Saint Paul College of Ilocos Sur
Paulinian education in Ilocos started in 1905 when Mother Candide Cousin accepted the invitation of Monsignor Dennis Dougherty to give Catholic education to young Ilocano girls. Seven Paulinian sisters, headed by Sister Marthe de St. Paul, began the elementary, catechetical and musical instruction, as well as the teaching or arts and crafts to young girls. Intermediate instruction for young ladies began in 1912. The school was first known as the Girl’s College of Our Lady of the Rosary, which then changed to the Rosary Academy.
The incorporation of tertiary education for women happened only in 1946, as it was delayed by World War II. The school became known as Rosary Junior College. As more programs ranging from two-year to four-year programs in the field of education, home economics and music were recognized, the academy became known as Rosary College. The school’s concentration then was in producing the best teachers. Rosary College became known as St. Paul College of Ilocos Sur (SPCIS) in 1971. SPCIS became recognized for academic excellence with spiritual formation. Proving their wholistic formation, the sisters and their students involved themselves in the cultural activities of Vigan, holding annual concerts, operettas and plays that the community looked forward to.
Male high school and college students were accepted to this once all-girls school in 1978. It was during this time that business programs were introduced. The old SPCIS school building can be found near the St. Paul Cathedral. As SPCIS expanded, it built new buildings in its new site in Bayubay, San Vicente. There it built new structures for students from kindergarten to college, complete with gymnasium, audio-visual rooms, libraries, laboratories, canteens and the Pere Louis Chauvet Hall. The move to the new school location started in 1997.
However, the old home of the Rosarians and Paulinians who have become leaders in their own fields has not been forgotten. A marker can now be found there with SPCIS’ centennial logo, attesting to the 100 years of contribution by Paulinian educators in Ilocos Sur. At present, SPCIS’ college department has level-one accredited courses in commerce, computer science, education and liberal arts. Its new programs cater to current industry needs and local human resources’ strength— BS Computer Science, BS Information Technology, BS Nursing and BS Tourism. SPCIS’ high school department also offers a science-enriched curriculum beginning in 2001. This department also became the first secondary school accredited in Region one. The elementary department did not remain behind as it also received accreditation for level one in 2004.