St. Joseph’s College of Quezon City was founded 75 years ago as St. Joseph’s Academy by Dutch Franciscan Sisters. Situated along España Extension, the school admitted its first primary school pupils in 1932 and drew children from the rapidly growing communities of New Manila, Kamuning and San Juan. Under the leadership of its first school directress, Mother Magdala Verhuizen, the academy opened the high school department the following year. During the Japanese occupation, the school was closed down, the Dutch sisters interned in Los Baños, and the buildings were used as a mini-military hospital by the Japanese army and later by the US military. SJA officially became St. Joseph ’s College of Quezon City in 1948 with the opening of the college department which offered programs in education, liberal arts, secretarial science, and music.

performing arts

The 50s and the 60s were a period when the performing arts, notably drama and music, were a central and distinguishing feature of Josephine life. The annual play became a tradition that spanned almost three decades. Plays and musicals such as Cyrano de Bergerac, Pride and Prejudice, Pygmalion, Trojan Women, Fiddler on the Roof, and Camelot were staged under the direction of Zeneida Amador (HS ’49) and drew critical acclaim. Many memorable leading roles in the annual stage plays (such as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion and Roxanne in Cyrano) were played by Sonia Malasarte (HS ’60 and AB ’64). To promote excellence in education through voluntary accreditation, St. Joseph ’s College together with ten other private colleges and universities became the charter members of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) in 1957. A milestone in the pursuit of educational excellence came in 1964 when Sonia Malasarte was awarded the Most Outstanding Student of the Philippines in the prestigious Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines annual search sponsored by the Philippine Jaycees. In 1966, Lulu Malabanan was a TOSP awardee.”

social orientation

With the Filipinization movement of the late 60’s, the Filipino sisters assumed the leadership of the Philippine Franciscan Congregation and of St. Joseph’s College, Q.C. from the Dutch pioneers. The vision and mission of the school were restated to reflect its deep concern over the changed political and economic conditions of the period and its commitment to quality education for social transformation, for service to the underprivileged and marginalized. The 70’s and the 80’s, amidst the challenges of martial law, social unrest, and poverty, saw St. Joseph’s College, Q.C. rise to the demands of socially oriented education: a tuition-free evening high school for urban poor youths, a grant-in-aid program to train professionals in education and social work for disadvantaged communities all over the country, development programs and projects in rural and urban poor communities (literacy, daycare, community theatre), exposure-immersion programs in the curriculum. At the same time, excellence in education continued to be a key priority. PAASCU accreditation and re-accreditation of the liberal arts, education, social work, and commerce programs were sustained and subsequently granted level 3 status. The graduates’ performance in the social work and the education board exams were marked by 100% passing rates. The grade school was first accredited in 1981 and the high school in 1984. Both departments have undergone and gained re-accreditation since then.

The graduate school was opened in 1979 to specialize in education and staff development.

In recognition of its overall performance as an educational institution, in 2001 the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted full autonomy to the College of Arts and Sciences, “for meritorious achievement in higher education in the provision of instruction and in the conduct of research and community extension service; for high performance of graduates in licensure examinations; and for maintaining a tradition of integrity and an untarnished reputation in the education service.”

In 2007, the CHED once more granted full autonomy status to the College of Arts and Sciences.

Quezon City

Rodriguez, Rizal

A Harvest of Palanca Prizes

The Josephine tradition of excellence in the arts continues with the national recognition of creative writers encouraged and supported by the college. Alfonso Benedicto Dacanay is the most recent addition to the growing list of Palanca laureates from St. Joseph ’s College, Q.C. Dacanay won first prize in the one-act-play in English category in 2005. The year before, Honorio de Dios got the top prize for short story in Filipino and in the 2003 awards, Agustin Sugatan Jr. bagged third prize for the screenplay. All three studied Mass Communication at the SJC College of Arts and Sciences.

Reaping honors in the country’s most prestigious literary awards was Ramon Felipe A. Sarmiento, Chair for Liberal Arts, who got the third prize for the screenplay in 1994. In 1999, he was the first prize winner for the same category.

In 2000, Roy Iglesias of the “Mano Po” series of prize-winning films and a faculty member for more than two decades won the first prize also for the screenplay.

Aside from their Palanca badges, the prize winners from St. Joseph ’s College are active in other fields allied to the arts. Dacanay is a free-lance film reviewer who occasionally publishes his stories in reputable national magazines. His play “Eyeball” is the current favorite in college productions in Manila and his Palanca winning play will have a run in Dubai. De Dios works in an NGO and publishes his works as well. Sugatan is an independent filmmaker. Sarmiento has been a recipient of other literary awards including the Centennial Literary Prize (second place, screenplay). The piece was published in a book that won the National Book Award in 2003. Roy Iglesias is one of the most well-known and multi-awarded scriptwriters in film and television.

