History

The Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) is a sectarian institution situated in the culturally pluralistic province of South Cotabato, on the island of Mindanao, Philippines.   It started as Notre Dame of Marbel (NDM), a secondary level educational institution founded by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) with the Religious of Virgin Mary (RVM) Sisters in 1946.  It is the first high school to open in South Cotabato and Koronadal Valley.  In 1950, the Oblate Fathers turned over the ownership and management of the Boys Department to the Marist Brothers of the Schools (FMS).  Two years later, the Dominican sisters assumed the direction of the Girls Department.   The Marist Brothers, through the years, have transformed it into a College (Notre Dame of Marbel College).  

In response to the need to offer courses which will give professional degrees to students who completed their secondary education, the Marist Brothers started the College Department in 1955.  A complete six-year elementary training department for boys was started in 1962 that served as a laboratory school for the Education Department.

The Graduate School of Education was opened in 1967. In 1970, it turned out its first graduate in Master of Arts in Education with specialization in Educational Administration.  In the same year, NDMC accepted the responsibility to become a Regional Science Teaching Center for Western Mindanao.  

In 1968 three college programs namely, Education, Liberal Arts and Commerce, were accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).  

In June 1977, the Para-Teacher program was started and in September 1984, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports  (MECS) recognized NDMU in pioneering a prototype and innovative Para-Teacher education program with the aim of producing teachers for teaching in culturally pluralistic communities.  MECS recognized the program to be relevant and suitable in reducing regional disparities by producing graduates with effective competencies for teaching in depressed, disadvantaged and underserved rural communities.

Since then, NDMU has been assuming various responsibilities as a leading tertiary institution in the area.  On January 2, 1992, it was granted a UNIVERSITY status and was given the name Notre Dame of Marbel University.

To accommodate the growing population of the college department, the Elementary Training Department, which turned co-ed in June 1995, was relocated to a new site, around 3 kilometers away from the main campus,  in June 1996.  Two years later, the elementary was joined by the High School department in the same site.

NDMU has exerted efforts in strengthening its community extension programs and because of its rich experience it was institutionalized in 1995.  What was called the Community Extension Services-Non-Formal Education (CES-NFE) department has become the Champagnat Community College (CCC) serving the University’s extension laboratories.  Since then, CCC has a long list of community-based programs designed around an integrated framework which aims to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life of the target beneficiaries.  

In 1996, NDMU was identified by CHED as one of the Centers for Excellence in Teacher Education (COE-TE) in Region XI and was selected by ANTEP-DECS (BNFE) as the Lead Institution for Functional Literacy on the National Level.

In 1997, CHED identified NDMU as one of the Centers of Development for Excellence in Information Technology (CODE-IT) in Regions XI and XII.  

In 1999, NDMU was given the Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace National Award in the area of peace through Participatory Development in recognition of NDMU’s vital role in promoting the culture of peace through varied innovative programs for the cultural communities.

NDMU was identified by CHED as Zonal Research Center (ZRC) for Regions XI and XII and ARMM in the year 2000.

The search for quality and excellence is a lifetime pursuit and the limitless capabilities of the University was given due recognition by CHED when it was granted FULL AUTONOMY effective 2001 and was included among the best 30 higher educational institutions in the Philippines.  

In its continued quest to provide students with  the best facilities for learning, school year 2003-2004 saw the rise of the modern 3-storey University Library building on campus. 

In 2004, the University was presented by National Economic Development authority (NEDA) and Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) with Outstanding Volunteer award for its exemplary performance as a volunteer organization in uplifting the condition of the indigenous people of Mindanao which is a manifestation of its dedication and commitment to public service and human development.

The Church exhorts Catholic schools, colleges, and universities to be “ever more effective instruments of cultural progress for individuals as well as for society…and establish new economic, political, cultural and ecological order that will better serve society” (PCP II,no.622).  Heeding to this call, NDMU established a Peace and Development Center in 2004 

On July 1, 2005, the University launched the one-year celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the College Department with the theme “NDMU-College at 50:  Charting Excellence and Relevance in Education.”  Significant development in this Jubilee year were the following:  a)  establishment of the Leadership and Education Academy for Development; b) NDMU’s partnership with Phil-Australia Human Resource Development  Facility (PAHRDF);  c)  creation of the University Peace and Development Center;  d) opening of seven programs at the graduate level namely:  Master in Biology, Chemistry, English, Information Technology, Mathematics and Physics; and  f) offering of Master of Arts in Nursing in consortium with San Pedro College, Davao City.

