Saint Mary's University (Philippines)

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Saint Mary's University
Smu colored logo.jpg
Motto Sapienta a Deo
("Wisdom from God")
Established 1928
Type Private
President Rev. Fr. Renillo H. Sta. Ana, CICM
Location Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Colors White and Blue

Saint Mary’s University is a Roman Catholic institution owned by the Belgian missionary congregation CICM located in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya in the Philippines. It was designated as an International Center for the Study of Teaching and Learning Styles in 2004 by the International Center for the Study of Teaching and Learning Styles.

Saint Mary's University's Mission/Vision statement is "Excellence, Innovation, Communion and Passion for Christ's Mission." There are 9,288 students currently enrolled in the university. 1,133 of these are from the Grade School Department, 1080 from the High School, and 7075 from the college department.[1]

Founded by CICM priest Achilles de Gryse, the institution started as an elementary school (Saint Mary's Elementary School) in June 1928. In 1934, with Fr. Godfrey Lambrecht, the High School was opened and in 1947, the College Department, offering Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Arts and Junior Normal course, etc. Gradually, the course offerings expanded with Bachelor of Science in Commerce, (1951), Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, (1955) and the Graduate School, (1962). Through the years, many more Departments, Colleges/Schools were opened with more degrees and title course offerings.[2]


Saint Mary’s University traces its roots back to the initiative of Msgr. Constant Jurgens, CICM, then parish priest of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya and one of the earliest CICM missionaries to arrive in the Philippines. Wanting to establish a Catholic school for the children in his parish, he purchased a lot and some materials for this purpose. However, Jurgens was recalled to Europe to become the Director of the Bishop Hammer Institution in the Netherlands. It was Achilles de Gryse, Jurgens' successor, who pursued his dream through. Thus, Saint Mary’s Elementary School was inaugurated in June 1928.[3][4]

In 1934, Saint Mary's High School was opened, with Godfrey Lambrecht as director and Margaretha Hermus as principal.[3]

The collegiate department, Saint Mary's College, opened in 1947 offering programs in Associate Arts, Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Arts, and Junior Normal.[3][4]

Gradually, the course offerings expanded with Bachelor of Science in Commerce (1951), Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (1955), and the Graduate School(1962).[3][4]

In 1967, the Belgian missionary congregation Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae took over the ownership and management of Saint Mary's College. The college’s physical expansion program started with the purchase and development of the campus by the Magat River in 1968. The college was transferred to its new site in 1969.[3][4]

Saint Mary’s College was granted university status under the presidency of Rev. Fr. John Van Bauwel, CICM, and became known as Saint Mary's University.[4]

Schools and Colleges[edit]

Saint Mary's University offers pre-school education (Nursery, Kindergarten, Preparatory) and Grade School education, particularly in Saint Mary's University Grade School Department, formerly known as Saint Mary's University Elementary Department. It was established in 1928, bringing forth the initial matrix of the institution. The Grade School covers six year-levels (grades).

Saint Mary's University also offers regular high school and science high school education in its secondary department, Saint Mary's University High School-Science High School. The regular high school and science high school are housed in one campus, having one administration. They differ in curriculum.

The tertiary level schools and colleges are housed in the university/college campus.

The School of Arts and Sciences, which was founded in 1947, offers Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) in: English, History, Religious Formation, Journalism, and Philosophy; Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Guidance Counseling (double degree program); Master of Arts in Teaching with majors in: English, Secondary Biology, Secondary Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry; Master of Arts in Education, with majors in Religious Education, and Guidance and Counseling; Master of Arts (non-thesis) with majors in Language(English), Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics; Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education with majors in Biology, and Mathematics.

The Institute of Science and Mathematics(ISM),which was designated Regional Science Teaching Center (RSTC), a subsidiary of the School of Arts and Sciences, offers Bachelor of Science in Biology, Bachelor of Science in General Science and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

The School of Accountancy, formerly College of Accountancy and Economics, established in 1999, offers Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, Bachelor of Science in Management Accounting, and Master of Science in Accountancy. Accountancy formerly offered BS in Economics and BS of Commerce, Major in Economics.