Current Programs and Projects

The use of new technologies of the digital era to carry out quality instruction and to support efficient student services has been adopted by the school. Open laboratories, networked computer laboratories, the development of computer applications for the library, Records and Admissions office, and the Finance office are today a feature of campus life. The BS Information Technology program is venturing into e-learning, among other innovative methods of instruction. In the new millennium, St. Joseph ’s College of Q.C. has also embarked on a series of challenging ventures, efforts that can be characterized as reaching out and providing quality Josephine education to new groups and communities.

The Institute of Nursing was established in 2004 and is in partnership with the neighboring St. Luke’s Medical Center as its base hospital. Special education is one of the newest programs of SJCQC. A special education department catering to special students was opened in 2002 and has drawn more and more pupils and students. A notable feature of SPED in the school is the mainstreaming program where enrolees in SPED are prepared to join the appropriate regular classes of the kindergarten, grade school and high school. SPED has also become an area of specialization in the education programs of the undergraduate and graduate departments.

The past five years have seen the graduate school grow by leaps and bounds in terms of enrolment and in program offerings. Educational management, instructional supervision, special education, and applied gerontology are its leading programs today. Its enrollees also now come from the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna who commute in the weekends to attend graduate classes in the Quezon City campus.

The Degree Completion Program (DCP) was instituted in 2002 to address the situation of undergraduates of the college who have been away from school for a number of years and who need only a few remaining units to earn their degrees. It operates according to the principle of equivalency by recognizing learning acquired outside the formal school setting.

Along the same line, the school accepted the invitation from CHED to become an ETEEAP (Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency Accreditation Program) provider. This program has sparked tremendous interest among working professionals who have not earned college degrees. Through ETEEAP, non-degree holders can have their learning at work and in life (skills and knowledge) assessed and recognized as equivalent to traditional course requirements (recognition of prior learning) to earn their degrees. Assessment and equivalency for AB Community Development and BS in Office Management are currently offered under the program. The Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in management program (ETEEAP) will be launched in 2006. The ETEEAP Program is supervised by Agnes Feliza Edillon who has extensive experience in project management and assessment in both school and field settings.

The first graduate of ETEEAP in St. Joseph ’s College, Q.C. is a community development practitioner, Enrique M. Gallardo Jr, who has worked for many years as a field worker among the indigenous peoples of the Cordilleras and the Muslim communities in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat. He will formally receive his AB Community Development diploma through ETEEAP in December 2005.

The solidarity of St. Joseph ’s College, Q.C. with people and groups in need has extended beyond Philippine shores to the newly independent East Timor. There is now a special college scholarship program for young East Timorese to develop professionals such as teachers and office workers to help rebuild the country from the ravages of decades-long conflict.

As the school undertakes new initiatives, it has maintained its strengths as an educational institution and is proud of the work and effort of its graduates. It continues to enjoy full autonomy as granted by the CHED, and Level III status for its programs from the PAASCU. The College was identified as one of two top performing schools in the social work licensure exams in 2004 (see related story). The Mass Communication department has had Palanca award winners since 2000 (see related story). As part of its continuing quest for educational innovations, it has established partnerships for staff and student development with schools overseas, including the Notre Dame University in Kyoto, Japan for social work and the International People’s College in Helsingør, Denmark for adult education.

College of Arts and Sciences – Sambayanihan Extension Service Office

The College of Arts and Sciences in the exercise of its extension service functions is steered by its own Sambayanihan Extension Service program thrusts being encapsulated in the acronym ST JOSEPH:

Solidarity: Our solidarity with the marginalized communities is the fulfillment of our responsibility and role of prophetic denunciation of grave injustices rampant in Philippine communities which are characterized as scandalous and sinful situations. This solidarity means that we make our the problems and the struggles of the people and that we know how to speak with them, live with them and be like them.

Transformation: Our strategy for social transformation is assisting partner communities to alter their “sinful situations” into nurturing conditions. We establish a helping relationship that facilitates the building and expanding of people’s capacities; that would eventually lead to people’s empowerment and transformation.

Justice Advocacy: We are at the forefront of promoting social justice. The rights-based approach to development is actively advocated and practiced. We take a stand on the moral, social, economic, and political issues that affect the marginalized and disadvantaged.

Organizing People for Collective Action: We assist the people in their organizing work towards the establishment of community-based organizations. We actively promote people-centered development where the people are the molders of their progress.

The spirituality of Social Transformation: The spirituality of social transformation is the continuing action –reflection-action (praxis) of the college towards the fullness of human life. It serves as the binding force that gives a Christian perspective to community involvement with the spirit of commitment and compassion for others.

Education for Empowerment: The content of education is focused on critical analysis of the situation; developing people’s potential and using education as a tool to attain social justice, nationalism, and people’s empowerment.