NDMU’s commitment to be responsive to the educational needs of South Cotabato and its neighboring provinces has been intensified when the Nursing Department produced its first batch of graduates in March 2006.  To strengthen further the Nursing Program, the Nursing Department was established into a new college in June 2006.  In October 2006, CHED identified NDMU as Center of Development for Excellence in Information Technology for another term of 3 years.  In school year 2005-2006, the University was awarded by CHED as Best in Student Extension Services Program during its search for Best Student Services.

To maximize the use of building spaces and to strengthen the administrative physical logistics, the St. Lorenzo Ruiz administration wing was renovated to house the President’s Office, Board Room, Graduate School Dean’s Office, Faculty, and Conference Rooms, and the Research Office.

In 2007, NDMU was recognized by the Philippine Regulatory Commission and Board of Medical Technologies for having obtained the first place with an average of 100% passing percentage (13 out of 13) among schools, colleges, universities with Exemplary Passing Performance on the February 28 and March 1, 2007, Medical Technologies Licensure Examination.  Another achievement was the Outstanding Achievement in Environment and Natural Resources Award to NDMU Research Center from the Department of Natural Resources Region XII.

In 2008, the CHED, DepEd and Teachers Education Council awarded the University as the Training Institution of the DepEd and INSET Program.  The CHED also awarded the Teacher Education Program of the University as the Center of Excellence in Teacher Education.

To keep pace with the needs of the Business Programs the Maurus James Hall was renovated in 2009 to house the new audiovisual room and spacious classrooms.  The College of Business Administration building and the HRM Laboratories were also constructed to provide upgraded facilities.  Likewise, to provide the community with greater access to the services of the MedTech Diagnostic and Training Laboratory, it was transferred to its new location along Alunan Avenue with complete equipment and facilities.  On April 17, 2009, the University received the Best in Student Community Involvement Category of 2008 Best Student Services Award and 2008 Best Student Services Program Award-Regional Winner -Region XII. Both of these awards were from the CHED.

On October 6, 2009, an Award of Distinction for NDMU with Deregulated Status for three years (2009-2012) was awarded by CHED.

The early part of 2010 marked another milestone of the University’s daring move to provide educational programs needed by the community.  It opened the BS Criminology with the aim of providing professional workforce to law enforcement agencies locally and nationally.  The third floor of the Doherty Hall was renovated to accommodate the Criminology Laboratories. On November 5, 2010, the Commission on Higher Education identified the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering as the Center of Development.

The former Peace and Development Center which was established in 2004 became the Center for Peace and Environment in 2010.   From then on, the Center has been making an impact in cultivating and advocating the Culture of Peace within NDMU and the SOCKSARGEN area.   In response to the Resolution of the Marist Congress and the thrust of the Diocese of Marbel, the University launched the Green University Program last February 2011. It strengthens the University’s program in promoting care for the earth and living out a healthy lifestyle.

As NDMU continues to pave the way towards making history, it has become more aware and reflective of its serious attempts not only in keeping pace with the changes and needs of the communities it serves but also in playing an active role in the process of developmental change.

The early part of 2010 marked another milestone in the University’s daring move to provide educational programs needed by the community.  It opened the BS Criminology with the aim of providing professional workforce to law enforcement agencies locally and nationally.  The third floor of the Doherty Hall was renovated to accommodate the Criminology Laboratories. On November 5, 2010, the Commission on Higher Education identified the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering as the Center of Development.

In its continuing quest for quality education, the Graduate School submitted its major programs for accreditation by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU).  These programs are Ph.D. in Educational Management; Master of Arts in Education (MAEd); Master in Public Administration (MPA); and Master in Business Administration (MBA). The surveys: Preliminary Survey (March 2 – 3, 2007);  Consultancy Visit on the areas of Instruction, Faculty, and Research (February 14, 2009); Formal Survey (March 12 – 13, 2010).  These programs were granted Level I accreditation for three (3) years starting November 2010.

