St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan, formerly called Escuela Catolica de Meycauayan and St. Mary's Academy of Meycauayan , was founded in 1916 as a Parochial School offering the primary course with Catechism as its core subject. It was and is still managed and administered by the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM), the first Filipino Congregation founded in 1684 by a Filipina, Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo. During the Second World War, classes were temporarily suspended in June 1944 and were reopened in July 1945 with the Intermediate and First Year High School classes. March 1949 marked the graduation of the first ten High School seniors of the then St. Mary’s Academy.
The school building was razed by fire on April 4, 1949. Rev. M. Ma. Justina Martinez, Superior, and M. Dolores Verceles, Principal, managed to continue the operation of the school by holding classes in private houses while a two-storey building was being constructed.
After some interruptions, a two-storey semi-concrete structure was finally completed in 1954. Eleven (11) years later the kindergarten course was recognized.
School Year 1962–1963 was a significant year for the school as she received an award of 25 Spanish dictionaries from the Spanish Embassy in Manila for having topped all other schools in Spanish in the National Government Examinations administered in March 1962. One dictionary was given to Rogelio Decilio, the student who scored 96% in the same examination.
As the school population increased, the need for physical expansion arose. In August 1962, negotiations between the school and Mr. & Mrs. Vicente Floro paved the way for the purchase of the lot on which St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan now stands. Construction of the first two rooms began in May of the same year. A six-room annex was completed and came to use in 1966. A four-storey building was erected in 1968 and an extension of four rooms was made in 1978.
One of the most significant improvements of St. Mary’s Academy was the completion of a concrete four-storey building in October 1981 marking the complete transfer of the whole school from kindergarten to high school. Aside from classrooms, the new building included the administrative offices, guidance office, science and reading laboratories, and library, medical / dental clinic, and audio-visual and conference rooms.
To meet the needs of the increasing school population, additional classrooms were constructed facing the McArthur Highway.
A seven-room Kindergarten building was erected at the back of the administration/elementary building. The construction was completed in October 1984.
Considering the demands of the Education Apostolate, the school opened its doors to the students in the tertiary level in 1986. The courses offered were Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED) with specialization in Pre-School Education, English, Filipino, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Health; Bachelor of Science in Commerce (BSC) major in Accounting, Management, Financial Management, Marketing and Computer Applications.
The opening of the college programs was an attempt to answer the educational needs of Meycauayan’s expanding population. The college goal is to produce dynamic leaders with Christian orientation who will contribute to the development of the Meycauayan of tomorrow and the entire Philippines as well.
The yearly marked increase in enrolment in the three levels needed more classrooms. Thus a new four-storey building was constructed with 26 classrooms including the new library, faculty room, home economics room and offices for the guidance and subject area coordinators.
Msgr. Sabino Vengco blessed the Multi-Purpose Hall on January 22, 1989 in the presence of the RVM sisters, teachers, students, sponsors, and guests. This Multi-Purpose Hall provides adequate space for school programs/activities, PE classes and is shared with the public for seminars/workshops and other similar gatherings.
A significant outstanding event in 1989 was the launching of the Movement for the Beatification of Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo by the RVM communities of SMCM and St. Mary’s Academy of Sto. Niño at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church on October 28 of that year. The rites were participated in by Rev. Fr. Pablo Reyes, parish priest; Fr. Antonio Rigonan, assistant parish priest; Fr. Rufino Sulit, parish priest of Sto. Niño; S. Ma. Carmelita Abiera, RVM, representing Mother General; S. Ma. Anna Montilla, RVM, superior of SMCM together with a large crowd representing pastoral and religious organizations, students, religious and lay faculty of RVM schools and RVM sisters from the Luzon Regional House.
In 1990, the school launched and intensified the program on adopting an area where less privileged people live. The needs of these people were ascertained when a survey was conducted. In 1993, the adopted area of the school was given a full-time social worker who at the same time managed the Mother Ignacia Social Concern Center (MISCC) of the school. Several programs were organized, namely: Income Generating Projects, Day Care, Emergency Assistance, Disaster Preparedness, Spiritual Uplift, Health and Sanitation. These programs were wholeheartedly supported by the administrators, teachers, students, and parents through donations in kind and monthly pledges.
In 1995, the school undertook infrastructure development. Administrative offices were renovated and restructured. The offices were provided with computers to facilitate reportorial requirements. Computerized grading system was introduced. The laboratory, guidance, cashier, registrar, and administrative offices have been installed to local area networking system. For the grade school (GS), the provision of new kindergarten rooms was made possible with the support of donations form the Family Council. Likewise, the Multi-Purpose Hall (gym) was arranged for more convenient sound effects when it acquired its new sound system. The old canteen was also demolished to offer more space to medical/dental clinic and new canteen.
