San Diego State University

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Anita Harbert

Anita Harbert Professor,  Emeritus

Anita Harbert Professor, Emeritus

Professor Emeritus

Phone: (619) 594-6310
Office: HH 114B


  • PhD, Social Welfare, Brandeis University
  • M.S.W., Social Work, West Virginia University
  • B.A., Psychology, Fairmont State College

Scholarly Areas

Social Work administration, community collaborations, gerontology, and child welfare


Dr. Anita S. Harbert is an emeritus professor and the former Director of the School of Social Work at San Diego State University. She also founded and directed the University Center on Substance Abuse there. Dr. Harbert received her Ph.D. from the Florence Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, Brandeis University. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the West Virginia University, and her B.A. in Psychology from Fairmont State College.

Dr. Harbert is active at national and international levels. She is a prominent social work educator; she has served on the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education for nine years and was Co-Chair of the Commission. She was co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of the California Social Work Education Center. She served as president of the California Associate of Social Work Deans and Directors and held offices in the National Association of Social Work Deans and Directors.

Dr. Harbert has received international recognition. She was a Consultant on Volunteerism for the Elderly for the United Nations and the European Center for Training and Research. She was an expert on Long Term Training in Gerontology and Geriatrics for the United Nations International Institute on Aging in Malta, and an Invitational Speaker on the Global Effects of Urbanization on the Elderly at the 1990 Sino-American-British Conference on Social Policy held in Taiwan. She is a co-editor of Population Aging International Perspective: Proceedings and Recommendations of the International Conference on Population Aging. In addition, she authored Federal Grants-In-Aid: Maximizing Benefits to the States, and co-authored with Leon Ginsberg, Human Services for Older Adults: Concepts and Skills (2nd Ed.)

She is currently the Executive Director of the SDSU School of Social Work’s Academy for Professional Excellence, which provides in- services training, technical assistance and research for the eight southern counties in California. The Academy train approximately 3000 child protective service workers per year in Southern California. She is also the Project Director of an Archstone Foundation funded program to develop standardized curriculum on elder abuse for adult protective services workers in California. In addition she directs a contract with San Diego County Department of Mental Health Service to providing training for mental services provider on the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Models of services for chronically and persistently mentally ill audits.

Throughout her career, Dr. Harbert has been the successful recipient of millions of dollars in grant and contracts from national, state and local funding agencies supporting social work education and training for the public social services.