HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ST. MARY’S COLLEGE, QUEZON CITY
St. Mary’s College, Quezon City, is a non-stock, non-profit Catholic school administered by the Religious of the Virgin Mary, the first pontifically approved congregation for women in the Philippines. The Congregation, originally known as the Beaterio de la Compañia de Jesus, was founded in 1684 by Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, a Chinese-Filipino mestiza.
The history of St. Mary’s College, Quezon City is traced back to the foundation years of the Congregation which started one of the first exclusive schools for girls in 1725. A landmark in Spanish Intramuros, it was known as the Colegio del Beaterio. The beatas taught not only catechism but also fancy needlework for this was their main source of support. After several years, they started to teach the Spanish language, music and the fundamentals of proper home management and social graces.
The Institution was more formally organized through the years. In 1901, the Beaterio held its first general chapter and became a Congregation. Eleven years after, in 1912 the school was formally incorporated and the Elementary Course was recognized by the government. The Secondary Course was opened and duly given recognition shortly after. Domestic Science, now known as Home Economics, was formally offered making the College one of the first private schools to offer such course. The school received in 1935 the formal government recognition of Junior Normal College course. In 1939, the name Colegio del Beaterio was officially changed to St. Mary’s College in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Patroness of the Congregation. In the same year, the Bachelor of Science in Education was formally recognized by the government. Since then, other college courses began to be offered.
St. Mary’s College was the first private school to open its doors just after the liberation of Manila in 1945 in response to the needs of students who wanted to resume or finish their studies. Originally established for girls, St. Mary’s College admitted boys in the Grade School after the war. Since the building in Intramuros had been reduced to ashes, its site was transferred to the Immaculate Conception Ladies Hall in España, just in front of the University of Santo Tomas. From 1946 to 1950, however, it was housed in a rented building at Aragon Street, Sampaloc. In April 1950, St. Mary’s College made Quezon City its permanent site undaunted by the isolation of the place and the difficulty of transportation then.
College course offerings since 1950 included Bachelor of Science in Education, Elementary Teaching Certificate, Secretarial, Associate in Arts, Bachelor of Music, Associate in Music, Bachelor of Elementary Education and other special courses. In 1976, the changing political, socio-economic and cultural climate led the administrators to temporarily suspend the operation of the college. There was also a felt need to concentrate on basic education. In its desire to upgrade the quality of instruction, St. Mary’s College embarked on a self-evaluation project which led to a formal application for accreditation through the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU). The High School Department was accredited in 1975 and the Grade School Department in 1978. Subsequent PAASCU visits confirmed the quality education offered by St. Mary’s College. In 1997, St. Mary’s College heeded the request of parents to admit boys to High School. On September 24-25, 2018, the Basic Education Department had its re- survey visit and was granted re-accreditation status for five (5) years valid until November 2023. The elementary level has retained its Level III Re-accreditation status while the High School is Level II and was granted the eligibility to apply for Level III. Meanwhile, encouraged by the PAASCU Accrediting body, the College Department ventured on a self-survey process in SY 2017-2018. The BS Social Work Program was then given the approval for applying for Formal Survey.
With the sustained improvement in instruction and services, the Board of Trustees decided to re-open the College Department following the semestral-based calendar. Preparations were done and in 2002, St. Mary’s College was given the permit to start offering Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies. Teacher Education Programs were offered in 2003 while the Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2005, government recognitions were received in 2006 and 2008 respectively. In addition to these programs, the college offers short – term courses such as Caregiver and Nursing Assistant and English Proficiency. The Center for Music and Arts (CMA) has become an extension service catering to Basic Education pupils, students and non-Marians.
In Academic Year 2013-2014, the College Department decided for voluntary closure of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. New academic programs were introduced in the same year: Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Office Administration, and Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology. In Academic Year 2016-2017, Government Recognitions were granted to these programs.
On November 23 - 25, 2015, the College Department underwent the Institutional Sustainability Assessment (ISA) process facilitated by the Commission on Higher Education. The aim was to assess its sustainability or survival to compete locally and globally through the programs offered and to be efficient and effective through quality systems on five (5) key result areas (KRAs) namely: Governance and Management, Quality of Teaching and Learning, Quality of Professional Exposure, Research and Creative Work, Support for Students, and Relations with the Community. The final report was received on May 9, 2017 from the Office of the Institutional Quality Assurance and Governance (OIQAG).
