In compliance with the government’s policy to develop continuing education, promote industrial upgrading, and respond to the need of industrial development in Kaohsiung area, I-Shou University sought to provide employed youth with a channel to pursue continuing education. The establishment of an evening college was approved by the Ministry of Education and officially inaugurated in 1992. In the beginning, a director was placed in charge of affairs of the evening college, and the position of the first director was taken on by the University’s president, Dr. Fu, Sheng-li. Under the director are three sections dealing with academic, student, and general affairs, and a secretary served by one of the faculty at the curriculum section of the day school, Mr. Chen, Xin-nan to help the director handle relevant affairs. Later, I-Shou University became active in planning to offer in-service postgraduate (master’s degree) programs in order to respond to the lifelong learning policy stipulated by the Ministry of Education and bring continuing education for employed youth to a higher level. The programs firstly available were management, industrial management, and information engineering which helped set the direction of the development of evening college.
Due to the fact that the president of the university had a tight schedule, he could no longer serve as the director of the evening college. In August 1996, Dr. Ren, Shan-long of the Department of Electronic Engineering was appointed to take on the post and Lecturer Yan, Yang-cing from the Centre of General Education as the secretary. During Dr. Ren’s tenure, he expanded software and hardware facilities for administrative and educational purposes, helping the evening college take complete shape.
In order to respond to the reforms of higher education, the evening college went through restructuring as the division of continuing and extension education and was renamed ‘Division of Continuing Education’ at the beginning of the academic year 1999. As a result, continuing education and formal education share the same importance.
Dr. Ren, Shan-long was appointed the chief secretary of the university in August 1999 after he had served his term as the director of the evening college. Dr. Bo, Qiao-ping from the Department of Accounting became the successor to Dr. Ren.
During the three years of Dr. Bo’s term, he pushed through and carried out policies effectively in the Division of Continuing Education. For example, starting from 2002, I-Shou University’s in-service postgraduate (master’s degree) programs and two-year in-service programs have been reduced to two years from three years.
In August 2002, Dr. Xyu, Xiang-zhen of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (now known as the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering) was designated by the university’s president to lead the evening college. In the two years of the term, Xyu worked closely with the Extension Education Centre to promote lifelong learning and education and won recognition and reputation in the community.
Dr. Zhou, Zhao-min from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering became the fifth director of the evening college in August 2004. He valued organisational management, and the administrative procedures were standardised during his term. After one year of service, he was re-appointed as the university’s secretary-general.
As a result, in August 2005, the president designated Dr. Zhang, Zai-shen, the former chair of the Department of Accounting, the 6th director of the evening college. Soon as Dr. Zhang came on board, he exercised his management skills and implemented participative and human-based management in the Division of Continuing Education. He valued team spirit and promotes harmony in the office. The staff has to be cooperative and structured, so that every task can be completed.
Since its inception in 1992, the Division of Continuing Education only had evening undergraduate programs in industrial management and information engineering. In 1993, another program in information management was added. In the same year, credit courses were also available for the lay public. In 1994, the business administration program was also added to the list, and the Ministry of Education approved the division to recruit students on its own in an effort to provide employed young people with more opportunities for further training and at the same time promote education and research. The division opened another two evening undergraduate programs in finance and accounting in 1995 and 1997, respectively.
To respond to the policies of the Ministry of Education to diversify higher education as well as to provide young and vocational college graduates working in Kaohsiung area with a channel for further studies, I-Shou University was permitted to establish a two-year in-service vocational degree program in 1996. The program is designed for young junior college graduates with three years or more of work experience. A bachelor’s degree is conferred upon students who have successfully completed a three-year practical and theoretical curricular program.
The original evening college further provided another three vocational programs in electrical engineering, electronic engineering, and accounting for technicians at work in southern Taiwan. In 1997, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and information management were integrated into the vocational program as well. The government’s policy to promote Asia-Pacific Regional Operation Centre created a wave of developing a talent pool of financial and management professionals, so in August 1999, the evening college was approved to provide two-year in-service programs in international trade, finance, and information engineering to satisfy both the needs of employed people and the industry. In the same year, the university went on to offer in-service postgraduate (master’s degree) programs in electronic engineering, materials science and engineering, information engineering, and management in order to increase the diversity of the programs in southern Taiwan, and hence, train students to be equipped with advanced techniques and leadership and managerial skills.
After years of operations and development, the division has prospered, and it is now an organised and complete system for higher education. It runs currently 9 evening undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) programs in electrical engineering, industrial management, business administration, information management, finance, tourism, leisure management, hospitality management, and culinary arts management.
There are 2 two-year in-service programs including nursing and medical imaging and radiological sciences.
As for master’s degrees, there are 5 in-service postgraduate programs in management, information engineering, information management, industrial management, public policy and management, and healthcare administration.