A Brief History of DMMMSU

            The Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University started as small agricultural high school known as the La Union Agricultural School (LUAS) started by virtue of R.A. 2692 on June 18, 1960. Eight years later, it was converted into an agricultural college called the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial College of Agriculture by virtue of R.A. 5310, in memory of the late Don Mariano Marcos who met his untimely death within the vicinity of the main the campus of the University. On December 10, 1974, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed P.D. 615 converting the DMMMCA into a state college. On April 12, 1979, by virtue of P.D. 1617, the Balaoan School of Fisheries in Paraoir, Balaoan, La, Union was integrated into the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State College (DMMMSC).

After seven years of being a state college, the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University was established to provide advanced instruction in the arts, agriculture, fishery, engineering, and natural sciences as well as in other technological and professional fields, promote research, and engage in extension work.  Presidential Decree 1778 issued by then President Marcos  on January 15, 1981 integrated five (5) colleges namely: the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State College (DMMMSC) as the main campus; (2) the La Union of Arts and Trades (LUSAT) in San Fernando founded in 1907, as its College of Engineering and Technology; and (3) the Southern Ilocos Polytechnic States Colleges (SIPSC).  SIPSC which is the base college in the southern La Union was created by P.D. 1176 in July 28, 1977 that earlier integrated the Southern La Union National High School in Agoo, the Sto. Tomas Colleges of Fisheries, and the Rosario National Agriculture School in Rosario, La Union and reconstituted  into the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fisheries, and the Colleges of Agriculture, respectively.  Meanwhile, the Community Colleges of La Union (CCLU) in San Fernando was identified as the College of Liberal Arts and (5) the Sapilang Elementary School, formerly under the Department of Education, Culture, and  Sports (DECS), was integrated into the main campus as its Laboratory Elementary School.

Dr. Bienvenido P. Agpaoa  became the first Don Mariano Marcos State University President until his untimely death on October 3, 1988. His stewardship was defined by massive academic and infrastructure development.  He was succeeded by Dr. Manuel T. Corpus, the former President of the Cagayan State University who was formally installed in a turnover ceremony as the second DMMMSU President on February 18, 1989. During the interim period from Dr. Agpaoa’s death and Dr. Corpus’ assumption into office, the University was managed by Dr. Pablito G. Picardal, Vice President for Administration as Officer-in-Charge.

When Dr. Manuel T. Corpus assumed the Presidency, the mandate was clear for him. The University must be responsive to the needs, problems, and concerns of the constituents and community. The University’s trek towards modernization and computerization was reflective of his grasp of the advent of Information Age, and its necessity in an educational institution. He restructured the University in 1993 in accordance with Six-Year Development Plan (1993- 1998). It was reorganized into three major campuses namely: North La Union  Campus in Bacnotan as the main campus, Mid-La Union Campus in the City of San Fernando, and South La Union Campus in Agoo.

Two other operating units also catered the instructional function of the University: (1) the Graduate College based in the City of San Fernando with centers at the North and South La Union Campuses, and (2) the Don Mariano Marcos State University Open University System (DOUS) which was created by virtue of BOR Resolution No 98-024 on March 26, 1998.

The University has 69 regular academic programs broken down into six (6) post-graduate programs in Philosophy and Education, 23 master’s degree programs, and 60 undergraduate degree programs. It has 65 specialization areas, nine (9) post-secondary non-degree programs, a laboratory program for both the secondary and elementary levels, eight (8) evening opportunity classes that cater to the out-of-school youth, and DOUS which provides curricular offerings from the graduate level to include two (2) Master’s degree, one (1) Bachelor program, and Certificates in Early Childhood Education, Teaching, and Entrepreneurship.

On July 14, 1999, Dr. Dionisio Gat Ducusin was appointed as the third  DMMMSU President for one and a half years serving the unexpired term of Dr. Corpus.

