Passion for excellence
The Fernandez Colleges, initially called the Fernandez Institute of Technology, was a brainchild of spouses Marcelo and Lourdes Fernandez. The couple came home after spending 13 years abroad as university professors and manager of Coopers & Lybrand, then the biggest management and accounting firm in the world. Realizing the incipient rise of technology for global competition, the couple decided to return and devote their energies to technology – based education in the country.
The Fernandez Institute of Technology, true to the mission of the spouses, initially started with seven TESDA vocational â€“ technical courses â€“ Welding, Automotive, Mechanical Technology, Computer Secretarial, Electronics and Computer Service Technician. About 400 students responded to its clarion call when it opened on May 17, 1994.
Additional TESDA courses were opened as more students flocked to the school. Courses added were Basic Seaman Course, Business Technology, Physical Therapy, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Certified Nursing Assistant and Maritime Transportation Technology.
The school became very active in TESDA affairs. Mr. Fernandez even became the Chairman of the TESDA Regional Committee, Regional Competency and Assessment Committee and Vice Chairman of the Regional Skills Training and Development Foundation.
In addition, Mr. Fernandez was elected President of the Regional Association of Technical Schools from 1995 to 2006, as well as the Bulacan Association of Technical Schools from 1996 â€“ 2004.
The students were very active in skills competition, winning provincial as well as regional awards. Within the school, Quiz Bowls were regularly held, honing up their knowledge and skills.
In 1995, the school opened a branch in Baliuag to cope with its expanding population. Through a school loan from Plantersbank, a fiveâ€“storey building was constructed in the center of Baliuag, Bulacan, the thriving Business Center of Northern Bulacan. This enabled the school to cater to more students.
By 2000, the Fernandez Institute of Technology was awarded the Centennial National Kabalikat Award, together with the Meralco Foundation Institute, for outstanding performance in technical education.
Over the years, the school’s graduates have shown their outstanding performances in competitive exams in various examinations for jobs in Australia, Austria, Germany and the United States. This is a proof of the school’s success in its mission to provide more access to foreign jobs to the Filipino youth.
By 1999, more and more graduates of the school asked management to offer four â€“ year courses to enable them to continue their schooling. Management responded vigorously to this dream of its technical and vocational graduates.
Upon application with the Commission on Higher Education the school’s name was changed to Fernandez College of Arts and Technology. Courses applied for were BS Accountancy, Business Administration, BS Computer Science, Computer Engineering, BS Education, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mass Communication.
Already, the Fernandez College has established a good record in the professional board examinations: Criminology, about 40 percent passing rate, Physical Therapy, 100 percent; Education, about 50 percent and Certified Public Accountancy, about 30 percent. Its first batch of Nursing students are waiting for the Board results which are expected in August.
The College’s HRM, BS Accountancy and BSBA trainees in Singapore have been rated excellent by their respected employers. To date, about 200 students have done their training abroad, and about half have been asked to return to work permanently in Singapore and elsewhere.
The College expanded further its CHED-approved courses to include are: Bachelor of Laws, BS Nursing, BS Maritime Education, Midwifery and Hotel and Restaurant Management.
In keeeping with the need of the times, the college opened the Caregiver Course and set up the first and the only Caregiver Assessment Center in Bulacan. In addition, Assessment Centers in Household Services NC II (for Supermaid in Europe and the Middle East), Health Care Services NC II (for Certified Nursing Assistant and Practical Nursing graduates), Food and Beverage Services and Bartending NC II (for HRM graduates/students) were also set up.
For its joint CHED â€“ TESDA ladderized courses program, Fernandez College was the first college in Bulacan to offer ladderized courses in Information Technology and Hotel and Restaurant Management. The certificates for the courses were handed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in MalacaÃ±ang last July 2006.
The College continues to be active in TESDA Committees, as well as professional associations like the Central Luzon Association of Higher Educational Institutions (CLASSHEI) as Vice President; Central Luzon Council of Business School Administrators (CLOBA), President; Philippine Association of Higher Education and Technical Institutions (PAHETI), Past President and now Board Member; and Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice President for Planning and Development.
The College continues to be an RQAT for CHED, assisting in inspecting colleges and universities which are putting up courses in Accountancy and Business Administration.
With all its achievements a corporate plan has been adopted for the College to achieve university status in 10 to 12 years. Apart from its two campuses, the plan envisages an additional campus, as well as a hospital for its medical courses. Research plans and faculty development programs are now being put up.
Currently, the College has six flagship courses recognized by CHED: 1. BS Hotel and Restaurant Management 2. BS Criminology 3. BS Maritime Transportation 4. Bachelor of Laws 5. BS Accountancy and 6. BS Nursing.
On TESDAâ€™s courses, The College has four flagship courses: 1. Automotive Servicing 2. Hotel and Restaurant Management (which will be soon changed to eight skills qualification areas) 3. Basic Seaman Course and 4. Certified Nursing Assistant.
The six CHED flagship courses are the nucleus of its bid to become a university.
With globalization and the terrorism boom, the College expects HRM graduates to benefit from worldwide as well as local tourism. On terrorism, The College expects more Criminology and Law graduates to be on the high list of needed personnel in the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The increase in global business, including sea cargo business, th College expects more Seamen and Maritime officers riding on the high crest of demand for them, especially the graduates of Fernandez Colleges.
The greying population of the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe is expected to increase the demand for more nurses and allied personnel.
Realizing this, Fernandez Colleges is boosting its courses for nurses and allied medical professionals.