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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Service Coordinators in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for social service coordinators. There are currently 4,700 working social service coordinators in Illinois; this should grow 25% to 5,860 working social service coordinators in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for social service coordinators are expected to grow by about 13.8%. In general, social service coordinators plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization.

Social service coordinators earn about $24 hourly or $50,570 yearly on average in Illinois and about $26 per hour or $55,980 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Management, people working as social service coordinators in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Specialized Management nationally. People working as social service coordinators can fill a number of jobs, such as: contract sheltered workshop supervisor, director of scout work, and social services manager.

The Springfield area is home to nine schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Springfield where you can get a degree as a social service coordinator. Social service coordinators usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a social service coordinator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Social Service Coordinator

In general, social service coordinators plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization. They also oversee the program or organization's budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements, and benefits.

Social service coordinators furnish direct service and support to individuals or clients, such as handling a referral for child advocacy issues, conducting a needs evaluation, or resolving complaints. They also direct efforts of professional and technical staff members and volunteers. Equally important, social service coordinators have to establish and maintain relationships with other agencies and organizations in community to meet community needs and to insure that services are not duplicated. They are often called upon to evaluate the work of staff and volunteers to insure that programs are of appropriate quality and that resources are used effectively. They are expected to ready and maintain records and reports, such as budgets or training manuals. Finally, social service coordinators establish and oversee administrative procedures to meet objectives set by boards of directors or senior management.

Every day, social service coordinators are expected to be able to speak clearly. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for social service coordinators to speak to community groups to explain and interpret agency purposes and policies. They are often called upon to implement and evaluate staff, volunteer, or community training programs. They also formulate and administer budgets for programs, equipment and support services. They are sometimes expected to act as consultants to agency staff and other community programs regarding the interpretation of program-related federal and county regulations and policies. Somewhat less frequently, social service coordinators are also expected to direct fundraising efforts and the preparation of public relations materials.

Social service coordinators sometimes are asked to recruit and hire or sign up volunteers and staff. They also have to be able to research and analyze member or community needs to establish program directions and goals and represent organizations in relations with governmental and media institutions. And finally, they sometimes have to implement and evaluate staff, volunteer, or community training programs.

Like many other jobs, social service coordinators must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Springfield include:

  • Construction Foreman. Plan, direct, or budget, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, and implementation.
  • Early Childhood Development Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic and nonacademic activities of preschool and child care centers or programs.
  • Educational Program Director. Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, clerical, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.
  • Food Service Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.
  • Legislator. Develop laws and statutes at the Federal, State, or local level.
  • Natural Resources Specialist. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, and research and development in these fields.
  • Postmaster. Direct and coordinate operational, administrative, and supportive services of a U.S. post office; or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in assigned post office.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Social Service Coordinator Training

Springfield College in Illinois - Springfield, IL

Springfield College in Illinois, 1500 North Fifth Street, Springfield, IL 62702-2694. Springfield College in Illinois is a small college located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 526 students and an admission rate of 71%. Springfield College in Illinois has an associate's degree program in Business/Commerce which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Lincoln College - Lincoln, IL

Lincoln College, 300 Keokuk St, Lincoln, IL 62656. Lincoln College is a small college located in Lincoln, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,215 students and an admission rate of 77%. Lincoln College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business Administration and Management, bachelor's degree.
  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, associate's degree.

Lincoln Land Community College - Springfield, IL

Lincoln Land Community College, 5250 Shepherd Rd, Springfield, IL 62794-9256. Lincoln Land Community College is a medium sized college located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,659 students. Lincoln Land Community College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business/Commerce, associate's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, less than one year and one to two year which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

University of Illinois at Springfield - Springfield, IL

University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, Springfield, IL 62703-5407. University of Illinois at Springfield is a small university located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,711 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Springfield has 3 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Human Services, master's degree which graduated 24 students in 2008.
  • Public Administration, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated forty-six and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and forty-five students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Certified in Volunteer Administration: In the constantly changing contemporary work environment, the standard of best practices in volunteer management must remain at the highest level of expertise possible.

For more information, see the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Certified Manager of Community Associations: The Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) is the only national certification program designed exclusively for managers of homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives.

For more information, see the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois photo by %C3%89ovart_Ca%C3%A7eir

Springfield is situated in Sangamon County, Illinois. It has a population of over 117,352, which has grown by 5.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Springfield, 75, is far less than the national average. New single-family homes in Springfield cost $245,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, ninety-seven new homes were built in Springfield, down from one hundred seventy-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Springfield are public administration, health care, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 30.6% of Springfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Springfield is 8.5%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Springfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.9%, is more than both the national and state average. First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church are all churches located in Springfield. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the United Methodist Church.

Springfield is home to the Oliver P Parks Telephone Museum and the Building I as well as Jaycee Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Capital City Shopping Center, Fairhills Shopping Center and Chatham Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Springfield can choose from Cottage Inn, Courtyard Springfield and Drury Inn and Suites Springfield IL for temporary stays in the area.