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Introduction to the University Department of the Department

Bachelor’s Degree Program

Department Introduction

     As a result of the rapid societal changes in Taiwan and abroad, the need to cope with loss and grief over the course of life has increased and continued unabated. This trend is directly reflected in the need for the medical care system and educational and counseling institutions in Taiwan. The establishment of the Department of Thanatology and Health Counseling is intended to nurture relevant professionals. The educational goal of this department is to cultivate students’ basic literacy of life and death care and health-related psychological counseling to be able to care for people’s mental health and help them settle down. On the one hand, the objective encompasses health counseling, including response to health crises and implementation of healthy living behavior, management of disease and suffering, adjustment to disability and aging, and end-of-life care. On the other hand, it focuses on bereavement counseling, suicide prevention, bereaved family care, and funeral services. These areas are also the emphasis of student services in this department to cultivate a workforce with practical skills and professional knowledge of life and death care and grief counseling.

Research development and characteristics

The predecessor of this department, the Graduate Institute of Life and Death Education and Counseling, began to enroll master’s degree program students in the two groups of "Thanatology" and "Counseling" in 2001. The bachelor’s degree program of the Department of Life and Death Studies and Psychological Counseling was established in 2011. The institute and department were integrated in August 2014, which is the only healthcare department of national technical colleges in Taiwan that trains talents in Life and Death, and Counseling. The purpose of the establishment is to cultivate professionals related to counseling of life and death and health crises. The educational goal is to cultivate practical, consultative, and research talents in the fields of life and death education and grief counseling.

  1. The learning focus of the bachelor’s degree program encompasses four major career areas: (1) grief counseling, (2) suicide prevention, (3) fungal services, and (4) vocational reconstruction. The department provides students with a complete curriculum and learning equipment in four professional fields and offers professional internship opportunities in related industries in students’ senior year to enhance their practical skills and ensure a smooth transition from academia to industry.
  2. The department currently has the world’s first Healing Garden with the function of grief healing and a Healing Heart Community Psychological Counseling Center, which allows the team of teachers and students to provide grief counseling for the community and is used by teachers, students, and the Grief Counseling Professional Classroom to practice grief counseling. In addition, the department will continue to promote collaboration with industry and jointly develop and promote effective education and counseling strategies in the future.

Teaching Objectives

The department has consistent educational objectives for the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, as described below.

1. The bachelor’s degree program aims to cultivate basic-level professionals in life and death care and counseling. Students are expected to have the following skills prior to graduation:

  1. Use professional knowledge and critical thinking to provide life, death, and spiritual care.
  2. Demonstrate a caring attitude and ethical literacy.
  3. Demonstrate interpersonal communication and teamwork skills.
  4. Focus on mental health issues and develop a professional identity.
  5. Demonstrate a conscientious attitude, character, and behavior.
  6. Utilize information technology and develop innovative capabilities.
  7. Demonstrate problem-solving and lifelong learning skills.

Core Competencies

    • Communication

    • Responsibility and Discipline

    • Interpersonal Interaction

    • Information Technology Application

    • Problem Solving

    • Teamwork

    • Continuous Learning

    • Innovation

Curriculum Planning

     This department is the only national college in Taiwan to cultivate healthcare talents in life and death and consultation. Students’ learning focuses include four major career areas: grief counseling, suicide prevention, funeral services, and vocational rehabilitation. Students can also take the courses in Funeral Programs and Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Physically and Mentally Disabled. The department establishes diversified professional development and learning directions and offers professional internships in related industries to enhance students’ practical abilities and allow seamless integration with the industry.

  1. The total number of credits for graduation from the four-year technical program is 129, including 28 credits of general courses, 59 credits of compulsory courses, 42 credits of electives, and at least 36 credits of professional electives.
  2. The courses offered by this department are open to students outside the department (including general education electives, inter-departmental and inter-university electives) with a maximum of 6[JES1]  credits.
  3. Students must take at least 4 credits of inter-departmental or inter-domain courses.

Off-campus Internship

     The professional internship course of the bachelor’s degree is mainly integrated into the professional compulsory courses. In the first semester of the senior year, students must take 9 credits of professional internship courses. During the 18-week semester, students are required to intern at their chosen internship institutions for 27 hours per week and return to school to receive professional supervision before graduation. In addition, if students are interested in funeral services, they can add 9 credits of funeral internship in the second semester of their senior year.

Further Studies

  • Graduates of the bachelor’s program in this department with excellent grades have the opportunity to apply for the preparatory master's degree program after the junior year and before the senior year (a five-year continuing program). Those who are admitted to the master’s degree program through the admission screening test can waive partial credits. They may also apply for a master’s degree program at a relevant research institute, domestically, or abroad.
  • Graduates can serve as full-time or part-time research assistants in various academic units or psychological counseling units, participating in research, and publishing research findings.

Employment Development

Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program are usually employed in four major career fields:

(1) Grief counseling field:

  • Administration, promotion, and research staff in palliative and hospice care
  • Life counselors at social welfare institutions, such as nursing homes and orphanages
  • Grief counselor, counseling case managers, or health counselor

(2) Suicide prevention field:

  • Suicide prevention gatekeeper
  • Suicide prevention home-based worker
  • Life care worker
  • Case manager

(3) Funeral service field:

  • Funeral director
  • Funeral service Class C or B certified technician
  • Funeral company manager
  • Funeral company business personnel

(4) Vocational rehabilitation field:

  • Employment service specialist
  • Vocational evaluator
  • Vocational rehabilitation case manager
  • Employment counselor
  • Pre-employment training counselor
  • College resource teacher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the bachelor’s degree program, students shall meet the graduation qualification examination standards for the Basic Competencies and Service-Learning courses set by the University. Students also need to meet the Professional Competence examination standards before they can graduate and go on with further studies and academic development.


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