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Brief History

The slow growth of the Philippines may be partly attributed to the educational system. It has increasingly leaned towards courses, which prepare students for work abroad, or courses which are not relevant to the needs of the economy.

In the tertiary level in particular, sectarian schools have catered mostly to the elite, forgetting the poor in society, which comprise a larger portion of the population and must therefore be given priority. It has also concentrated in the teaching function, neglecting research and community extension.

Realizing this defect in the system, Notre Dame University together with Notre Dame of Midsayap College and Notre Dame of Jolo College sought the assistance of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) for a redirection through the establishment of the Community College in the three campuses.

CEAP was able to get the assistance of the Association of Canadian Community College for the projects with funding from the CIDA. The Community College project is therefore a pilot project of the CEAP which will be duplicated in the other CEAP schools if implemented successfully in the three Notre Dame schools.

The creation of the Community College is in line with the philosophy of education of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the administrators of the three schools involved in the project. This philosophy is expressed in the OMI Philippine Provincial Congress of 1997: 

"… We believe that our service should be characterized by a preference for the poor by the life of solidarity with the people of our times and by a spirit creativity that leaves nothing undated in order to make Christ known so that the kingdom He established may be accepted in the hearts of all people and may be visible through search for the realization of the total integral development and authentic liberation of all people."

The college then was composed of the following institutes:

  • Community Extension Services
  • Socio-Economic Research Center (SERC)
  • Small Business Institute (SBI)
  • Skills Training Center 

In 1996, the Socio-Economic Research Center was renamed University Research Center (URC) and became a separate office. In 2001, the college was renamed Community Extension Services (CES), Small Business Institute (SBI), and Skills Training Center (STC); then in 2008, it was renamed Office of Community Development with the same mandate and functions of CES, SBI, and STC.

Skill Training Center

Offers Regular and Community-based training on the following courses:

  • Automotive Servicing NC II
  • Electrical Installation Maintenance NC II
  • Plumbing NC II
  • Computer System Servicing NC II
  • Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (PACU/CRE) NC II
  • Bread and Pastry NC II
  • Food Processing NC II
  • Electronic Products Assembly and Servicing NC II
  • Driving NC II
  • Personal Computer Operations


General Objectives

The general objective of the Office of Community Development is to facilitate community empowerment for the integral human development. Specifically, it aims to:

  • Offer innovative training program addressing non-traditional clientele responsive to developmental needs of the community;
  • Work towards the conscientization of women and men, equitable distribution of benefits and equal access to opportunities through the judicious use of resources in    organized cooperative effort;
  • Provide a functional Academic Community Extension Program aimed at faculty-students formation in the service of the community;
  • Involve the university community participating in policy decision-making and program implementation in the wider community;
  • Link with government business and industry in terms of serving their research and
  • training needs and providing continuing education to bring them up to date with current trends and technology.


These objectives are achieved through the functions of the following units:

Community Extension Services

  • Undertakes community development projects for social transformation in Mindanao

Small Business Institute 

  • Provides short-term livelihood trainings, enterprise development and micro-financing program and other activities for the development of small businesses in Cotabato City, Region XII and ARMM

Skills Training Center

  •  Offers short-term technical/vocational education and training, seminars and other trainings identified by the community and sponsoring agencies.

Specific Objectives

1.     The programs of the Community Involvement and Services empower the community through the efforts of the students and faculty of NDU. Under these programs are the University Extension Program (UEP), Academic community Extension Program (ACEP), National Service Training Program (NSTP).

The Continuing Education is for the professional, career, and personal development of people in the community. The target client is the general public. Thus, it addresses different levels of education from cooking class for housewives to management techniques for AB or MA degree holders.

The Community Education includes a program of courses identified in the community needs assessment with the end in view of providing employment for women, unemployed and disadvantaged members of the community.

Sponsored Programs are courses identified by cooperatives, agencies, and other organizations as necessary for their business or activities. The courses will thus be developed to meet their specific needs especially since they will be the ones to fund the program. The participants will be identified by the sponsoring agencies or will come from applicants who meet their criteria.

The Youth Outreach University Program (YOU-Makes a Difference) is a scholarship program for out-of-school youth (OSY) in Cotabato City and Maguindanao aged 12-24 years old who are interested in enrolling in alternative learning and short-term programs at Notre Dame University-Skills Training Center. The program’s main objective is to provide opportunities for OSCYs to become literate, skilled, and productive workforce, with positive attitudes and work habits and value-laden individuals.

YOU Program


Youth Outreach University Program (YOU Makes a Difference) was launched in November 2003, as a program of Notre Dame University to cater to out-of-school youth in Cotabato City and Maguindanao specifically on their education and training needs. 

The Youth Outreach University Program (YOU-Makes a Difference) is a scholarship program for out-of-school youth (OSY) in Cotabato City and Maguindanao aged 12-24 years old who are interested in enrolling in alternative learning and short-term programs at Notre Dame University-Skills Training Center. The program’s main objective is to provide opportunities for OSCYs to become literate, skilled, and productive workforce, with positive attitudes and work habits and value-laden individuals. 