On January 10, 2001, Dr. Ernesto R. Gapasin assumed his post as the fourth DMMMSU President.  Under the stewardship of Dr. Gapasin, a dynamic and development-oriented leader, DMMMSU made its rightful place among the best and finest institution of higher educations in the country.

Shortly after Dr. Gapasin’s retirement, then Vice-President for Research and Extension, Dr. Florentina S. Dumlao served as Officer-in-Charge of the University until the appointment of the fourth DMMMSU President in the person of Atty. Benjamin P. Sapitula in July 2011.  Dr. Sapitula is the incumbent president to date and in his short stint, he has made DMMMSU land as one of the CHED-adjudged Leading Institutions of the country.


DMMMSU-College of Graduate Studies- Agoo

A Historical Perspective

Pre-DMMMSU: The Humble Beginning


PD 1179 mandated the creation of Southern Ilocos Polytechnic State College (SIPSC) which offered baccalaureate and graduate education.

The Graduate Studies (GS) served as the apex of learning in the University under the Advanced Education Program.  Graduate education in Agoo Campus started as early as June 1979 through an Office Memorandum of then SIPSC President Dr. Rufino S. Eslao as a program for faculty development of the newly created SIPSC. The teachers/instructors then urgently needed professional growth to suit the qualifications needed for a Higher Education Institution. Likewise, the GS provided graduate education to elementary and secondary teachers, principals, and supervisors in the service area. The South La Union Campus (then the seat of SIPSC) offered Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education (MATEA) by virtue of Memorandum 1978-79 on June 23, 1978.

Board Resolution No. 1-78 formalized and implemented the operations of Graduate School.  Under Memorandum 1978-15, the college offered Master of Arts in Educational Management (MAEDM) (Plan A and B); Human Resources Development and Planning (HRDP); and Mathematics Education (MAME).

Graduate Education in DMMMSU

On January 15, 1981 the Southern Ilocos Polytechnic State College was merged with other educational institutions in La Union to become the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University by virtue of PD 1778 with its first president, Dr. Bienvenido P. Agpaoa.  It has a mandate to provide advanced instruction in the arts, agriculture, forestry, fishery, engineering, and natural sciences as well as in the technological and professional fields to promote research and engage in extension work.

Thus, all academic programs, both graduate and undergraduate, were absorbed by the University as academic programs including those under the then SIPSC and later renamed as DMMMSU-College of Arts and Sciences [DMMMSU-CAS].   The Graduate School continued to operate under the auspices of the new University administration.  The unprecedented change of the College to a University did not dampen the spirit to develop, design, and institute new curricular programs.  New specializations were designed, approved. and offered in the Graduate School.

The initial courses offered were Master of Arts degrees in Science Education  [BR No. 83, s. 1980];   Mathematics Education [BR No. 82, s. 1980];   Educational Management and Human Resource Development and Planning [BR No. 81, s. 1980]; and Teaching Music [BR No. 261, s. 1980]. The first group of graduates in 1980 was composed of five Master of Arts in Educational Management.

In 1985, the Master in Development Administration [MDA] was approved by virtue of BR No. 256-84.   An added provision to the resolution was to award a Certificate in Development Administration [CDA] after finishing 24 units of the prescribed curriculum.   In 1988, Master of Arts in Special Education [MASpEd] and  Language Teaching [MALT] were approved by virtue of BR No. 419-88.

In 1994, the first doctoral program, Doctor of Philosophy in Science (PhD SciEd) Education, was approved through BR No. 94-482-A. In 1995, Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling was approved through BR No. 95-013-A.  In 1998, Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration [EdAd] and Master of Arts in Physical Education [MAPE] through BOR No.98-004 became operational.  These programs were approved during the incumbency of the then president, Dr. Manuel T. Corpus

Periodically, the curricular programs underwent reviews, revisions, and enrichment as well as the offering of new programs relevant with the changes and needs of the human resource in the service area and in the region.  During the term of Dr. Ernesto R. Gapasin, the MAPE program was subsequently revised through BOR 2000-36.  At the onset of the new millennium, Master of Arts in Teaching Home Economics [MAT-THE] was offered by virtue of BR No. 2000-36.

