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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Service Coordinators in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Social service coordinator career and educational opportunities abound in Grand Rapids, Michigan. About 2,970 people are currently employed as social service coordinators in Michigan. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to about 3,390 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for social service coordinators are expected to grow by about 13.8%. Social service coordinators generally plan, organize, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization.

The income of a social service coordinator is about $26 hourly or $56,090 yearly on average in Michigan. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $26 per hour or $55,980 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Management, people working as social service coordinators in Michigan earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Specialized Management nationally. Jobs in this field include: director of casework, nonprofit manager, and community organization director.

The Grand Rapids area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree as a social service coordinator. The most common level of education 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 Grand 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.
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  • 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

University of Phoenix-West Michigan Campus - Grand Rapids, MI

University of Phoenix-West Michigan Campus, 318 River Ridge Dr, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544-1683. University of Phoenix-West Michigan Campus is a small university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 382 students. University of Phoenix-West Michigan Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated thirty-four and forty-eight students respectively in 2008.

Baker College of Muskegon - Muskegon, MI

Baker College of Muskegon, 1903 Marquette Ave, Muskegon, MI 49442. Baker College of Muskegon is a medium sized college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,214 students. Baker College of Muskegon has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business Administration and Management, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated twenty-nine and thirty-eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated four and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Davenport University - Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Avenue S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49512-9396. Davenport University is a large university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,773 students and an admission rate of 91%. Davenport University has 3 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business/Commerce, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated thirty-two and 146 students respectively in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated two, thirteen, 119, 227, 167, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated eight and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Muskegon Community College - Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Community College, 221 S Quarterline Rd, Muskegon, MI 49442-1432. Muskegon Community College is a small college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,747 students. Muskegon Community College has 3 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business Administration and Management, associate's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.
  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, less than one year.
  • Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Montcalm Community College - Sidney, MI

Montcalm Community College, 2800 College Dr, Sidney, MI 48885-9723. Montcalm Community College is a small college located in Sidney, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,119 students. Montcalm Community College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business Administration and Management, associate's degree which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eleven and five students respectively in 2008.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Business/Commerce, associate's degree which graduated 99 students in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, associate's degree which graduated 81 students in 2008.

Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI

Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401-9403. Grand Valley State University is a large university located in Allendale, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,932 students and an admission rate of 78%. Grand Valley State University has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Public Administration, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated forty-four and fifty-one students respectively in 2008.
  • Business/Commerce, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated five and ninety-one students respectively in 2008.

Grace Bible College - Wyoming, MI

Grace Bible College, 1011 Aldon SW, Wyoming, MI 49509. Grace Bible College is a small college located in Wyoming, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 177 students and an admission rate of 65%. Grace Bible College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Human Services, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Business/Commerce, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has 3 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Community Organization and Advocacy, bachelor's degree.
  • Business Administration and Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 24 students in 2008.

Cornerstone University - Grand Rapids, MI

Cornerstone University, 1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525-5897. Cornerstone University is a small university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,759 students and an admission rate of 75%. Cornerstone University has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Business Administration and Management which graduated thirty-nine, 119, and ninety-four students respectively in 2008.

Kuyper College - Grand Rapids, MI

Kuyper College, 3333 East Beltline N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49525-9781. Kuyper College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 322 students and an admission rate of 86%. Kuyper College has a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated five students in 2008.

Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI

Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Calvin College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,171 students and an admission rate of 94%. Calvin College has 2 areas of study related to Social Service Coordinator. They are:

  • Public Administration, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Business Administration and Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Hope College - Holland, MI

Hope College, 141 E 12th St, Holland, MI 49423. Hope College is a small college located in Holland, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,238 students and an admission rate of 82%. Hope College has a bachelor's degree program in Business Administration and Management which graduated ten 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.