Beimen Community College was established in 2005 and serves six districts in Tainan City:
the seaside districts of Beimen, Jiangjun, and Cigu, and the districts of Syuejia, Jiali, and Sigang.
The school’s geographical location and resource distribution are that of a rural area, and the majority of its residents farm or fish for a living.
So from the very beginning, this school was established with the idea in mind to create “a miniature yet exquisite community college to support the development of a farming and fishing community”.
It is with high hopes that through education to liven up the community, an environment of cooperation and trust can be created.
There are currently two major development goals in the works:
1. The promotion of a sustainable eco-community
2. The facilitation of self-learning by students to actively care about public affairs.
1. The Promotion of a eco-community
This was the main goal developed by Beimen Community College in response to urgent local problems in the community. From the very start of the college’s establishment, Chi-Ku Seacoast Protection Association, an important community partner to Beimen Community College, voiced their concern for the sandbank runoffs of Cigu Lagoon. Therefore, the protection of Cigu’s sandbanks became an important topic of community development at Beimen Community College. However, in the process of protecting Cigu’s sandbanks, it became clear to the college that community development should not just be limited to environmental protection. Instead, it should be an interconnection of people’s lives, livelihood of the community, and environmental sustainability for sustainable development of the community.
So in addition to protecting sandbanks, Beimen Community College also came up with a “Satoumi Movement” project. This project is mainly focused on four aspects:
1. Develop upon the ideas of satoumi;
2. Plan eco-tours;
3. Promote eco-friendly and sustainable aquacultural practices;
2. The facilitation of self-learning by students to actively care about public affairs
When community colleges were first established in Taiwan, their mission was to create a more civil society. So it is Beimen Community College’s expectation that its students can develop the following skills through its courses:
Foster the motivation to learn → Identify problems and develop organizational skills → Participate in public affairs (mature citizens)
When a community college offers courses within a community, it is with the idea of creating a customized curriculum specific to that community and at the same time, encouraging its instructors to immerse themselves within the community to plan courses that “respond to the community’s needs and promote its development”. Through this process, the general public can learn how to participate in public affairs and to care for their communities. Caring for, participating in, and learning about their communities will hopefully form a sense of unity and power among the members.