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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Service Coordinators in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for social service coordinators in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. There are currently 2,540 working social service coordinators in Iowa; this should grow by 21% to about 3,070 working social service coordinators in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for social service coordinators, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.8% over the next eight years. Social service coordinators generally plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization.

Income for social service coordinators is about $21 hourly or $44,510 per year on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $26 per hour or $55,980 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Management, people working as social service coordinators in Iowa earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Specialized Management nationally. Jobs in this field include: community service organization director, student activities director, and welfare director.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as a social service coordinator. Given that the most common education level for social service coordinators is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Cedar Rapids 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.
  • Natural Resources Specialist. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, and research and development in these fields.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Social Service Coordinator Training

Coe College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Coe College, 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-5092. Coe College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,326 students and an admission rate of 63%. Coe College has a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Community Organization and Advocacy, associate's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated nineteen, three, and thirty-six students respectively in 2008.

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus, 3165 Edgewood Parkway SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus is a small university located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 594 students. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated twenty-seven and sixty-two students respectively in 2008.

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has 3 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business Administration and Management, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated 289 and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Non-Profit/Public/Organizational Management, postbaccalaureate certificate.
  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated 225, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business/Commerce, bachelor's degree.
  • Business Administration and Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students 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.

LICENSES

Nursing Home Administrator

Licensing agency: Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators
Address: Bureau of Professional Licensure, Iowa Department of Public Health, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Phone: (515) 281-4401
Website: Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators Bureau of Professional Licensure Iowa Department of Public Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.