On May 15, 2014, partnership with Polytechnic University of the Philippines- Open University (PUP-OU) was realized through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which aimed at strengthening collaborative programs and produce high quality researches.
In keeping with the ASEAN regions’ goal of “one vision, one identity, one community”, St. Mary’s College, Quezon City has forged formal affiliation agreements with ASEAN educational institutions. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University, Thailand was signed and effected on May 7, 2015. This was renewed on February 21, 2019. Another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was finalized with Kkottongnae University, South Korea, Kanto Gakuin University, Japan and Asia University, Japan on May 22, 2017, April 9, 2018 and March 19, 2019, respectively. On November 22, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Singapore Institute of Multidisciplinary Professions (SIMP) and Ascendens Asia Group (AAG). Some others followed. Memoranda of Understanding were finalized on October 15, 2018 and November 15, 2018 with International Cross Cultural Exchange and Professional Development (ICEPD)-Thailand and with The Demonstration School of Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University, Thailand, respectively. New partnerships were established with Providence University, Taichung, Taiwan and International School- Thai Nguyen University, Vietnam on February 11, 2020 and March 6, 2020, respectively. These partnerships opened up various opportunities for greater interactions which were facilitated through research, language communication, and exchange programs for students, faculty and school staff.
With the advent of the Senior High School Program as an essential feature of the Enhanced K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum, a Transition and Implementation Plan for SY 2013-2014 to SY 2015-2016 was designed and implemented. Consequently, two relevant research studies were conducted and yielded results pertinent to the school’s absorptive capacity and students’ profile. Orientation sessions for the school’s stakeholders were held for effective information dissemination. Documentary requirements for Senior High School (SHS) application were submitted to the Department of Education on April 14, 2014. For SY 2014-2015, benchmarking activities geared towards effective SHS implementation were held. Environmental scanning results of nearby public and private schools validated the necessity to offer the Academic Strand which will address the emerging needs and preferences of the students. On April 10, 2015, the application of St. Mary’s College, Quezon City to offer Senior High School Academic Track was approved by the Department of Education through the Bureau of Secondary Education. In July 2015, the school established linkages with partner industries for possible work immersions of SHS students. Memoranda of Understanding were signed. The school was formally granted Government Permit (NCR) No. SHS – 0138, s. 2016 on February 16, 2016. Since School Year 2016-2017, the following strands under the Academic Track have been offered in Grades 11 and 12: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HumSS) and General Academic (GA) Strands.
Committed to improve its educational services and to make the institution globally competitive, St. Mary’s College decided in 2003 to work towards ISO Certification. TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc. looked into the maintenance of quality management system on the entire school policies, procedures and processes. The International Organization for Standardization Certificate Registration No. 0100023285 was awarded to St. Mary’s College, Quezon City in March 2003 for the Design, Development and Implementation of Basic Education Services according to the requirements of DIN EN ISO 9001:2000/9001:2008. Every year thereafter, successful Re-certification was granted to the institution by the Certifying Body. With the focus to sustain total quality management, for the whole institution, the College Department was included in the scope of certification. Thus, a new certificate with ID number 9105018757 was awarded on March 29, 2012 with validity until June 15, 2015 for Design, Development and Implementation of Basic Education, Tertiary and Tech-Voc Services. Re-certification was successfully attained and the institution was awarded the certificate with validity up to June 15, 2018. On January 30-31, 2018, the institution underwent certification to ISO 9001:2015 with upgrade. On April 10, 2018, the certificate was awarded with validity up to April 9, 2021. A re-certification audit for ISO 9001:2015 was held on February 10-11, 2021. The school was re-certified and awarded its certification with validity up to April 9, 2024.
True to its tradition, St. Mary’s College believes firmly that the home is the essential element in society and the most influential factor in most aspects of human development. The institution is committed to carry on a strong program of religious instruction, communications and social services. It continues to offer the Ignacian transformative education to develop the Ignacian Marian leaders who live the values of faith, excellence, and service.