The School of Business, founded in 1951, offers Bachelor of Science in Commerce with majors in Marketing, Management, Banking and Finance, and Entrepreneurship, Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Bachelor of Science in Hospitality/Tourism Management with majors in Hotel and Restaurant Management,and Travel and Tours, Bachelor of Science in Office Administration, Associate in Office Administration, Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Philosophy in Commerce major in Management. Since 2002, on-the-job training was fully implemented for all graduating students of the School of Business, within and outside the province and also outside the country for BSHRM, BS Tourism and Business Administration students. In 2007, a change in nomenclature was effected for the BSC program; it was changed to BSBA with the following majors: Financial Management, Marketing Management, Operations Management, and Human Resources Development Management. The Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Management program was offered in 2001.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Development and Research, an extension of the School of Business offers certificate courses with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), namely Tailoring and Dressmaking, Intensive Computer Servicing Course, Certificate in Baking and Bakery Entrepreneurship, Certificate in Catering and Food Service Entrepreneurship, Certificate Program for Food and Beverage Service Staff, Certificate in Food Processing Entrepreneurship, and Technology and Livelihood Seminar-Workshop Program.

The School of Education, designated as Center of Excellence in Teacher Education Focus Institution for Project in Basic Education (PROBE) offers Bachelor of Secondary Education (with majors in Natural Sciences; Physical Sciences; Mathematics; English; Filipino; Social Studies; Music, Arts and Physical Education(MAPE); and Religious and Values Education), Bachelor of Elementary Education with majors in Preschool Education and General Elementary Education, Bachelor of Library and Information Science, Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, Master of Arts in Education with majors in Educational Administration, Reading Education, and Pedagogy (non-thesis), Master of Arts in Physical Education, Master of Library and Information Science and Doctor of Philosophy major in Educational Management.

The School of Engineering and Architecture, established in 1955, offers Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Geodetic Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Associate in Geodetic Engineering, Master of Science in Management Engineering, and Master in Engineering major in Civil Engineering. The school previously offered Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics. ("Lend me your son, i will return him an engineer.")-Engr. Bayabos

The School of Health Sciences offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor in Medical Technology, Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Midwifery, Associate in Health Science Education, and Master of Science in Nursing.

The School of Computing Sciences and Information Technology, formerly College of Information Technology,established in 1991 offers Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, with majors in Network Engineering, Computer Information System, and Software Technology; and Master in Information Technology.

The College of Law, established in 1996, offers Bachelor of Laws.

The School of Public Administration and Governance offers Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (with majors in Government Management, and Fiscal Management and Accounting), Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Legal Studies, Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Political Science, Bachelor of Science in Health and Hospital Governance, Bachelor of Science in Public Safety, Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Legal Studies, Master of Public Administration (with thesis, Master of Public Administration (non-thesis), Doctor of Public Administration, Innovative Program of the Master in Public Administration (Certificate in Modern Local Government, Certificate in Local Fiscal Administration and Economic Promotion, Diploma in Local Public Administration and Governance), and Master in Public Administration (upon completion of the remaining courses and the thesis/project requirement.

Other course offerings are National Service Training Program (NSTP), Nursing Review Classes and review classes for Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)

The Center for Alternative and Continuing Education (CACE) and Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (E.T.E.E.A.P.) offers the following courses:

School of Arts and Sciences:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science

School of Business:

  • Bachelor in Business Education
  • Office Administration
  • Master in Business Administration

School of Computing Sciences and Information Technology

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

School of Education:

  • Bachelor of Education in:
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Bachelor in Secondary Education

School of Engineering:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Geodetic Engineering

School of Public Administration and Governance:

  • Bachelor of Science in Public Administration
  • I.M.P.A. (non-thesis program)
  • M.P.A(thesis program)

Alternative Course Offerings:

  • Certificate and Diplomate in:

Early Childhood Education Computer Education for Teachers and Educators (Compete) Special Education (Sign Language)

  • Graduate, Certificate, and Diplomate:

Principalship Educational Administration

  • Graduate, Certificate, and Diplomate in

Teaching of Reading, English, Filipino, Math and Integrated Sciences Catechesis

  • Certificate and Diplomate in:



  • Designated as Regional Staff Development Center (RSDC) for Region 2 by the EDPITAF of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS), 1975
  • Designated by MECS as Applied Nutrition Program Training Center (ANP) for Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Ifugao, 1975
  • Assigned as Regional Science Training Center (RSTC) for Region 2 by the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the in-service training of Mathematics and Science Teachers, 1975.
  • Provincial Coordinating Center for Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao of the National Scientific Information Center of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST
  • Selected by the Center for Educational Measurement (CEM) as the Guidance and Testing Center for Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, and Quirino
  • Chosen as One of the Five Most Outstanding Teacher Education Institutions in the Philippines for school year 1983-1984.
  • Designated as One of the 24 National Catechetical Formation Centers in the country by the Catechists’ Foundation of the Philippines under the supervision of the CBCP, 1987.
  • Designated by the Philippines' Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as Center of Excellence for Teacher Education on April 15, 1996.
  • Designated by CHED and Educational Development Projects Implementing Task-Force Philippines-Australia Project in Basic Education (EDPITAF-PROBE) as Focus Teacher Education Institution on September 24, 1996.
  • Designated by CHED as Sub-Center of Development for Business and Industry on February 25, 1997.
  • Designated by CHED as Implementor of the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP), 1998.
  • Designated by CHED as Center of Development - Category 2 (COD-2) FOR Civil Engineering Program on August 19, 1999.
  • Accredited by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to accept foreign students on April 26, 2000.
  • Granted Full Autonomy by CHED on August 21, 2001. (One among the 30 institutions nationwide.)
  • Depository Library for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and United Nations for Northern Luzon.
  • Accredited Microsoft Training Center, 2002.
  • Accredited Level III FOR Undergraduate Programs, and Level II for Graduate Programs by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).
  • Designated as International Center for the Study of Teaching and Learning Styles, August 8, 2004.
  • Ranked Superior in Teacher Education, Very Good in Business Education and Good in Public Service Administration in the Evaluation of Graduate Education in the Philippines (EGEP) by CHED, October 5, 2000[5]


On March 9, 2009, students and faculty members held a rally demanding the removal of university president Manuel Valencia, for alleged unsound policies that faculty members said has placed the institution’s quality of education and accreditation ranking at risk. It was believed to be the first protest move seen by the university in its 80-year history.[6]

One faculty member reported that majority of the school’s personnel and college level students from a population of about 6,000, have shown their dissatisfaction toward the policies of Valencia, who was only on his third year as university president.[6]

Engineer Rodel Medestomas of the School of Engineering and Architecture (SOEA) averred that among the unreasonable changes Valencia planned to accomplish is the merging of the SOEA with the College of Computer Science and Information and Technology (CCSIT).[6]

“Who in his right mind would want to enroll in an engineering course only to receive diploma with College of IT printed on it?" he said.[6]

Medestomas further stated about Valencia's proposed plan to tear down the university's newly renovated cooperative building to be replaced with a chapel, which would have been the university's second chapel; the Sacred Heart Center being the first.[6]

Members of SMU's Faculty and Employees Association (FEA) lamented that in his more than two years as President, Valencia has not really introduced worthwhile reforms or improvements in the school’s educational and management system. Valencia was allegedly using the FEA member's welfare money to put up new buildings without their consent. Valencia also planned to sell the school’s agricultural and fish pond property which has served the employees for years.[6]

Cesar Antonio, FEA public information officer and president of the SMU Employee’s Union, disclosed that university employees have complained of being left out whenever “critical decisions and issues" were being discussed by the university's Board of Trustees. Among these were the planned merging of some colleges including the elementary and the high school department and forced retirements of faculty members at age 60. Employees fear that the merging of schools and colleges may cause the displacement of their colleagues and possibly an adverse effect on the continuing accreditation process by the Philippine Accrediting Association for Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).[6]


  1. ^ SMU Population for SY 2008-2009
  2. ^ SMU History
  3. ^ a b c d e Saint Mary's University Diamond Jubilee Souvenir Book. Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya: SMU Publication. 2003. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Saint Mary's University History". Saint Mary's University (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya). 
  5. ^ SMU Awards and Achievements
  6. ^ a b c d e f g GMANews.TV. Protest hits first in Vizcaya university’s 80-year history

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 16°29′03″N 121°09′23″E / 16.48417°N 121.15639°E / 16.48417; 121.15639