November 2003- March 2004. First batch of 30 trainees took the five-month Computer Encoding and Operation as their course. This was in partnership with the Notre Dame Educational Association-Miserior Program. 

August 2004-October 2005. Furniture Making Course was opened to 90 OSYs. The project was a 14-month integrated technical skills training. Its primary aim was to address both the needs of the poor young people from rural and urban areas for employable skills, and the requirement of industry for skilled manpower with positive attitudes and work habits. This training was in partnership with the Consuelo Foundation, International Youth Foundation (IYF)/Makati and the Cotabato Livelihood and Furniture Association, Incorporated. 

June 2005-December 2007. Another batch of skills training in Computer Literacy Operation, Automotive Mechanics Course, Building Wiring Installation and Food and Beverage Services was opened. A total of 300 OSCYSs from Cotabato City and Maguindanao benefited from the program. This training was in partnership with Consuelo Foundation and Education and Livelihood Skills Alliance (ELSA). 

August 2008-May 2009. Sixty OSYs were accepted in Personal Computer Operations Course and Food and Beverage Services Course under the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao-Integrated Technical Education (BEAM-ITE) Scholarship Program. This was in partnership with AusAid. 

April 2008-June 2011. A total of 2,058 Out-of-School Children and Youth (OSCY), aged 12-24, were accepted in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program. They came from 15 barangays in Cotabato City. These OSCYs were given interventions on Basic Literacy (BL), Philippine Education Placement Test (PEPT) and Accreditation and Equivalency (A & E).

Five hundred seventy-one (571) OSYs, aged 17-24, were the beneficiaries of the Workforce Development Program. These OSYs took up Cellphone Technician Course, Cosmetology, and Food Technology. Their formal training ended in December of 2010. These programs were conducted in partnership with USAID through the EQuALLS 2 Proejct, ELSA-IYF and Consuelo Foundation.

January 2011-June 2011. Two hundred five (205) OSYs were taken into another batch of training in January 2011. They took up Computer Hardware Servicing NC II, Building Wiring Installation NC II, Food Processing, Cosmetology and Cellphone Technician Course. 

Program Components

  • Integrated Technical Education
  • Alternative Learning System
  • Skills for Life Sessions
  • Life Skills for Employability
  • Adolescent Reproductive Health
  • Youth Civic Engagements

Small Business Institute


The Notre Dame University – Small Business Institute (NDU-SBI) was established in 1984 in recognition of the tripod roles of academic institutions of teaching, research and community extension. The institute’s principal purpose is to establish, promote and develop micro and small-scale economic enterprises in Region 12 particularly in Cotabato City. It started as a joint undertaking of the government represented by the Department of Trade and Industry, Cotabato Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Notre Dame University.

In furtherance of this thrust, NDU-SBI conducts various training programs to help small-scale entrepreneurs in the region to upgrade the quality of their products, improve their operations, avail of market opportunities among others. It facilitates entrepreneurs’ fora and promotes linkages with relevant government as well as non-government agencies.


The NDU-SBI Enterprise Development and Micro-Financing programs envisions the promotion of small and medium enterprises in the region.

Major Programs

  1. Enterprise Development. This program provides micro and small-scale entrepreneurs quality training opportunities by conducting managerial, entrepreneurial and skills training.
  2. Micro-Finance. This program provides micro and small-scale entrepreneurs a seed capital in order to develop a system where people can build-up and control productive capital.

Target Clientele

  1. Market Vendors (e.g. fruits, vegetables, fish, meat)
  2. Small Entrepreneurs (e.g. bag making, bakeshop)
  3. Unemployed Women and Men
  4. NDU Faculty and Staff

Credit Windows

  1. Faculty and Staff Credit Program (FSCP). Fund is exclusive for loaning to regular NDU Faculty and Staff who would like to start a new business or expand an existing business.
  2. Micro-Finance Credit Program (MCP). Fund is intended for medium entrepreneurs and groups, micro-entrepreneurs, and for mini-micro entrepreneurs
    (e.g. sari-sari store)


General Guidelines in Acquiring a Loan

  1. NDU –SBI Loans are intended for productive purposes.
  2. All loans will have a 3% monthly interest to be computed on a straight line method
  3. During the first year and diminishing after a year.
  4. A penalty of 1% will be charged for all delayed payments.
  5. Loan processing for all approved applications will have a maximum for three days
  6. Subject to the availability of the authorized check signatories.
  7. Approved loan applicants are required to issue post-dated checks and a collateral; in some cases a guarantor may also be required
  8. A service fee is required for all applicants depending on the amount of the approved loan.
  9. Notarization fee will be paid by the applicant. 
  10. Applications are accepted from Monday to Thursday. 



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