Frequently Asked Questions about the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE)
1What is SPCE?
SPCE is Central Asia’s first provider of formal, university-based, non-degree educational programmes, offering vocational, professional development and personal improvement opportunities to youth and adults. Begun in 2006, SPCE is the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) first operational academic programme, and has the mission of fostering economic development.
SPCE emphasizes tertiary short-cycle education (TSCE), which is well developed in advanced economies but still new to Central Asia. Instead of a university degree, TSCE give students intense training, usually in one year or less, that results in a widely accepted qualification to perform industry-specific tasks. SPCE intends to contribute to educational reform in Central Asia by demonstrating the value of its programs in helping its students become internationally competitive for careers and business opportunities.
2What came before SPCE?
In 2003, UCA created the School of Continuing Education (SCE) which offered a variety of short-term courses and workshops. In 2005, it was decided that a more focused approach was needed, with a mandate to foster economic development through the provision of fewer but higher quality course offerings. On the basis of this assessment, SPCE was created in 2006.
3What kinds of courses does SPCE offer?
SPCE has programmes in areas relevant to the economic development of the region: Enterprise Development and Management, Information Technology and New Media, Applied Languages, Public and Social Sector Management, Vocational Education and Training, Post-Graduate Preparatory Programmes, Professional Development, and Personal Development and Improvement.
Professional development courses that are or will be offered include accounting, language for specific purposes, computers and information technology, small business management, and tourism planning and development. Vocational courses that are or will be offered include carpentry, construction, painting and plastering.
4Why does SPCE focus on these areas?
There are many possible areas that SPCE could address through its courses. We have deliberately chosen to focus on those that will have the greatest impact on the local employment and business opportunities. SPCE continually monitors changes in the local economies in which it operates, and will offer courses that create employment and income generating opportunities for youth and adults, and professional development opportunities for mid-career professionals. By building vocational skills and professional competencies, SPCE will encourage entrepreneurship in the region and stimulate economic development.
5 Where are SPCE courses held?
In the three SPCE town campuses located in UCA campus towns - Tekeli, Kazakhstan, Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic and Khorog, Tajikistan. Each campus has large multi-purpose classrooms, a library and learning resource centre with computers, a computer lab and student services offices. Some SPCE courses will be held in other towns or cities based on course requirements and students involved.
6What language is used to teach SPCE courses?
With the exception of the applied language programmes, all courses will be conducted in national languages or in Russian. While English will be language of instruction for the coming graduate and undergraduate programmes on the main campuses, knowledge of English is not required for SPCE programmes.
7 What is the value of my SPCE education?
SPCE will offer two kinds of programmes: some that prepare students to qualify for an externally awarded certificate, and others that award an SPCE certificate. For the externally awarded certificates (e.g., Microsoft, English for Business) SPCE will prepare students for the examination to receive their certification. For the SPCE certificates (e.g., Mountain Tour Operator, Agro-Processing), the School follows curricula that are based on the best international practices, and reviewed by leading international and regional experts. All SPCE certificates are designed to meet the standards of the European Credit Transfer System, making these courses internationally transferable. For all programmes offered at SPCE, rigorous quality assurance procedures, such as external examiners and programme evaluation, will be used to ensure that programmes meet high standards.
8Who will teach SPCE courses?
SPCE instructors are recruited from the region and receive thorough training and qualifications before they begin teaching on town campuses. They will use innovative and interactive teaching methods, encourage critical thinking, and help students with further professional development.
How much does it cost to attend SPCE courses?
The cost of a SPCE course varies, depending on the course. Every SPCE student is expected to pay a share of the cost of their course. Those who need help can access financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships and student loans.
9 How can I be informed of SPCE course offerings?
Check course listings or contact us at your local SPCE town campus: