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Siena College of San Jose

Passion for truth and compassion for humanity

Humble beginnings

Parents and children appealed to establish an educational institution that would promote Catholic and quality education. This prompted the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena to establish a school within the community of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. This signaled the birth of Siena School of San Jose in 1989.

Starting its first undertaking with only the pre-elementary level (Nursery and Kindergarten) in operation, Siena School of San Jose continued to heed the call and pursued its commitment to the parents and the children. The elementary department was established and was granted recognition by the Department of Education (DepED) on September 9, 1994. Progress did not come hard – buildings were constructed and facilities were developed to better serve the growing population.

After a year, the high school department started its operation and the Government recognition for secondary education was granted on April 16, 1999.

A giant leap

The mission, along with the support of the parents, served as the building block for Siena School to do more, and more. In 1997, Siena School became Siena College of San Jose, indicating a giant leap for a young but determined institution.

Five college programs were initially offered: Bachelor in Elementary Education (BEED), Bachelor in Secondary Education (BSED), Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) and Bachelor of Science in Tourism (BST).

As an update, Siena College of San Jose now offers three more new courses: Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management (BSHRM), Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in Religious Education (BSEDRE) and a six-month certificate program in Caregiving duly approved by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The BSHRM, BSBA and Caregiving courses are included in the internationalization program of Singapore and Japan.

With its growing population, new student facilities were established such as: Prayer Room, Library, Instructional Media Center, basketball court and a multi-purpose hall.

The pillars

Rome was not built in a day, as they say. The same goes for Siena College of San Jose. It made a name for itself with the concerted efforts of the parents, the students, the administrators, the personnel and all the benefactors through those long years.

From Sr. Ursula Rempis, OP as the first teacher and principal, SCSJ was administered by different efficient and able sisters like Sr. Celina Parayno, OP; Sr. Emma Allid, OP; Sr. Irene Zaballa, OP; Sr. Ana Marie Gatmaytan, OP; Sr. Caroline Capili, OP and Sr. Leonor Pagorogon, OP.

Likewise, a number of qualified teachers and personnel shared their talents and rendered services to the school. The Personnel Formation Program (PFP) helps the personnel sustain and enrich their personal lives and acquire balance and total development through the Pray, Play, Study and Serve Together Area Programs.

Present times

Siena College of San Jose, Bulacan envisions itself to actively participate in the building of God’s Kingdom through a Christ-centered education. Inspired by the Dominican Passion for Truth and Compassion for Humanity (Contemplata Aliis Tradere) and the missionary zeal of Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo, the school envisions a transformed society that responds to the needs of the underserved, built on love, peace, justice and integrity of creation.

Moved by this vision, the college strives to form Christ-centered integrated persons, through academic excellence, formation of Catholic educators and missionary catechists, family and life-oriented education, equitable access and community development extension service. Hence, the college commits itself to a Gospel-centered, Marian, service-oriented where the members work together in providing excellent and relevant educators.

The College’s recent undertakings include the Night High School Program that was approved by DepEd during school year 2004-2005. Scholarship grants are given to the underprivileged but intellectually deserving students in the secondary level under the under SCSJ’s Extension Services Program and the sponsorship of the offices of the City Mayor and Congressman, the different non-government institution like ABC Foundation and Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation, Inc. Mary Star of the Sea, St. Martin Foundation, and others; the DepEd-FAPE Inspection and Evaluation wherein the an “Outstanding” rating was given to the areas of Administration, Faculty and Administrative Support; an “Above Standard” rating was given to Mission and Goals, Faculty and Staff, and Student Services; and a “Very Good” rating was given to Curriculum and Instruction, Facilities and Student/Faculty Services in June 2005 by the Department of Education and Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) during their inspection in SCSJ and its different areas of operation, and CEV and PAASCU Accreditation given by Congregational Evaluation Visit (CEV) last January 25-27, 2005 and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) Preliminary Visit last January 30-31, 2006 that elevate and upgrade the quality of instruction offered by the school.

Another recent undertakings include construction of new facilities in school year 2004 – 2005 that include a new three-storey building now called “The Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Building” blessed in May 31, 2005 that houses the new Chapel, the Registrar’s Office, the Accounting Office, the Computer Laboratory (and Cyber-Siena), the Instructional Media and Technology Center, Mother Antonia Hall, the Speech Laboratory and new classrooms as well as the conversion of the former Speech Laboratory at St. Catherine’s building into a state-of-the-art mini-hotel called Casa Sebastiana and the new laboratory of Technology and Home Economics (THE) at the corner of St. Thomas building called Casa Sta. Ana.

In the college also offers new courses in school year 2006-2007 to the youth who are interested in taking up short courses like Nursing Aide, Medical Transcription, Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Hotel and Restaurant Services, Telephone Operation, Drafting and Electronics. Once finalized, these courses will help equip the youth with medical and technical skills that are still in line with the fast-changing environment.

Siena College of San Jose will stand true to its name and mission in spite of adverse circumstances and crises. The collaborative efforts of the administration, the faculty, the non-teaching personnel, the students, the parents, the alumni and the untiring support of the benefactors will always make its mission of providing excellent Catholic education to the youth within reach.