The former Peace and Development Center which was established in 2004 became the Center for Peace and Environment in 2010.   From then on, the Center has been making an impact in cultivating and advocating the Culture of Peace within NDMU and the SOCKSARGEN area.   In response to the Resolution of the Marist Congress and the thrust of the Diocese of Marbel, the University launched the Green University Program in February 2011. It strengthens the University’s program in promoting care for the earth and living out a healthy lifestyle.

In the school year 2011-2012, the greening of Notre Dame of Marbel University campus was strengthened.  Flowering plants were grown, a nursery for seedlings was provided, and a Materials Recovery Facility was constructed.

The teaching-learning process was intensified through the installation of multi-media projectors in all classrooms, the establishment of the College of Education Teaching-Learning Center at the 2nd floor of Creegan Hall, the acquisition of a new Universal Testing Machine for the Engineering Laboratory, and the renovation of the Graduate School Library Section to cater to the needs of graduate school students and faculty for a separate research and study area. 

The installation of the Weather Station became a maiden engagement of the partnership between the Manila Observatory and Notre Dame of Marbel University, together with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States of America to work together for climate and environmental monitoring. This AERONET station measures the basic weather parameters: temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction, rainfall, solar radiation, and UV from the sun.

NDMU’s unceasing investment for quality education ushered in the improvement of the school physical facilities of the Integrated Basic Education Department (IBED) in SY 2012-2013.  Classrooms were renovated and at the same time the following were constructed to improve instructional support:  High School Faculty Room, Elementary and High School Lobby, Elementary and High School Libraries, High School Chapel, High School Computer Laboratories, Laboratories for Home Economics, General Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. 

In Summer 2013, NDMU was accredited by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as a Higher Education Institution partner in delivering its Graduate Diploma in Cultural Education (GDCE) Program leading to Master of Arts in Education major in Cultural Education.  The NCCA provided scholarships to thirty-five (35) teacher-participants of the Department of Education.

Creating a positive learning environment optimizes student learning, helps teachers build a collaborative classroom community, and creates a pleasant work environment for both teachers and students.  In SY 2014-2015, the Bro. Renato Cruz Hall, a 3-storey building with a mezzanine was constructed.  The building houses the Business Office, Guidance and Scholarship Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Administrative Offices and Faculty Room, CMRE Office, Peace and Environment, Bookroom, Convention Hall, and the University Museum. The University’s main entrance gate and the University gymnasium were renovated, and the IBED Basketball Courts were constructed. 

To further strengthen the research engagement of the University, NDMU became a member of the Mindanao  Studies Consortium Foundation, Inc. (MSCFI), a consortium composed of 14 institutional members from private schools, state universities and colleges, non-government organizations, and government agencies.  The consortium aims to provide evidence-based studies to the policymakers, decision-makers, and planners to affect the socio-economic development of Mindanao.

In scaling up business matters, NDMU and DTI forged a partnership and established the Small Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Center in May 2014.  The Center provides assistance to SMEs in the province in terms of network, human resources, physical and sourcing of financial assistance.

To serve the SMED clients better, the Department of Trade (DTI), Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU), and South Cotabato Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council, entered into a partnership in running the Negosyo Center in the City of Koronadal.  The Negosyo Center is located at the NDMU KoBE building and was inaugurated in December 2015.

In February 2016, the FAAP (Federation of Accrediting Association of the Philippine) through the recommendation of PAASCU, granted Level III Accreditation to the following graduate programs:  Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management, Master of Arts in Education, Master in Public Administration, and Master in Business Administration.

In April 2016, the Commission on Higher Education granted NDMU the Center of Development in Teacher Education, and in May 2016, CHED also granted NDMU the Autonomous Status.

The School Year 2016-2017 marks the historical implementation of the Senior High School on the main campus.   NDMU offered tracks in Academics with strands in Accounting, Business and Management (ABM), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS). 

On the occasion of the 176th Death Anniversary of St. Marcellin Champagnat (d. 1840), the Maristology Center was opened.  It provides exhibits about the Marist Brothers in the Philippines and the rest of the world. 

As NDMU continues to pave the way towards making history, it has become more aware and reflective of its serious attempts not only in keeping pace with the changes and needs of the communities it serves but also in playing an active role in the process of developmental change.