The University of Saint Louis traces its roots from a school started by Msgr. Constant Jurgens, CICM, D.D., a Dutch by nationality, was a CICM missionary, great educator and then Bishop of the Diocese of Tuguegarao.
Cagayan Valley Atheneum
A few years before the outbreak of the Second World War, Msgr. Jurgens founded the Cagayan Valley Atheneum as a diocesan school for boys. Rev. Fr. Oscar Deltour, CICM, was its first rector. Cagayan Valley Atheneum stood from 1938 to 1946. It was set up at the compound of St. Peter’s Cathedral. Later it was transferred to a different lot located in Ugac bought from the Tabacalera by Msgr. Jurgens with his own missionary fund.
Ateneo de Tuguegarao
The war had destroyed the Cagayan Valley Atheneum buildings and Msgr. Jurgens was confined at the concentration camp during the Japanese Occupation. Like many CICM Missionaries, Msgr. Jurgens had also suffered in concentration camps and in evacuation centers and came out a very sick man. He called on the Jesuit Fathers (Society of Jesus) to take over the administration of the school. It was agreed that he would transfer ownership of the land to the Jesuits provided that they would build therein a residence and school complete with equipment. The school was named Ateneo de Tuguegarao and offered high school and two college courses: Commerce and A.B. Pre-Law. In 1962, the Jesuit Fathers left Tuguegarao and closed the Ateneo de Tuguegarao.
Saint Louis College of Tuguegarao
On January 6, 1965, the Bishop of Tuguegarao, His Excellency Msgr. Teodulfo S. Domingo, wrote the Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Very Rev. Charles Pieters and requested him to open a Catholic school for boys in Tuguegarao. The impetus of this request was the appeal of many Catholic parents for Catholic education for their boys in Tuguegarao.
With the approval of the CICM Superior General, Fr. Charles Pieters responded in January 1965 accepting the appeal. Preparations were made for the coming school year and a four-room emergency building was put up since at that time the students from Saint Paul College (SPC) were occupying the high school buildings of the Ateneo after SPC was gutted by fire in January 1965.
In June 1965, Saint Louis School opened its portals to 138 boys accommodated in (2) sections for the First Year and one section for the Second Year. Fr. George Hantson, CICM, was the first rector.
In 1968, its college department opened with four courses: B.S. Civil Engineering, B.S. Commerce, Liberal Arts and Junior Secretarial Course with 236 students. That year then, the school was renamed Saint Louis College of Tuguegarao (SLCT). In 1971, its high school department offered its science curriculum and started admitting girls. In 1977, its Graduate School opened with Master in Public Administration.
In the years that followed, it opened new courses in the collegiate level: B.S. in Architecture, B.S. in Geodetic Engineering, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, B.S. in Electronics and Communications Engineering, B.S. in Computer Engineering, B.S. in Accountancy (separated from BS Commerce), Computer Secretarial Course, B.S. in Computer Science, Bachelor in Secondary Education and Bachelor in Elementary Education.
Kinder I and II were opened in 1997. The Elementary Department started Grade I in 1998. True to its mission of providing the marginalized sector of the society and access to quality education, it also opened the Learning Center for the Hearing-Impaired children in 1998.
To address the need for highly qualified manpower resource in the global community, on April 1, 2002, USL formally opened its Center for Technical and Entrepreneurial Development with associate courses in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Network Technology, Computer Secretarial, Electrical and Electronics Technology.
After a few decades, Saint Louis College of Tuguegarao, became a college serving young people in the preparatory school, elementary school, secondary school, tertiary and graduate school. The years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 were years devoted to the pursuance of a change of the school charter from a College to a University.
The University of Saint Louis Tuguegarao
On May 20, 2002, the Commission on Higher Education finally granted the school its new charter. Hence, the old Saint Louis College of Tuguegarao is now the University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City. The installation of the first University President, Dr. Rosalinda P. Valdepeñas, who was at the helm of SLCT during the grant of the University status, was on August 8, 2002.
In that same year, prior to the grant of University status, SLCT was one of the first thirty (30) private higher education institutions in the Philippines granted full autonomy by the Commission on Higher Education from 2002-2007. This autonomous status was renewed for another five (5) years until 2012, along with nine (9) other HEIs, a feat shared with prestigious schools in Metro Manila and two (2) other schools outside of Metro Manila.
During the period of the grant of full autonomy, other collegiate programs were offered which include Nursing (SY 2004-2005); Tourism and Information Science (SY 2007-2008); Hotel and Restaurant Management (SY 2009-2010); Library and Information Science and Interior Design (SY 2009-2010); Medical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology) and Pharmacy (SY 2012-2013).
April 2012 marked another milestone in the history of the University when the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) granted Level IV accredited status to six (6) of its curricular programs: Accountancy, Business Administration, Civil Engineering, Liberal Arts, Elementary Teacher Education, and Secondary Teacher Education. USL is the first and only school in Region 02 granted such status and one of the very few in the entire country. The Computer Science and Information Technology program was also granted Accredited Status that school year.
K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum was implemented effective school year 2012-2013.
In May 2013, the High School Department was granted Level II Re-Accredited Status (Level II) from 2013-2018 and the Nursing Program was granted Accredited Status from 2013-2016. In May 2014, the Elementary Department was granted Level I status from 2014-2017.
As a testimony of its long tradition of excellence and quality, the University was bestowed an International Platinum Award for Excellence and Business Prestige last May 26, 2014 in New York, USA.
In January 2015, the Level IV programs were granted Level IV Re-Accredited Status from 2015-2019, and the University was bestowed with the recognition of Institutional Accreditation from the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), valid until 2019.
In 2016, Level III Accredited Status was granted to the Electrical Engineering program (valid until 2019); Level II Accredited Status to the Information Technology and Computer Science programs (valid until 2020); and Level II Accredited Status to the Nursing program (valid until 2021). Also in 2016, the school was re-granted its Autonomous Status (2016-2019) and was conferred the recognition as Center of Development in Information Technology (2016-2018).
School year 2016-2017 was the first year of implementation of the Senior High School Grade 11 with the following track and strands: Academic Track – Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM Strand), Humanities and Social Sciences Strand (HUMSS Strand), and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM Strand: Health Science and Non-Health Science).
In May 2017, the Elementary Department was granted Level II Accredited Status for the period 2017-2022.