THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
The University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) traces its roots to the Beaterio dela Compañia, 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 better 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 three years, the Sisters, in 1905, started to catechize Davao children. Mrs. Sinforosa Bangoy vda. de Joven donated a house, which the Sisters converted into a dormitory and classrooms.
With the increase in enrollment in 1906, the house of Mr. Cenon Rasay in San Pedro-Anda intersection was used to provide 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. Established initially as exclusively for girls, the RVM Sisters laid the foundation starting as a parochial school named “Escuela Catolica de San Pedro” with only the primary and intermediate courses offered and were given government recognition in 1933.
When the high school opened in 1934, the school assumed the name “Immaculate Conception Academy,” and by 1938, the first batch of high school students graduated. By then, the school had been re-named “Immaculate Conception Institute.”
As World War II broke out in 1941, the school closed and was re-opened five years later. A year later, the school was re-named “Immaculate Conception College (ICC),” which offered initial two collegiate courses: Collegiate Secretarial and Pharmacy. The school received government recognition for the high school level in 1947.
In the fifties, from 1951-1958, Immaculate Conception College (ICC) opened additional courses: B.S. in Education, BS in Home Economics, BS in Music, and B.S. 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 B.S. Medical Technology.
In 1969, the Grade and High School Departments were moved to ICC’s new site at Fr. Selga St. and followed by the College Department in 1971. Three more courses were then added, namely: B.S. Chemistry, Pharmacy Aide, and B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Mindful of its mission to deliver quality education, the Grade School and High School Departments became one of the PAASCU accredited schools in the 1970s. In 1976, ICC got its formal accreditation for the three programs, namely, Liberal Arts, Education, and Commerce.
Moreover, in 1983-1986, four more courses were opened: Cafeteria Management, BS in Civil Engineering, MA in Theology, and M.A. in Elementary Education. Finally, with the various expansions, a six-story building was built at Bonifacio Street in 1985 and was inaugurated on December 6, 1986. The building housed the Engineering, Liberal Arts, Education, and Commerce programs.
On May 1, 1992, DECS Secretary Dr. Isidro Cariño granted ICC the University Status. It took the name “University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC).” The school was then 87 years old.
It was in the nineties (90’s) when the school was challenged to become more responsive to the needs of Davao City. As a result, more science and technology courses were opened, namely, B.S. Computer Engineering, BS Electronics and Communication Engineering, and B.S. Computer Science. The graduate school also picked up its pace and added more courses, especially when Fund Assistance for Private Education (FAPE) identified UIC as one of the training centers of its scholars for Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering. With this, additional courses were opened: M.A. in Educational Management, MA in Values Education, MA in Teaching College Physics, MA in Teaching College Chemistry, and M.A. in Engineering Education major in Civil Engineering and Electronics and Communications Engineering. With the offering of more programs in the Bonifacio campus, another six-story building was built in 1996.
True to its commitment to lead in science and technology and serve the larger community, UIC established in 1993 the Computer Center that paved the way to automating the University’s registration and cashiering systems. Moreover, the Science Resource Center (SRC), a full-service laboratory, was established in 1994 to provide science faculty and students with technical assistance and 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. It is equipped to handle the analysis of soil, leaf/plant tissue, fertilizer, food/feed, water/wastewater, ores/mines, fats and oils, pharmaceutical, and other samples. It also undertakes collaborative researches with clients and funding agencies, apart from in-house researches. Since late 1999, the SRC has enjoyed recognition as a DENR-recognized environmental laboratory, having complied with the documentation, analytical performance, and technical requirements of DENR Administrative Order No. 63, Series of 1998. When the recognition was awarded, the Center is one of only 12 laboratories in the Philippines (and one of only two in Mindanao) that are 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!
Alongside the same thrust, the Clinical Laboratory and Training Center was established in 1997 to strengthen the training of Medical Technology students while at the same time catering to the needs of the outside community.
Steadfast to its mission, UIC ushered in the 3rd millennium (the year 2000), answering the needs and challenges of the time. The College Department opened a few new courses: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Bachelor of Science in Information Management in response to the fast advancing information and communication technology of the present global society. Likewise, other undergraduate programs offered were B.A. major in Psychology (2001), B.S. Nursing (2002), B.S. Pharmacy major in Clinical Pharmacy (2004), B.A. major in Philosophy (2006), and B.S. Hotel and Restaurant Management (2006). Likewise, the Graduate School in 2003 offered additional programs: M.S. in Pharmacy, MS in Information Technology, MS in Information Management, and Master in Business Administration. In 2004, the first doctoral degree program, Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, was offered. Doctor in Business Management, Ph.D. in Education major in Applied Linguistics, MA in Education major in Guidance and Counseling followed this offering in 2006.
In response to the community’s needs, the University launched an “E-LEARNING PROGRAM” – a web-based learning strategy serving all departments/sections. It is a network of services to create, deliver and facilitate the learning-teaching process, whether inside or outside the traditional classrooms.
