Since its establishment in 1989, our school has focused on providing basic humanistic education to our students; therefore, general subjects had already been developed when the school was still a junior college of nursing. In addition, courses fostering students’ basic academic ability and programs relevant to humanistic education were offered to students.
In 1999, our school was restructured and named the Tzu Chi College of Technology. To elevate the academic standard of the school and strengthen the humanistic values of our students, the Center for General Education was established and incorporated as a Level-1 teaching unit in the Tzu Chi College of Technology. At the Center for General Education, the chairperson, an associate professor or a person of a higher position, is in charge of managing, planning, and implementing the general courses and humanistic education courses. In addition, according to the professional disciplines of the faculty members, the faculty is divided into three groups for teaching courses: a language group, mathematics group, and social group. Regarding the administrative organization of the Center, committees including the Research Association for General Education Teaching and the Teacher Evaluation Committee for General Education were established to manage affairs such as general education promotion and faculty member recruitment. To respond to the changes in the social environment, enhance the basic literacy and liberal education of students in general, and consolidate student humanistic values, the General Education Committee was established during the first semester in 2012 to comprehensively manage the crucial planning and development of the general education curriculum. In addition, an interdisciplinary humanities program was developed for integrating a humanistic spirit and the knowledge learned from professional subjects to foster talents that possess both professional knowledge and a humanistic quality. On August 1, 2015, this school changed its designation to a university of science and technology. To cooperate with the school’s transformation, the Center for General Education changed its name to the Holistic Education Center. College-level teaching divisions were established, including the Department of Science, Department of Humanities, and Department of Physical Education. After the school transformed into a technical college, Assistant Professor Tsai Yu-Mei became the first Director of the Center for General Education. Associate Professor Liang Chiao-Yen took on the role of Director from August 2011 to July 2014. Starting in August 2014, Associate Professor Yang Yi-Feng was hired as Director and remains in that position to date.
In response to changes in the social environment, we revised the general education guidelines pertaining to general education goal, student basic literacy, and capability indicators in 2011. In addition, to satisfy the graduation threshold, the required general education credits for undergraduate students were adjusted to 28 credits (20 credits for compulsory courses on basic general education and 8 credits for general education elective courses). Students must also fulfill the following course requirements for graduation: 8 lecture sessions on general education and liberal arts topics and courses related to basic language skills and information management, labor education, and physical education. By regularly holding activities and events (e.g., events related to artists in residence, a series of activities held during a general education month, and art contests), the school can strengthen student learning through informal and hidden curriculum to develop student competency in both general education and liberal arts. In response to the school’s significant change in the 2015 academic year, steps were taken to revise the general education framework. Fundamental, core, and general education courses were matched with a design concept featuring five dimensions to create a blueprint, which was expected to be implemented in the 2016 academic year.