

    The Academy for Professional Excellence, a project of San Diego State University School of Social Work, was established in 1996 to support the health and human service community by providing training, technical assistance, organizational development, research, and evaluation. Serving over 20,000 people 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. The Academy manages an annual operating budget of 13 million dollars, which is comprised of grants and contracts from the state, federal and local governments, and private foundations. Working to revolutionize the way people work to ensure the world is a healthier place, the Academy is invested in its staff with innovative learning environment that promotes both the well-being of staff and learning experiences that transform the heart, mind and practice of those we serve.


    The Academy’s Organization Development Division is responsible for strategic planning and systems development; conducting research to support Academy training and programs; resource development and grantwriting; staff development; policies and procedures; outcome and accountability reports; continuing education accreditation; and provides technical support to all Academy programs to continually enhance effectiveness in achieving current and future goals.


    Under general supervision, the Organization Development Specialist will assist the Organization Development (OD) Manager with organization development activities, including strategic planning, all-staff meetings, policies and procedures, resource development, grant-writing, staff development, change management, and special projects that are designed to continually enhance organizational effectiveness. The Organization Development Specialist also supports multiple Academy programs, including the Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS), Leaders in Action (LIA), Public Child Welfare Training Academy (PCWTA), Behavioral Health Education Training Academy (BHETA), Multi-disciplinary Adult Services Training and Evaluation for Results (MASTER), San Diego/Imperial Geriatric Education Center (SDIGEC), Tribal STAR – Successful Transitions for Adult Readiness, and the Academy Leadership Team performing technical, analytical, research and other assignments as requested which support program development and operations.


    Staff Development


    • Develop staff training needs assessments, develop and deliver training to support staff growth and development, track internal and external training opportunities and work to link staff to training that meets individual, program and Academy needs.
    • Monitor and track Academy Desk Guides and support supervisors and staff in creating, tracking and implementing individual development plans (IDPs) with an eye towards supporting staff growth, succession planning, and staff retention.
    • Work with Organization Development Manager to develop, establish, and refine training for Academy supervisors, update the Academy Supervisor’s Guide, support implementation of strengths-based supervision, and ongoing supervisor development.
    • Participate in the onboarding of new Academy staff including providing training on Academy culture and internal processes and systems.



    • Conduct research and literature reviews and summarize findings on a wide range of child welfare, adult services, behavioral health, and related health and human service topics, initiatives, and programs to inform curricula development for trainings and workforce development; to inform policy and practice changes; and/or to guide implementation of new federal, state and local initiatives.
    • Conduct literature reviews and summarize findings to enhance training and coaching methodologies and support the functioning of the Academy and its programs.
    • Support Academy programs with the development, production, and analysis of needs assessment surveys as well as surveys of county strategies/promising practices.


    Strategic Planning

    • Help analyze and write up results of the annual Organization Assessment survey and periodic surveys of staff on training or measures of organization culture.
    • Work to develop and facilitate an annual All-Staff Strategic Planning Session designed to identify and refine strategic priorities for the Academy for the coming year, including working with Leadership Team and Organization Development staff to develop agenda, produce and distribute pre-work materials, facilitate and engage staff in the process of identifying strategic priorities and relevant action plans the day of the event, and synthesize outcomes of the strategic planning session.
    • Develop systems or infrastructure needed to support Academy strategic priorities and support Academy programs and cross-program committees to develop and implement annual plans to address Academy strategic priorities.
    • In conjunction with the Director, and Organization Development staff develop an agenda, training nugget, materials, and produce bi-annual All Staff Meetings to ensure transparent communication, staff development and engagement, and continued focus on Academy strategic priorities.


    Southern Area Consortium of Human Services (SACHS)

    • Work with the Academy Director, Research and Development Coordinator and SACHS Planning Committee to develop an annual SACHS plan.
    • Conduct literature reviews and research in response to SACHS requests and the needs of participating SACHS Directors and present summary of findings at quarterly SACHS Meeting.
    • Support preparations for SACHS meetings and work with the SACHS Assistant Program Coordinator and Research and Development Coordinator to produce and coordinate materials for SACHS meetings.
    • Attend and support the Academy Director with on-site coordination of quarterly SACHS Meetings rotated in different locations throughout the Southern California region.
    • Develop follow-up materials and communications based on the outcomes and requests from SACHS meetings.


    Internal Social Network 

    • Manage the Academy’s internal social network Workplace (an online team collaboration tool using Facebook-type strategies).
    • Support Academy marketing and social media efforts.


    Resource Development

    • Work with Organization Development Manager to assess potential funding opportunities.
    • Work with Organization Development Manager and Research and Development Coordinator to develop, write, and submit grant applications for funding to federal, state, and private foundations.


    Policy and Procedures

    • In conjunction with the Organization Development Manager and Research and Development Coordinator, create and document Academy-wide Policies and Procedures



    • All other duties and responsibilities as assigned




    • Equivalent to a master’s degree in appropriate field related to program/project.




    • Six years of experience, two years of which were in a position with high level of responsibility and requiring specialized skills


    • 4 years of organizational development experience, staff development, grantwriting, strategic planning & training
    • 3 years of program/project management experience
    • 2 years of experience writing literature reviews
    • Ability to develop credibility & rapport with senior executives
    • Experience with social media/marketing


    A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with SDSU Research Foundation


    San Diego State University Research Foundation is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets Employer


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