Canossa College, a Catholic Institution from Pre-school to College journeys through the years from its humble beginnings. It is run by the Canossian Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor, a religious congregation founded in Verona, Italy in 1808 by Marchioness Magdalene of Canossa. The congregation was approved by Pope Leo XII with “motu proprio” in 1828. At present, this congregation has established its apostolate in different parts of the world, in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, Oceania and Europe.
The first Canossian sisters to arrive in San Pablo City, namely, M. Luigia Vassena, M. Florencia Nuevo, M. Miriam Tovecchio and M. Zita Beretta were invited by Bishop Alejandro Olalia to take charge of the parochial school in the City, which was then being supervised by the Young Ladies Association of Charity (YLAC). The Canossian Sisters took over the formal transfer of its administration in 1955. The school was called “Our Lady of Fatima Academy.” In 1957, the Sisters transferred the school to its present site at the Lakeside Park Subdivision on a lot donated by Mr. and Mrs. Federico Azcarate.
In 1960, the YLAC Elementary school was turned over to the Sisters. The Grade School Department for boys and girls opened in the same year. The College Department was opened in the school year 1963-64 with Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BSEEd) as its initial course offering. In the succeeding years, additional courses were offered to meet the growing needs of young girls in the vicinity. Bachelor of Science in Commerce (BSC) and Junior Secretarial courses were offered in 1965-66, Bachelor of Arts Major in Mathematics 1968-69 and Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1984-85. The BSEEd course has also been integrated with a catechetical specialization to qualify the graduates to each Religion and Values Education. The school finally completed its transformation from being an exclusive school for girls in the late 1980’s when it opened its doors to boys in college (1986) and high school (1987).
In SY 1978-79 and 1980-81, the Philippine Accrediting Association of Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) Survey Team granted to Canossa College Grade School and High School Departments Level 1 Accreditation. Since 1997 both departments have Level II Accreditation status and on June 28, 2010, the Grade School Department was granted Level III Accreditation status.
In the year 2004-2005, with the inspiration and collaboration of Mrs. Josephine Paet (BEED adviser), Dr. Noraida Salvosa (High School Principal) and Sr. Ludivina Sangel, FdCC (Dean/Directress), the College opened Special Education Program for children with special needs as an outreach program and as a gift to St. Magdalene in the celebration of the school’s Golden Jubilee. Mrs. Susan Azucena-Pormentilla (a College alumna) and Mrs. Lina Micaya (both teachers of Paaralang Pag-ibig at Pag-asa) handled and conducted the initial classes in July 17, 2004.
In the same year, the College obtained the permit from the Commision on Higher Education to operate new courses: Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science the following year (2005-2006).
Canossa College aspired to be more relevant to its citizenry by extending educational opportunities to the financially challenged youth of the city and neighbouring towns. Thus, the opening of the Charity School of the High School Department in 2006-2007 was a dream come true. The Charity School was opened initially to 22 freshmen students. Eventually, it was named Mother Luigia Grassi School (MLGS) in 2011-2012 in honor of Mother Luigia, an Italian sister who worked hard to send the first missionary sisters to Hongkong. Now in its 10th year the school has worked to integrate the MLGS scholars to the regular classes.
A two –year Hotel and Restaurant Management course was offered in 2006-2007. In 2010, HRM was converted to six (6) Modular Courses (Housekeeping, Baking & Pastry Production, Food and Beverage, Commercial Cooking, Bartending & Front Office). The Bachelor of Science in Commerce with Major in Management Accounting and in Banking and Finance changed the nomenclature to Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Major in Management Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Major in Financial Management respectively. The Diploma in Midwifery was offered during the school year 2011-2012.
In 2012 the four Canossian Schools proactively responded to the mandate of implementing the K to 12 Program. The Canossa Transition Management Team (CTMT) was formed and consequently formulated the 5-year strategic plans covering school years 2012 – 2017. The plans are meant to ensure the effective implementation of the K to 12 Program anchored on the school’s vision and mission. The team focused on the following areas:
- S. M.A.R.T. Canossian Legacy
- Organizational Realignment
- Professional Development
- Community Grounding and Networking
- Curriculum Re-alignment
- Physical Development
The endeavor guided and enabled the smooth transition from an old system to a new one. The first batch of senior high school students started June 2016.
A new Vision and mission statements were formulated during the seminar on “Re-thinking Leadership” attended by the leaders and selected stakeholders from the four Canossian Schools. It was held in Tagaytay on July 23 – 24, 2015.
The tag line “We Form Hearts” and the school ID “Pusong Canossian” were born from the above statements.
In 2015, Canossa College was selected to be a pilot school for Region IV for the implementation of the Philippine Catholic Schools Standards (PCSS). The experience led to an on-going reflection of how close we are to the required standards. Trainings and formations were conducted in different levels. Preliminary assessments were done. Believing in the value of the set standards and its essence the school made it as a major reference in drafting the 3-year development plan for school years 2017 – 2020. One with the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and the PCSS we shall endeavor to form networks and partnerships. We shall collaborate on reforms and other initiatives in preparation for life.
The 20-year road map was presented to the leaders of the four Canossian schools on March 31, 2017. This was a fruit of the Marketing Intelligence Research conducted by Dean Danny Cabulay and team and the Canossa road-mapping workshop attended by Sisters, teachers, non-teaching personnel, key personnel and stakeholders. It contains strategies to arrest the downtrend in enrolment and concrete steps to be undertaken in 2017 -2018 and beyond.
The Canossa Human Resource Ranking Manual written April 2017 provide a guide in classifying all administrators, teachers and non-teaching personnel by a rank to enhance employee morale, motivation, satisfaction, engagement and retention. The administration sees to the gradual adoption of the said manual.
Canossa College is “constantly challenged by the charismatic commitment to prevent and impede sins as a great proof of love for God and for our brothers and sisters whose behavior in life usually depends on the education received” (UR pp. 119-120).
We anticipate the celebration of our 65th foundation year in 2020 and “continue to foster the holistic growth of children, adolescents and young people giving particular attention to the formation of the heart” (PR 22:6)
“The educative community journeys onward with love and respect. Together we discover and fulfill God’s plan so that we may offer our contribution to society and to the Church, for the transformation of the world according to Gospel values” (UR p.123)
(Revised October 2017)