Together with the launching of the E-Learning program was the putting up of the state-of-the-art facility for Information Technology Resource Center (ITRC). It is a modern computer, information, and communication technology laboratory. The installation and use of these facilities aim to provide UIC students with the best training in computer science, engineering, information, and communication technology.
Another most significant highlight for the year 2000 was the transfer of the Grade School and High School Departments to a beautiful, sprawling 7-hectare UIC Bajada campus. It has its own new, majestic, and imposing 3-story building complete with facilities. These are the air-conditioned auditorium, audio-visual/conference room, library, computer, science laboratories, and a gymnasium. In addition, a very extensive playground and a chapel provide the pupils with an opportunity to grow not only intellectually but also spiritually, physically, and psychologically.
Hand in hand with the offering of additional degree programs and facilities development, the college department continued its pursuit of delivering quality education by working for the PAASCU accreditation of the other programs. As a result, the Pharmacy program got its formal accreditation in 2001. In addition, UIC, having exhibited excellence in its various endeavors, was granted by the Commission on Higher Education “deregulated status” in 2001. In the same year, the Bureau of Immigration also granted a permit to UIC to accept foreign students, and finally, UIC received its autonomous status in 2003.
The same holistic concern for the development of students led to the renovation of the former grade school building to ND/HRM Laboratory at Fr. Selga Campus in 2007. During this same year, the ITE program was given by the CHED the 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 the Federation of Accrediting Associations in the Philippines (FAAP). The Information Technology Education had its formal accreditation in 2009. In 2011, the Accountancy, Medical Technology, and Computer Engineering had their PAASCU Preliminary Visit.
To improve its infrastructure and provide better accommodation for the clientele, an additional building was constructed at UIC Bonifacio Campus in 2010, which housed the administrative and service offices, the Graduate School, and the Mini-Auditorium.
Since there are research undertakings that necessitate the use of animals such as swiss mice, rabbits, and turtles, an Animal House Facility was built in 2012 and registered with the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry pursuant to the provisions of R.A. No. 8485, otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998. On May 19, 2016, the Philippine Association for Animal Laboratory Science (PALAS) awarded UIC the first-ever “Achievement of PALAS Accreditation” in Mindanao during the PALAS 28th Annual Scientific Conference. The PALAS accreditation was given to recognize UIC’s Animal House facility, research animal handling expertise, and systems for Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This award attests to UIC’s commitment to excellence in research.
Responding to the challenges of the country’s changing educational landscape, particularly the K to 12, a separate Kindergarten building was constructed in the Bajada Campus in April 2012. In September of the same year, the Assumption Hall was built in the Fr. Selga Campus to provide wider space for the Community Development Service, Alumni Affairs, and ROTC Offices.
In line with the University’s commitment to respond to the academic needs of the community, three additional degree programs were offered starting S.Y. 2014-2015, namely: Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management, and Bachelor of Physical Education major in School Physical Education.
The University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC), in 2014, put up the I.T. Development and Incubation Facility (ITDIF). This incubation facility aims to put the University’s research outputs into use by assisting start-up companies entrepreneurs-to-be through a comprehensive business assistance program.
The UIC Research Ethics Committee (UIC-REC) was established on June 24, 2015, to integrate all existing ethics committees in the University under a single institutional research ethics committee with component review panels and guided by a unified set of standard operating procedures (SOPs). The One-year Provisional Level 2 Accreditation was granted effective March 19, 2018, to March 18, 2019, by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) and a full two-year Level 2 Accreditation effective November 29, 2019, to November 28, 2021.
In S.Y. 2016-2017, two additional graduate programs were given recognition by CHED: in Counseling and Master in Pastoral Ministry specialized in Family Ministry and Counseling, Pastoral Management, and Retreat Directing.
Recognizing the need for continuous improvement through accreditation, three (3) more college degree programs were granted Level I status by FAAP in May 2015, i.e., Accountancy, Computer Engineering, and Medical Laboratory Science and Level II in 2018.
During the last quarter of 2015, the University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) finally responded to the rising demand in technical vocational education and put up the M. Ignacia Career Development Center. The University, with its objective to help create opportunities for people through enhancement of their technical skills, has received TESDA Assessment Center accreditation in Cookery NC II, Bread and Pastry Production NC II, Bartending NC II, Front Office Services NC II, Food and Beverage NC II and Housekeeping NC II in November 2015. The following year, January 2016, UIC has also received a Certificate of Program Registration in all the qualifications mentioned above. In May 2016, UIC was approved as a Training Center in Trainers Methodology Level 1 and granted an Assessment Center Accreditation in T.M. L1 the following month.
In February 2016, the Commission on Higher Education designated the Information Technology Education and Business Education as Center of Development and the Education Program in March 2016. The University was also granted Deregulated Status in April 2016. Moreover, in July 2016, Accounting Technology and Nutrition and Dietetics were granted Level 1 accreditation status by FAAP and Level II in 2019.
With the rollout of Senior High School in June 2016, the Grade School and High School administration shifted from departmentalized to Integrated Basic Education (IBED). Likewise, a new building was constructed in Bajada Campus, the Our Lady of Peace Building, 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 in Bonifacio Campus.