Administratively, the University kept on soaring and growing, thus, the renamed Graduate School also developed.  Board Resolution No. 95-034 on June 1, 1995 created a dynamic change in the administration of the College.  The three Graduate Schools in the three Campuses of the University were merged as a composite unit of MLUC under the administrative supervision of then Campus Chancellor Dr. Ernesto R. Gapasin and academically headed by a Dean.  The dean was backstopped by an associate dean designated in each Center – Agoo, San Fernando, and Bacnotan – which strongly coordinated to evolve into distinct centers of advanced education in the three major campuses – SLUC, MLUC, and NLUC.

In its search for identity, the College underwent another dynamic change in its organizational set-up.  Board Resolution No. 98-023 authorized the College for another re-organization, setting itself as an autonomous operating unit under the Office of the University President.  The change made the Center as one of the three operating units of the Graduate College and manned by an Associate Dean who is under the administrative supervision of the College Dean.

On June 14, 2001, the Graduate College Organizational structure, approved through BOR No. 2001-138, instituted the GC Dean to be at par with the Chancellors of the Campuses and the Associate Deans are recognized as members of the University Administrative Council.

The Graduate College-Agoo continues to carve its niche in the region in the country and has made a name when it comes to offering advanced education. All these developments and achievements were brought forth through the dynamism of service and leadership in the charge of Deans/Associate Deans namely: Dr. Remigio S. Aquino, first dean, 1979-1981; Dr. Lucia E. Domondon,1982-1986; Dr. Amelia O. Bacuñgan,1987-1988; Dr. Felomina D. Eslao,1989-1996;   Dr. Grace D. Runas,1996-2009; Dr. Remedios C. Neroza, 2009-2013; and Dr. Emmanuel J. Songcuan, 2013-present.

Change in the GC organization was inevitable. The Graduate College underwent another organization scheme within the context of BOR Resolution No. 2005-22 that paved way for Campus Vertical Institution of Graduate Programs. This is in line with the DMMMSU Rationalized Organizational Structure. The resolution highlighted the return of the Graduate Programs in the respective campuses of the University wherein the GC programs of Agoo and the other Centers were under the administrative lookout of each of the three campuses.

In a Presidential Memo issued by Dr. Ernesto R. Gapasin on December 29, 2006, the GC resources (human, material, and financial) was transferred to the campuses and was implemented effective January 9, 2007.  The college was also renamed as the College of Graduate Studies (CGS).


The College of Graduate Studies: The University’s Seal of Quality Performance


As a testament of the Graduate Studies quest for quality assurance, it was evaluated as one of the top 10 Superior Advanced Educational Institutions in the country by CHED-Evaluation of Graduates Education in the Philippines (EGEP) in October, 2003 and the only Superior Graduate Education institution in Region I.

The GS-Agoo Campus underwent series of accreditation. It underwent voluntary accreditation and was awarded Level I status on December 7, 1995 and subsequently awarded Level II on June 27, 1996 and Re-Accredited Status on July 30, 1999 by AACCUP.  On February 15, 2006, it received the AACCUP Second Resurvey Level III Accreditation (Phase I) and qualified for Level III (Phase 2) last August 30, 2007.  In the current year, the revitalized College of Graduate Studies makes a bid for Level IV (Phase-I) Accreditation.


The CGS Accreditation Trail



Accreditation Status

Actual Visit



Voluntary Accreditation

February 28 – March 1, 1995

December 7, 1995


Formal Survey

June 16 -18, 1996

June 27, 1996

Reaccredited status

March 11-14, 1999

July 30, 1999


Second Resurvey Visit(Level III – Phase 1)

January 26-28, 2006

February 15, 2006


Level III – Phase 2

August 30, 2007

September 13, 2007




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