Courses offered

Inspired by such visions, Siena College of San Jose commits itself to develop the pupils and students to become integrated human beings who are spiritually, emotionally socio-culturally, morally, technologically and scientifically equipped in order to become effective and dynamic Filipino Christians living in Truth, Justice and Peace, provide opportunities and strengthen their awareness of their responsibility to evangelize and preach the Good News, and to build God’s Kingdom on earth; and, develop appreciation of their human dignity as persons created in God’s image and likeness and care of God’s creation.

Its curriculum objectives involve the Christian Living (Religion)/ Values Education which aim to develop pupils and students’ appreciation of their identity as persons created in the image and likeness of God to gain proper understanding of Christian Doctrines, life of Jesus through the Scriptures, lives of the Saints, Christian Morality, Church and Sacraments, Salvation History and the Sacred Scriptures, the Sining ng Komunikasyon (Filipino), Science and Technology course where the pupils and students are guided to understand the basic concept of science, the Math course that seeks to develop the intelligent mastery of various mathematical concepts, operations, logical applications of critical analysis and reasoning, MAKABAYAN that include Sibika / Araling Panlipunan, HELE / THE / Computer, and MAPE / PEHM / CAT that seeks to develop the pupils and students’ appreciation of national history as well as to instill nationalism, and the Science Curriculum which, through the Council on Education and in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), aims to make the student well-informed and able to utilize their skills and knowledge in both Science and Math subjects.

The Basic Education Department of Siena College of San Jose offers Pre-Elementary, Elementary, High School and Night High School (Scholarship Program). The College Department, on the other hand, offers Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Entrepreneurial Management, Bachelor of Elementary Education With Specialization in English, Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English, Mathematics, Values Education and Religious Education, Bachelor of Science in Hotel & Restaurant Management with International Practicum Training Program, Certificate Program in Caregiving (6 months), TESDA Authorized Assessment Center on PC Operations, Household NCII, Bartending, and Caregiving and Ladderized Education Program in Hotel & Restaurant Management.

As of school year 2006-2007, the College has 1,705 students.

Ideal for learning, that is Siena

Nearly eighteen years after its foundation, Siena continues to smith potentials in its students by providing them an environment in which they can stretch what their hands can do, to the limit.

By giving opportunities that boost, not only the physical, mental but also spiritual and emotional strength, Siena makes sure that each one who leaves its halls is fully equipped with what he/she needs in pursuing his/her dreams.

Known as the “greenest and cleanest campus in the city of San Jose del Monte”, Siena’s 10 hectares of green land provides students a clean environment, fresh air and a picturesque view of infinite greens – ideal for learning.

Siena College of San Jose’s main campus consists of four buildings. Home of the Communication Arts area and Casa Sta. Ana, the St. Thomas building safeguards most of the elementary students, while the St. Dominic building gives its space for both high school and elementary students. The St. Dominic building is also home to the Principal’s office, the High School Computer laboratory, Grade School Guidance office and the Makabayan area. Meanwhile, St. Catherine building is occupied by the Science curriculum students. The building is also home to the Library, the Clinic, the Science Laboratories, the Math-Science area, the President’s office, the Guidance and Testing Center and the school’s mini-hotel, The Casa Sebastiana. The latter is used as a training facility for Hotel and Restaurant Management students. The newest building (built in 2005), the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, houses the Chapel, College department, administrative offices, Mother Antonia Hall, Cyber Siena and canteen.

Aside from the facilities for learning, Siena College also provides recreational areas for students such as volleyball, basketball and table tennis courts, as well as under-the-tree benches, and a play ground. Siena believes that these facilities are very helpful in making the students’ stay physically educational and, at the same time, enjoyable, for these facilities not only provide spots for the students to release their tensions, but also places where they can build up their stamina and strength.

Pleasant environment and good facilities are not just what Siena is known for. Its academic staff, mostly composed of Masteral and Doctoral degree holders, is one of the pioneers of education in Bulacan.

Modesty aside, Sienans are one of the finest. Students learn to be efficient in all aspects of life

through their subjects. They are skilled in areas like Technology and Livelihood Education, Computer, and Journalism. Proof of this, Siena’s official publication, the Acumen, with its staff, win numerous awards in division and regional level press conferences. This year, the staff headed by Editor-in-Chief Tyrone Reden Sy, together with Paula Angelica Ramos (News), Norma Jean Vergara (Feature), Maria Chermille Boiser and Elora Joselle Cangco (Literary), Rigel Kent Geganzo and Jamie Jeanne Sungahid (Sports), and writers have made it once again in the recently concluded Division Schools Press Conference. Sy and Geganzo will represent the school in the forthcoming Regional Press Conference in November, 2007 in Zambales.

Siena makes sure that its students engage in both academic and extra curricular activities for a holistic development. It strives to change the present society by honing students who are not only knowledgeable but also, “Maka-Diyos, Maka-tao, Maka-bayan, Maka-buhay and Maka-kalikasan.”

Source: Manila Bulletin Online

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