The University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) traces its roots to the Beaterio dela Compaňia, the first community of indigenous women formed during Hispanic colonial times. Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, a mestiza from Binondo who decided to serve the Divine Majesty by the sweat of her brow, started the Beaterio dela Compañia in 1684. This community of indigenous women, now known as the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM), has grown through the years. It has extended itself through its different ministries especially in the area of education.
The mission of the RVM in Mindanao started in 1902 when the late Rev. Superior General M. Ma. Efigenia Alvarez sent three Sisters to Davao City. They were M. Severina Santos, Superior, M. Clara Ramirez and M. Engracia Herrera. When they arrived in Davao, they met with the Hon. Teodoro Palma Gil who was appointed Davao deputy representative to Governor General Harrison. The pioneer Sisters stayed in the residence of the Palma Gil Family.
After a little adjustment, the Sisters, in 1905, started to catechize Davao children. Mrs. Sinforosa Bangoy vda de Joven donated a house that the Sisters converted into a dormitory and classrooms.
When enrolment increased in 1906, the house of Mr. Cenon Rasay in San Pedro-Anda intersection was used as classrooms. In 1907, the construction of the Sisters’ Convent was started in San Pedro-Bolton-Claveria site. At the end of the year, the Sisters transferred to their new convent. Originally established exclusively for girls, the RVM Sisters laid the foundation by establishing a parochial school named “Escuela Catolica de San Pedro” offering primary and intermediate courses. It obtained government recognition in 1933.
With the opening of the high school in 1934, the school became the “Immaculate Conception Academy”. In 1938 the first batch of high school students graduated. By then, the school had been re-named “Immaculate Conception Institute”.
When World War II broke out in 1941, the school closed and re-opened five years later. The school received government recognition for the high school level in 1947. A year later the school was named “Immaculate Conception College (ICC)” that initially offered two collegiate courses: Collegiate Secretarial and Pharmacy.
From 1951 to 1958, ICC opened additional courses: BS in Education, BS in Home Economics, BS in Music, and BS in Elementary Education.
With the increasing enrollment and the demand for more courses, the following programs were added in 1961-62: Liberal Arts, BS Commerce, and BS Medical Technology.
In 1969, the Grade and High School Departments were moved to ICC’s new site at Fr. Selga St. The College Department followed in 1971. Three more courses were added: BS Chemistry, Pharmacy Aide, and BS in Nutrition and Dietetics. From 1983 to 1986, four more courses were opened: Cafeteria Management, BS in Civil Engineering, MA in Theology, and MA in Elementary Education.
Mindful of its mission to deliver quality education, the Grade School and High School Departments gained PAASCU (Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities) accreditation in the early 1970’s. ICC got its formal accreditation for the three programs: Liberal Arts, Education, and Commerce in 1976.
Various expansions went on. A six-storey building at Bonifacio Street was completed in 1985. It was inaugurated on December 6, 1986. The building housed the Engineering, Liberal Arts, Education, and Commerce programs.
ICC was granted University Status on May 1, 1992 by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) through Secretary Dr. Isidro Carino. At 87 years old, ICC became the “University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC)”.
The 90’s challenged the school to become more responsive to the needs of Davao City. More science and technology courses were opened: BS Computer Engineering, BS Electronics and Communication Engineering, and BS Computer Science. The graduate school also picked up pace and added more courses especially when the Fund Assistance for Private Education (FAPE) identified UIC as one of the training centers of its scholars for Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering, and additional courses were opened: MA in Educational Management, MA in Values Education, MA in Teaching College Physics, MA in Teaching College Chemistry, and MA in Engineering Education major in Civil Engineering and Electronics and Communications Engineering.
Committed to establishing its lead in science and technology and serving the larger community, UIC established the Computer Center in 1933. This paved the way to the automation of the university’s registration and cashiering systems. The Science Resource Center (SRC), a full-service laboratory, was established in 1994 to provide science faculty and students with technical assistance as well as extensive, in-house, hands-on training on sophisticated laboratory testing equipment. Since then the center has offered professional analytical services to external clients for a nominal fee. The Center is equipped to handle analysis of soil, leaf/plant tissue, fertilizer, food/feed, water/wastewater, ores/mines, fats and oils, pharmaceutical, and other samples. Apart from in-house research, it also undertakes collaborative research with clients and funding agencies.
Since late 1999, the SRC has enjoyed recognition from the Department of Environment and Natural resources (DENR) as an environmental laboratory, having complied with the documentation, analytical performance and technical requirements of DENR Administrative Order No. 63, Series of 1998. At the time the recognition was awarded, the Center was one of only 12 laboratories in the Philippines (and one of only two in Mindanao) that were so recognized.
Since its creation in 1994, the Science Resource Center has adhered to the quality guidelines of ISO / IEC Guide 25 in its operation. It is now geared toward fulfilling the requirements of ISO 17025, a manifestation of the SRC’s continuous quest for quality!
The following year, the Clinical Laboratory and Training Center was established to strengthen the training of the Medical Technology students while at the same time catering to the needs of the outside community.
