Contemporary Problems of Social Work
The place of higher professional education and continuing professional education in the system of public relations
Автор/Author: Vasileva E.A.
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The structure and social organization of a society assume the existence of intellectual social group, which is a part of the ruling group determining the ways of development of the state. This part of the ruling group is the bearers of human knowledge and skills accumulated and applied in the real life areas of society and country. This knowledge are accumulated, stored, and transmitted to following generations. S.V. Volkov has noted that “the tradition to attribute the intellectual social group to the highest category of particular society is one of the basic features of social organization of any society” . The knowledge transfer is implemented during the education, i.e. the transfer of systematic knowledge and practical skills, “which allow to solve theoretical and practical tasks required by the professional activities” . Professional education traditionally has several stages. The three-level system consisting of the basic secondary, secondary professional, and higher professional education is widespread. Higher professional education according to the definition of A.N. Leibovich is “the process and the result of professional growth and personal development entailed by acquisition of the particular knowledge, skills, and competences inherited in specific professions” . At the same time, it is necessary to realize that the higher education system in different countries has one-, two-, three-, and four-level structure. A three-level system of higher education adopted in Russia in 2003, the first level includes bachelor degree students, second level – master degree students and specialists, and the third level of higher education includes the persons with an academic degree. The fourth level includes additionally the doctor of philosophy degree .
The historical facts show that the people passed the higher education institutions have been considered as the members of highest groups of society in all times and education revealed the social class. However, approximately from XVII to XIX century, “the mental activity gradually ceased to be the prerogative of the highest social classes, a class attribution lost the social significance, that resulted in formation of a professional class of intellectuals, which counted more than 4-5% of the population, retained own special, privileged position in a society, and possessed the highest social status” .
According to the part 1, article 2 of the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”  (hereinafter – the Law), the education in Russian Federation is an integrated goal-oriented process of education and teaching, which is a significant social welfare being conducted in the interests of the individuals, family, society, and state, as well as this is a total of acquired knowledge, skills, values, practical experience and competence of a certain volume and complexity, to achieve the intellectual, moral, artistic, physical, and (or) professional development of a person to meet his educational needs and interests” . Legally, the education is divided into basic, professional, and vocational education, which may be continuous . The organization of higher education including the provision of governmental guarantees of the implementation of the right to receive free higher education on a competitive basis”, and the provision of continuing professional education belong to the authority of the Federal Government and Federal Educational Organizations.
Professional education is a type of education aimed at the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and development of the competences to conduct professional activities .
In the Russian Federation, the system of higher professional education (HPE) consists of the subsystem of continuing professional education (CPE) including professional retraining and advanced training. The Law interprets HPE as “the kind of education, which is aimed at comprehensive satisfaction of the educational needs of a person in the intellectual, moral-spiritual, physical, and (or) professional development, and not entailed by advanced training” . CPE exists at each level of professional education, provides the ability to continuous improvement of the professional skills and knowledge, and improves the quality of the business skills due to the constant improvement of the Federal educational standards” . CPE allows the professional adaptation of a person to changing conditions and activities, and provides a person with opportunity to change the professional specialization. CPE is provided through different programs and depending on the knowledge volume, types, and objectives of education is divided to professional retraining and advanced training .
Advanced training as a type of CPE is a short-term program aimed at the update and extension of the theoretical and practical knowledge, improving of skills in one specific area. Advanced training is conducted as the short-term seminars and trainings, and divided into short-term advanced training (more than 72 hours of lessons), thematic and problem seminars (from 72 to 100 hours of lessons), and long-term advanced training (from 100 to 500 hours of lessons, and sometimes up to 1000 hours).
Advanced training of the employees can be performed at the work place, apart or partially apart from work, and according to individual programs. Generally, the advanced training courses are organized according to the request of the companies or firms. Periodicity of these courses is usually determined by employers. However, the Law states that the advanced training courses should be organized at least once in 5 years during whole time of seniority of the employee .
The programs of CPE are developed according to the needs and requirements of a person or organization, and approved by the institution providing the advanced trainings, unless otherwise is provided by Law. The programs of “professional retraining are developed on the basis of the established professional requirements <...>, corresponding to the Federal State Educational standards of secondary professional and (or) higher education” . Training according to additional professional programs is carried out as simultaneously or continuously and gradually (discrete), including education through the development of individual study subjects, courses, and disciplines .
Thus, new approaches in higher professional and continuing education are evident in the integrated form from the content of Federal State Educational standards and State of Federal Target Programs providing the prospective development of various areas of education, formulating the requirements to education, and corresponding to the requirements of present time.