In December 2016, as UIC continuously strives for quality education through accreditation, the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) through PAASCU awards UIC an Institutional Accreditation renewed in July 2020. 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).
Similarly, in 2016, Liberal Arts, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Business Administration programs were granted Level IV Accredited Status, which was renewed in January 2020. Level IV accredited status is granted to highly respected institutions, possessing very high-quality academic programs in the Philippines and prestige and authority comparable to similar programs in excellent foreign universities (Source: MORPHE p. 55).
In May 2017, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) upgraded UIC’s status from Deregulated to Autonomous, which was eventually re-granted on May 31, 2019, and extended until May 31, 2023. Likewise, FAAP granted Level 1 accreditation status to Hotel and Restaurant Management program in May 2017 and Level II in 2020 while the B.S. Tourism Management was granted Candidate Status also in May 2020.
As UIC progresses, it was a strategic decision to adopt a quality management system that can help UIC improve its overall performance and provide a sound basis for sustainable development initiatives. Hence, UIC sought ISO certification, and it was granted certificate Registration Number 01 100 1734766.02 by TUV Rheinland after meeting the requirements of Standard ISO 9001:2015 covering the scope: Design and Development, and Delivery of Educational Services including Basic Education (K to 12), Higher Education, and Technical – Vocational Training and Assessment last October 24, 2017.
The intensification of Internationalization moved UIC to undertake daring strides starting in 2015. It forges academic exchange and collaboration by establishing linkage with several ASEAN countries and membership to organizations such as the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), where UIC is a lifetime member, Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASEACCU) and SEAMEO School Network. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drafted and signed by UIC and schools like the Rajamangala University of Technology in Thailand, ABATA in Indonesia, MAHSA University of Malaysia, Management and Science University of Malaysia, Unibersidad Catolica San Antonio de Murcia in Spain, Universitii UTARA Malaysia, and University of Malaya, Malaysia.
Ensuring contribution to uplifting the nation’s general welfare, economic growth, and development, UIC implemented R.A. No. 10912, otherwise known as the CPD Act of 2016, wherein the government shall institute measures that will continuously improve the competence of professionals following international standards of practice. In line with this, UIC opened the Center for Continuing Studies and Professional Development in 2017 and was approved as a Local CPD Provider for the following professions: Accountancy, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Medical Technology, Nursing, Pharmacy, Electronics Engineering, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Professional Teacher.
In continuous support to TESDA’s vision, UIC became a TESDA accredited assessment center for two more Tech. Voc. qualifications, namely, Bookkeeping Services NCIII and Pharmacy Services NCIII on November 3, 2017.
Amid the challenges brought about by the increasing demand of the fast-changing society, UIC saw the need to offer relevant graduate programs. Therefore, during the AY 2018-2019, the UIC graduate school opened the following graduate programs, namely, Master of Arts in Education major in Information Technology Integration, MBA for Health Professionals, Master of Science in Medical Technology, Doctor in Business Management major in Information System, and Ph.D. in Pharmacy.
Moreover, with the vision to foster quality education beyond the Philippines and ASEAN Region, UIC was accepted in March 2018 as an Associate Member of the ASEAN University Network.
In its continuous quest for excellence, the Education and Business programs of the Graduate School (Doctor of Philosophy in Education major in Applied Linguistics and Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Educational Management, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Arts in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Values Education, Master of Arts in Teaching College Chemistry, Master of Arts in Teaching College Physics, Master in Counseling, Doctor in Business Management and Master in Business Administration) underwent PAASCU Preliminary Accreditation in 2018 and, in May 2020, were granted Level I.
The onslaught of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020 has devasted people worldwide, which resulted in abrupt changes in people’s daily activity, behavior, and livelihood. These changes do not exclude educational institutions since a 360-degree shift in operations, management, processes, and procedures, especially in instructional delivery, was adapted to continue its societal roles and duties. From the face-to-face teaching and learning process, the UIC shifted to Distance Education to ensure and observe safety protocols mandated by the government.
Amid the pandemic, on September 29, 2020, through a virtual remote audit, UIC has been successfully recertified ISO 9001:2015 for sustaining an effective quality management system across three campuses, valid until October 23, 2023. Unabated by the situation, UIC pursued ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) certification of its four programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Elementary Education, Bachelor of Secondary Education, and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Through online/remote assessment on November 23-27, 2020, eight ASEAN assessors perused and verified the claims in the Self-Assessment Report concerning observed practices, existing supporting documents, and virtual interviews among stakeholders. On December 27, 2020, the four programs were granted AUN-QA certification for completing the AUN-QA Programme Assessment, which is valid until December 26, 2025. The programs were found to be in accordance with the standard details of the AUN-QA Standard.
The University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) takes on the challenge to lead in Humanities, Science, and Technology in a globalized society. It is her desire to provide quality transformative Ignacian Marian education (Q-TIME), be relevant to the demands of the time, able to produce the ideal RVM Ignacian Marian graduates who are responsible global citizens imbued with profound faith in God, inspired by the spirituality of humble service, committed to a continuous search for excellence; and achieve its vision of a transformed society where persons live their dignity as children of God enjoying the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.