The Origin and Its Development
The Liceo de Albay (LDA), a diocesan parochial school for boys, was founded in 1947 by Rev. Fr. Juan Carullo, a retired army chaplain. The members of the Board of Trustees were Msgr. Justiniano Romano, Fr. Alfonso Molina, Fr. William Rehente and Fr. Rustico Burce. The school building was located at corners Rizal and Maria Clara Streets (Fr. Joseph L. Bates St.) Legazpi City
In 1952, Liceo de Albay was ravaged by Typhoon Trix. Financial survival became its main problem. To save the school, Bishop Flaviano B. Ariola, D.D. offered Liceo de Albay to the Societas Verbi Divini (SVD) Congregation. Fr. Joseph L. Bates, SVD, negotiated for the lease of the institution’s building and lot. He left Holy Name Academy in Bohol and took over the administration of the new school with Fr. Florante S. Camacho, SVD. Liceo de Albay became Divine Word High School (DWHS) in 1960. With a new image, DWHS kept its exclusive education for boys with the help of Msgr. Nestor C. Cariño and Msgr. Honesto A. Moraleda, then diocesan priests in its management.
In 1965, with the institution of college courses in the Liberal Arts, Commerce, Education and Secretarial Departments, its status was elevated to a tertiary level as Divine Word College of Legazpi (DWCL). In 1971, in consortium with St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Tabaco, Albay, DWCL offered the AB Philosophy program. Aware of the need for additional services in secondary basic education, the school went co-educational. The Night School was opened for working students.
Anticipating the growing population of the school children in all levels, Fr. Bates bought five-hectares of land at Washington Drive, Legazpi City from Atty. Juan Imperial. A three-storey building accommodated the transfer of the basic education department in 1977.
To meet the manpower needs resulting from the increasing number of offices and entrepreneurial agencies in the Bicol Region, short-term courses for Accounting Aides and Salesmanship were offered in June 1974. As part of its expansion programs in technology and business enterprises, the BS Civil Engineering course was opened two years later. As part of the institutional thrust of developing would-be-leaders in the business community, the Graduate School of Business and Management (GSBM) was opened in 1978 by offering the Master in Business Administration (MBA) course.In 1980, Divine Word College of Legazpi was one of the thirteen (13) Charter Member-institutions of the Bicol Conference for Higher Education, the forerunner of the Bikol Foundation for Higher Education.
In recognition of the school’s exemplary performance in the field of business education, the IADES program of CHED RO V named DWCL the Center for Development in Commerce and Business Education for Region V in September 1983. In 1984, the Accountancy Department piloted the three-year course in Government Accounting and Auditing, in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (PACSB) and the Commission on Audit (COA). In that same year, DWCL was designated by the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE), in coordination with the Regional Science Teaching Center at Aquinas University, the center for the Training of Private School and Elementary Grades Teachers in the implementation of the New Elementary School Curriculum (NESC) in the Bicol Region.
In 1987, the BSE and BSEd Curricula were re-opened in response to the increasing demand for more teachers in the public schools. In 1991, the Pre-School in the DWCL Grade School Department was also opened.
With demands for computer literate professionals and office staff, the Commerce Department opened the BS Computer Science (BSCS), Computer Secretarial Course, and BS in Secretarial Administration (BSSA) in 1993. (The latter was changed to BS in Office Administration (BSOA), in compliance with the Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order No. 15, s. of 1998).
In 1993, the GSBM enriched its MBA curricular offering with specialization in: Business Education, Development Management, Enterprise Development and Financial Management. Two years after, the Master in Public Administration (MPA) and Master in Business Education (MBE) were opened. The latter was particularly designed for faculty scholarship grantees from colleges of business education supported by the FAPE Scholarship Program in the Bicol Region.
Responsiveness to the demand for expertise in the use of electronic technology in various government and non-government offices, schools and business enterprises was demonstrated by opening the BSCS and a two-year Computer Secretarial Course. Basic computer science courses enriched the curricular offerings of the Departments of Engineering and Accountancy.
Curricular enrichments were marked in 1995. The GSBM programs were expanded by offering Master in Public Management (MPM). Education subjects were integrated in the general AB curriculum to qualify the graduates for the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). The Commerce Department offered a specialization in Entrepreneurship. The Accountancy Department introduced a Laderrized Curriculum. Its CPA Review Center was also inaugurated.
In 1998, the High School Department initiated the Free Secondary Distance Education Program for adult working students. In summer of 2000, the Center for Development, Research and Extension Service (CDRE) was organized under the aegis of the Office of the President with the Vice President for Academic Affairs as Director. The formal implementation of the Community Extension Service (CES) and research thrusts of DWCL took off with the Enterprise Development Project (EDP) as a lending program for livelihood activities of beneficiary employees. The EDP funded the Tulong-Aral Program (TAP) of poor but deserving students. With initial funding from Bilance in Netherlands, the CES was inaugurated in 1998 in Brgy. Dita based on the Adopt-a-Barangay concept. This project was extended to Brgy. Lamba until 2000. When Cordaid (formerly Bilance), funding ended, DWCL sustained the program. The research component of CDRE became an independent unit as Research Center in 2003. Regular publication of the DWCL Research Journal also started.
During the School Year 2001 – 2002, the department level was elevated to college-level. Non-board courses, BS in Management and Accountancy (BSMA) and BS in Information Technology (BSIT) were offered by the Colleges of Accountancy and Engineering. The College of Commerce also opened the BS in Hospitality Management (BSHM) and BS in Business Administration (BSBA) with specialization in Marketing and Legal Management.In October 2001, the programs of the Colleges of Accountancy, Commerce, Education and Liberal Arts were awarded Level I PAASCU Accreditation.
In 2003, the College of Engineering opened the BS in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) program. It was also renamed College of Engineering and Computer Studies, after absorbing the degree programs in computer science. It has an adjunct office called Information Technology Support Center. In November 21, 2003, the curricular offerings of the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Education, Commerce and Accountancy merited Level II PAASCU Accreditation until 2006.
The College of Nursing was granted by CHED the “Permit-to-Operate” and admitted freshmen to its BS in Nursing (BSN) Program and trainees in its Six-month Caregiver Training Course in 2004. Also, the verticalized business education program was implemented in the College of Commerce. In 2005, the Colleges of Commerce, Accountancy and GSBM merged as the College of Business Education (CBE). During this same year, DWCL joined the Zonal Research Council for Regions IV and V based at UP Los Baños. It also pioneered the first On-Line Enrolment System in the Bicol Region.
In 2005, by way of a consortium, DWCL signed a Memorandum of Agreement with University of San Carlos in Cebu for the extension of two degree programs in Engineering: Master in Engineering (M. Eng’g.) with specialization in Structural Engineering and Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT). But this is held in abeyance. A year later, the DWCL Call Center (Incubation and Training Center) was opened in a joint venture with two internationally known entities: the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Training and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Experts under the John F. Kennedy Foundation and Five9 of USA.
To immortalize the memory of the founder, the DWCL Alumni Association, in cooperation with the Office of the Mayor and the City Council, succeeded in renaming Maria Clara St., Legazpi City (fronting the college campus) to Fr. Joseph L. Bates St.
In 2007 the College of Arts and Sciences offered BS Psychology, BS Math and BS Biology.
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