The University ushered in the third millennium (year 2000) responding to the needs and challenges of the time. The College Department opened new courses: BS in Information Technology and BS in Information Management seeing the rapid advances n information and communication technology of the global society. Other undergraduate programs offered were BA major in Psychology (2001), BS Nursing (2002), BA major in Philosophy (2006), BS Hotel and Restaurant Management (2006) and BS Pharmacy major in Clinical Pharmacy (2006). In 2003, the Graduate School offered additional programs: MS in Pharmacy, MS in Information Technology, MS in Information Management and Master in Business Administration. In 2004, the first doctoral degree program was offered: Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Doctor in Business Management, Ph.D. in Education major in Applied Linguistics, MA in Education major in Guidance and Counseling followed in 2006.
UIC launched launched an “E-LEARNING PROGRAM” – a web-based learning strategy to serve all departments/sections. It is a network of services to create, deliver and facilitate learning-teaching process whether inside or outside the traditional classrooms. This has made UIC up to speed with the global technological race.
A state-of-the art facility for Information Technology Resource Center (ITRC) was put up in tandem with the launching of the E-Learning program. The ITRC is a modern computer, information technology, and communication laboratory. The installation and use of these facilities were aimed at providing UIC students with the best training in computer science, engineering and communication technology.
Another most significant highlight for the year 2000 was the transfer of the Grade School and High School Departments to the beautiful, sprawling 7-hectare UIC Bajada campus that featured a new, majestic and imposing 3-storey building complete with these facilities: air-conditioned auditorium, audio-visual/conference room, library, computer, science laboratories and gymnasium. An extensive playground and a chapel provide the pupils space and opportunity to grow physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Together with the opening of additional degree programs and facilities development, the college department maintained its pursuit of delivering quality education by working for the PAASCU accreditation of its other programs: Pharmacy program in 2001; Information Technology Education in 2009. In 2011, the Accountancy, Medical Technology, and Computer Engineering had their PAASCU Preliminary Visit.
UIC was granted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) “deregulated status” in 2001 and autonomous status in 2003, proofs of its excellence in its various endeavors,. On the same year, the Department of Foreign Affairs also granted UIC the permission to accept foreign students. In 2007, CHED gave the ITE recognition as Center of Development (COD) for Information Technology and in 2010 the Education Program as Center of Excellence (COE). In 2009, the Grade School and High School Departments were granted Level III accreditation status by PAASCU.
The same wholistic concern for the development of students led to the renovation of the former grade school building to the ND/HRM Laboratory at Fr. Selga Campus in 2007. An additional building was constructed at the UIC Bonifacio Campus in 2010, which houses the administrative and service offices, the Graduate School and the Mini-Auditorium.
The imposition of the K to 12 program prompted the construction of a separate building for Kindergarted in the Bajada campus in April 2012. In September 2012, the Assumption Hall was built in the Fr. Selga Campus to provide wider space for the Community Development Service, Alumni Affairs, and ROTC Offices.
As the needs and number of its clientele increased, three additional programs were offered starting SY 2014-2015: Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management and Bachelor of Physical Education major in School P.E. and the UIC Information Technology Development and Incubation Facility were established. In SY 2016-2017, two additional graduate programs were given recognition by CHED: Master in Counseling and Master in Pastoral Ministry specializing in Family Ministry and Counseling, Pastoral Management and Retreat Directing.
Accreditation is a way of manifesting the university’s improvement and standing and to this end three (3) more college degree programs were granted Level I status in May 2015, e.g., Accountancy, Computer Engineering, and Medical Laboratory Science and another two in July 2016, e.g., Accounting Technology and Nutrition and Dietetics while in April 2015, Candidate status was granted to Hotel and Restaurant Management.
In February 2016, CHED designated the Information Technology Education and Business Education as Center of Development and in March 2016, the Education Program. The University was granted Deregulated Status in April 2016.
With the roll out of the Senior High School in June 2016, the Grade School and High School administration shifted from departmentalized to Integrated Basic Education (IBED) with S. Ma. Merlita Sabate, RVM, as the first IBED Principal. Likewise, a new building was constructed in Bajada Campus for Grades 11 and 12 with the first phase completed in May 2016 and the second phase in May 2017. Aside from the Bajada Campus, Senior High School was also offered at the Bonifacio Campus.
As UIC continued to work for quality education through accreditation, the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) through PAASCU awarded UIC an Institutional Accreditation in December 2016, valid until November 2019. This type of accreditation is comprehensive, indicates that the institution has achieved quality standards in all areas and is held in high regard in the world of education. (Source: PAASCU Handbook on Accreditation, p.9)
In the same year, Liberal Arts, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Business Administration programs were granted Level IV Accredited Status, valid until November 2019. Level IV accredited status is granted to institutions which are highly respected, possessing very high quality academic programs in the Philippines and with prestige and authority comparable to similar programs in excellent foreign universities. (Source: MORPHE p. 55)
The University of the Immaculate Conception has accepted the challenge to lead in humanities, science, and technology in a globalized society. It is UIC’s desire to provide transformative quality Ignacian Marian education, to be relevant to the demands of the time and to achieve its vision of a transformed society where persons live in dignity as children of God enjoying fullness of life in Jesus Christ.