Participation in Development: In assisting the people, our paramount concern is the people’s involvement in the entire decision –making process, so that it will be a process and end owned by the people. Participation in development is an active process by which the people have to do the development planning, implementation, evaluating and monitoring of projects that aim to benefit their community.

Holistic Development: Development is not only limited to economic growth but it addresses all dimensions of a person’s life.

ST. JOSEPH program thrusts are translated into program goals which are the guideposts for the formulation of concrete programs and services of Sambayanihan Extension Service Office:

1. To facilitate the formation and strengthening of people’s organizations.

2. To assist partner communities in their continuing capability building, empowerment, and self-reliance.

3. To help enhance the capabilities of partner institutions, agencies, and organizations in pursuing their concerns and in promoting participatory and people-centered development.

4. To implement a comprehensive program on disaster risk reduction and management such as relief and health services and post-disaster community development projects to the communities affected by the disaster.

5. To facilitate community immersion and involvement program for the CAS community.

6. To help document and develop popular education materials to share people’s experiences, struggles, and aspirations.

7. To promote peace and justice through sustained advocacy on issues and concerns affecting the marginalized sectors of society.

8. To mobilize resources to sustain program implementation.

In keeping with the SJCQC’s vision of social transformation, a theory of transformation is developed to present how the Sambayanihan Extension Service Programs and Services can contribute to the envisioned social transformation.


The school seal is composed of a shield circumscribed by the school’s name and location, St. Joseph’s College, Quezon City, Philippines. At the bottom of the shield is the year the school was founded, 1932. Cutting across the shield is a ribbon bearing the motto: SAPIENTIA, BONITAS, CARITAS (Wisdom, Goodness, and Love).

SAPIENTIA, enlightened knowledge is symbolized by the books over which stands a lighted lamp.

BONITAS, is represented by the Franciscan symbol: cross under which are the crossed hands of Jesus Christ and St. Francis of Assisi.

CARITAS, loving service is symbolized by the rose. The seal suggests symbolically the school’s patron St. Joseph, with the carpenter’s toolbox and lily. The fleur de lys stands for our Lady of the Immaculate Conception under whose special patronage the school is entrusted.


St. Joseph’s College, a Filipino, Catholic and Franciscan educational institution, is owned and administered by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (SFIC).


St. Joseph’s College pursues integral human formation anchored on Gospel values to enable the youth to become effective instruments for social transformation.


Inspired by our vision, we commit ourselves to provide relevant programs and services to form our school community to be God-loving, evangelizing and responsible members of society.

In keeping with our Franciscan tradition, we continue to be moved by God’s goodness, wisdom and love to be a caring and nurturing community.

Core Values

Following the example of St. Joseph, a righteous and upright man, we uphold and promote the core values of simplicity, truth, justice, peace, and integrity of creation,


Simplicity – We shall live a simple lifestyle, caring for Mother Earth, taking only what is enough and necessary to sustain a healthful and dignified existence.       

Truth – We shall uphold honesty and sincerity, consistency and integrity in thoughts, words and actions.

Justice – We shall foster right relationship with God, with oneself, with others and with creation as  a whole.

Peace –  We shall be peace-builders; peace that comes from an inner contentment and serenity, from a sense of community with and among peoples and nations, from a dialogue     cultures and religions. 

Integrity of Creation –  We shall affirm a deep Christian conviction that all life is sacred because God is the Creator of all.

Flagship Programs

Deserving Level III PAASCU accreditation and a grant of autonomy by CHED is something that a school works for overtime and sustains on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, the fruits of excellence are something reaped year by year, in the form of quality graduates, as seen in the track record in government licensure examinations. In the College of Arts and Sciences of St. Joseph’s College, the graduates of Social Work have been registering a hundred percent passing rate since its beginnings in the late 70s. In 2004, St. Joseph ’s College was listed one of two best schools of Social Work in the country, the other one being the University of the Philippines. That same year, still another Social Work board top notcher was produced in the person of Ms. Rowena Panguio who placed third.

Similarly, the new teachers who have come from the school have also been top-rate performers in the licensure examination. Clifford Esteban (BSE ’92), a PBET 7th placer, is today the president of the Metrobank Topnotchers’ Circle.

Overall, the graduates of the school enjoy a very high rate of employability. Many of them are leaders in their chosen fields and respective industries, making their special mark because of the Christian and Franciscan values and a strong sense of social responsiveness they bring to their work. They are local government executives, corporate officers, NGO workers, entrepreneurs, artists, lay leaders, business managers, lawyers, and advocates. The other high performing course programs are Mass Communication, Psychology, Management, and Information Technology. At present, stewards of the newly opened College of Nursing are putting in place all necessary measures so that come reckoning time in a few years, the graduates will perform according to the school’s long-established standards of excellence and do their alma mater proud.


Student Handbook 2020

Click here to view Student handbook 2020