The School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE)
The School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) is designed to serve the immediate needs of the communities where the campuses are being built and fulfils UCA’s approach to reach the broadest spectrum of learners possible.
The School is Central Asia’s first provider of post-secondary, short-cycle education giving young people and adults professional and vocational qualifications in a flexible learning format that improve employment and income generating opportunities. With learning facilities in Khorog and Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Naryn and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic; Tekeli and Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan. SPCE has engaged 30,000 course participants and offers certificate programmes in English for Business (London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board), Accounting (Certified Accountant Practitioner and Certification for International Professional Accountants), information technology (Microsoft IT Academy), International Computer Driving License (ICDL), Mountain Tour Operator, Local Economic and Community Development among others.
It also provides an apprenticeship-based Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) programme in a number of construction trades. In addition, SPCE offers a variety of short-term and community-based training courses in tourism, entrepreneurship, and IT. The School is also a leading provider of educational literature having published more than 150 textbooks in support of its programmes.
To ensure that its programmes reach a diversity of communities, an outreach programme was set up in remote villages without direct access to SPCE facilities. Through the English in the Villages, Math in the Villages, and IT in the Villages programmes, SPCE Outreach helps address issues of outdated curriculum and teaching methods in the public school system that are particularly acute in village communities.
All certificate programmes are internationally benchmarked - its academic quality and integrity are assured through a system of external examiners. Instructors are recruited locally and undergo training to acquire international certification. SPCE’s focus on quality of education is recognised as a best practice model; the School is assisting continuing education institutions throughout Central Asia, Egypt, Pakistan by sharing curricula and textbooks, training trainers, and providing independent quality assurance assessments through an “SPCE Certified” process.
Alumni report a high degree of satisfaction with the School’s programmes: 97 percent are satisfied with their experience and would recommend SPCE to others; 86 percent find their courses to be “highly” or “mostly” relevant. More importantly, a majority of alumni attribute SPCE programmes as a factor that enabled them to improve their economic situation by finding new employment, receiving higher income, establishing or expanding existing businesses.
To facilitate entrepreneurship in the communities it serves and among its graduates, SPCE is launching a Centre for Entrepreneurship and Microfinance to more effectively link microfinance institutions with small entrepreneurs. SPCE will provide loan product development assistance, courses for entrepreneurs on business planning and finance, while conducting policy research in the field of entrepreneurship and microfinance in Central Asia.