June 15, 1923 marked the beginning of an envisioned commitment of educating the young in Carcar, Cebu through the dynamic leadership of Father Anastacio del Corro, fondly called “Padre Tationg.” He was competently assisted by four Belgian sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM) congregation headed by Sister Marie Allix.
Initially, the school opened its door to 57 students coming from North and south of Carcar and Cebu City. The school year 1924-1925 was a period with steady growth as Kindergarten, a complete Elementary Course (Grades 1 to 7), and First Year High School was offered. It was in 1927 that the first commencement exercises were held.
To meet the demand of the growing population, the physical plant was improved with the construction of additional buildings in 1927. This enabled the school to open its Secondary
Course with dual curricula, the General and the Vocational Secondary Courses which were approved by the Bureau of Education. Enrollees in the Vocational Secondary Course earned units in Business English, Geography, Bookkeeping, Typing, and Stenography. This curricular offering was concluded in 1930 due to lack of enrollees.
Undaunted by this turn of events, a new vocational course was offered in response to request of parents who wished their daughters to be trained in becoming refined ladies skilled in home management. The school years 1931 to 1941 brought some changes with the opening of a complete Home Economics Secondary Course.
Despite the turbulent years of the World War II (1941-1945), the Kindergarten and the Grade School continued in operation. It was in 1942 when the girl’s high school reopened to allow the senior students to graduate. Rapid development marked the years during the Liberation Period. Religion has become the core of the curriculum fostering virtues, graces, and high regard for family life. Spiritual, moral, and intellectual growth has become its focus. A coeducational setup was introduced by Fr. Pastor Ybañez.
In May 1976, the Congregacion de las Religiosas Misioneras de Santo Domingo (CRMSD) took over the management of the school upon the invitation of His Eminence Julio Cardinal Rosales. In 1993, St. Catherine’s School opened its higher education department offering Bachelor in Elementary Education, Bachelor in Secondary Education, and Bachelor of Arts (major in English). Renamed St. Catherine’s College in 1994, it had B.S. in Computer Engineering, B. S. in Computer Science, Associate in Computer Science, Associate in Computer Secretarial, B. S. in Accountancy, and B.S. in Business Administration as additional programs under the close supervision of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). On the other hand, the school also offered technical-vocational courses in Nursing Aide, General Radio Telecommunications Operator (GRCO), and Electronics Communications Technician (ECT) under the umbrella of TESDA.
When the Centennial Building was constructed in 1995 to house the College Department, which is steadily growing in enrollees, BSOA, ACT, BSCS and BSIT replaced Nursing Aide, GRCO, ECT and BSA.
A big leap was undertaken in 1996 when the graduate education program was offered. The academic development propelled St. Catherine’s College into greater heights in the acquisition of knowledge and the quest for excellence to the education arena for global competitiveness.
In 2006, a new three-story college building was constructed. It was named after the Archbishop of Cebu, Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, D.D. A solemn blessing of the said building happened on January 17, 2007, led by Cardinal Vidal himself. The Higher Education Department was transferred to this building in May 2007. Administrative offices and the faculty room are located on the ground floor. The Computer Laboratory is housed on the second floor and the College Library, the Research Office is found on the third floor.