Effective School Year 1995-1996, the double-single session was changed to whole day session for the grade four to fourth year high school curriculum in order to improve the quality of learning by giving the students more time for classroom instruction.
On July 15, 1998, the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy (BSA) was granted Government Recognition. The BSC major in Accounting was phased out as mandated by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS).
In answer to the growing population of the college department and the opening of the Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) / Tourism Programs, a five-storey building was erected and finished in 1998. This new edifice houses the laboratory facilities for the new programs as well as computer laboratory and classrooms for exclusive use of the college students.
In School Year 1997–1998, SMCM started its PAASCU Accreditation venture, PAASCU orientation was given to the three (3) levels: Grade School, High School, and College but only the Grade School took the initial steps towards accreditation by conducting self-survey activities. The other two (2) levels had to defer the self-survey activities since there was need for more concerted effort to strengthen some areas. On May 4, 2001 the grade school acquired Level I PAASCU Accreditation for 3 years by passing the first formal PAASCU Visit.
Facilities were improved to support the standardization program of the school. This started with the air- conditioning of the faculty rooms of high school and grade school departments, renovation of the Science and Technology Home Economics (THE) laboratories, clinic, canteen, and the sewerage system.
The year 2000 marked the issuance of Government Recognitions to two (2) college courses: Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management (BSHRM) and Bachelor of Science in Tourism (BST). In the same year the speech laboratories were installed for every department to respond to students’ needs to upgrade communication skills. The secretariat as well as the registrar and cashier’s offices were made fully air-conditioned. A new building was also constructed to house the Information Technology Education Center (ITEC) and other offices such as: Social Action Center, PMT office, Coordinator of Discipline office, cooking and sewing laboratories as well as the carpentry shop of the high school department. Likewise, lockers for individual students and drinking fountains were provided thus, contributing in making SMCM a more conducive place for learning.
In June 2002, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted Government Permit to the college department to operate the first year Information Technology Education (ITE). Government Recognitions for these courses were awarded to SMCM on February 15, 2005.
In the pursuit of academic excellence and with the application of modern-day technologies in libraries and information centers, SMCM had made strategic investment in technology. In August 2002, the institution adopted the state-of-the-art library automation in collaboration with the Follett Software Company to widen the students, faculty and staff’s experience of the Cutting-edge technology.
St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan had recently been awarded the DIN EN ISO 9001:2000 Certification. On September 22, 2002 the school started its ISO certification campaign and on February 23–24, 2003 had its final audit and was recommended by the TUV Auditing Team for ISO Certification. This ISO certification by TUV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg is in line with the reformulated vision and mission of SMCM which stresses the design, development and implementation of Basic and Higher Education services. On June 27, 2003 the ISO 9001:2000 Certificate was awarded to St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan by TUV Rheinland Berlin Bradenburg Group of Companies through TUV Rheinland Philippines. Ltd.
After series of self-survey activities and consultation with the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), initial accreditation was granted to the High School Department on May 14, 2004 and the College Department on May 6, 2005. The PAASCU Accreditation and ISO certification ventures served as great incentives for the school to continuously improve herself as she strengthens the capabilities of the Catholic Education Ministry for service to the community and the nation.
The college responded to the clamor of parents and senior students for the offering of the Nursing Program when it applied for permit to operate on September 29, 2003. The Commission of Higher Education (CHED) granted the initial permit for the first year on May 27, 2004. In preparation for the offering of the BSN Program starting school year 2004-2005, the Nursing Skills Laboratory was put up at the fifth floor of Our Lady of Lourdes Building. The entire laboratory is equivalent to six regular classrooms. A separate Chemistry and Physics laboratories were likewise installed in the fourth floor of St. Joseph Building.
On September 27–28, 2004, PAASCU representatives conducted a revisit of the grade school department after a period of three (3) years from its initial accreditation. Level II Accreditation was granted for five (5) years on December 10, 2004.
One of the primary concerns in the infrastructure development is the Food Service and the Clinic Areas. To answer this need, a three-storey building was constructed and blessed on December 18, 2005.
In order to maximize the utilization of laboratories and further respond to community needs, the college, offered short-term courses. The Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) approved the Six-Month Caregiver Course on February 7, 2005 and the Food and Beverage Service on January 31, 2007.
The SMCM journey towards Faith, Excellence and Service in the Education Ministry is a never ending process. It is noteworthy that its effects in this part of the country upon the people and upon the Church as a whole have been tremendously encouraging. A lively, living faith is visibly experienced and felt. The SMCM graduates have excelled in their chosen professions not only locally but even globally. The Marians sharing their goods and their offering of their services in the spirit of charity and Christian brotherhood are witnesses to the tremendous effects of the apostolate in the larger community.