Mission and Educational Goals
“Engage in community needs, care for the underprivileged, and gain skills and knowledge”
The founder of Tzu Chi Foundation, Master Cheng Yen, views mass media as one of the main causes of social unrest in Taiwan, and thus senses an urgent need to found an educational institute to train media professionals who are capable of reporting truth, goodness, and beauty, in particular with emphasis on "journalistic ethics" and "the duty of caring." In 2001, Dr. Shih-Min Chen, a retired professor from the Department of Journalism, National Chengchi University, was invited to be the first chairperson of TCU’s Department of Communication Studies. Professor Chen upholds the principle of communication studies, regards college education as general education, and set the department’s goal to inspire students to “engage in community needs, care for the underprivileged, and gain skills and knowledge.” Furthermore, he guides communication studies to return to its roots, which are people- and world-oriented, and on the uniqueness of Taiwanese tradition and community.
The department has undergraduate and Master’s programs. Each undergraduate class has 40 students plus international and overseas Chinese students. There are 10 full time faculty members, including 2 professors, 5 associate professors, 2 assistant professors, and 1 lecturer.
The department is well equipped with excellent multimedia facilities and equipment. In conjunction with TCU Radio, and Hualien Education Radio, students receive training in producing and broadcasting radio programs. Tzu Chi’s affiliates (such as Da-Ai TV, Tzu Chi Radio, Tzu Chi Monthly, and Rhymes Magazine) and local Public Television provide clerkship and internship opportunities for students. To put knowledge into action, our faculty serves local communities with our students, to promote community healthcare and hygiene issues, as well as record and report community activities. We have worked closely with local Public Television "Peopo News" to establish "Tzu Chi University Public News" to provide news to Hualien and Taitung.
To prepare students to be media professionals who are equipped with knowledge and virtue, respect diversity, and have enthusiasm to serve local communities, in particular with emphasis on "journalistic ethics" and "the duty of caring."
- For undergraduates: Train students to be media professionals who are able to analyze and produce mediated messages which are interdisciplinary in nature.
- For Master’s students: Guide students to do interdisciplinary research related to communication studies and healthcare.