Urdaneta City University (UCU) started as a rewarding concept of Dr. Pedro T. Orata, world renowed educator and a Ramon Magsaysay awardee to establish an educational complex that will provide basic education all the way through higher education in a single compound, Its humble beginning contrasts its current status as a fast growing and lone local university in the province of Pangasinan. It started maximizing available resources to provide education to knowledge-hungry youth and young adults, believing on the principle of EDUCATION FOR ALL!
Indeed, as the first community college in the Philippines, UCU, formerly known as City Colleges of Urdaneta (CCU) and Urdaneta Community College (UCC) is a concrete and genuine proof of Dr.Orata's solid expression of his great love, faith and concern for the poor but capable and deserving Filipino youth who cannot afford collegiate schooling in the cities. Believing that the rural people are entitled to equal opportunities for and access to higher education with those in the cities, he founded the UCC in 1966 with Mayor Amadeo R. PErez Jr. and with the strong support of then Sangguniang Bayan using the proceeds of the 1966 Town fiesta celebration. Noteworthy was the contribution of Dr. Leoncio Ancheta, first Dean of UCC who assisted Dr. Orata in laying the groundwork for the College's formal operations. As a archetypal of the community colleges of United States of America, the College started with an enrolment of one hundred forty-four (144) students, who came from the rural areas. Apparently, most of the first students earned their way through college by driving tricycles before and after classes, working in the farms, serving as part-time maids and salesladies.
The College commenced its operation with the provisional permit to open a two-year General Education course granted by the Secretary of Education on Februay 4, 1966. The Secretary further approved the program for Non-formal Education; hence, short-term courses in agriculture and retail business for adults were also offered to assist them in enhancing their earning capabilities.
After two years, the first batch of General Education, 84 members, graduated. This paved the way to the opening of a four-year Education program which was granted in 1968.
Adhering to the philosophy of keeping pace with the changing needs in the academe, UCC offered degrees in Nursing in 1975, Commerce and Accountancy and Computer education in 1996. It also introduced in its course offering short-term courses in Midwifery (1973), Computer Education (1990) and Caregiver Training Program (2002).
Undoubtedly, the College is a unique institution. While it is a higher learning institution of the Urdaneta City, it remains self-sufficient to a steady growth. During its infancy, the facilities of the Urdaneta Community High School now known as Urdaneta City National High School (UCNHS) were utilized for its operation. This was based on Dr. Orata's principle of resource maximization and not to wait and stay idle while government is contemplating the provision of basic services. Otherwise, school children and public high school students in very remote places all over the country might be waiting until doomsday for a chance to go to school or to continue their schooling.
As the College grows and gains wide acceptance not only among the people of Urdaneta but even in neighboring towns, provinces, and cities, it survived supremely well so that it was able to acquire and build its own facilities.
As the first community college in the country, UCC proved its worth despite its limited resources. Many times, the College managed to be one of the top performing higher learning institutions in the field of education, nursing and midwifery not to mention the high rate of board passers for the past few years. With this, it continues to attract students as far as Abra, Aurora, Isabela, Ilocos, Nueva Vizcaya, Tarlac, Quezon, Mt. Province, Pampanga and other neighboring provinces.
When Urdaneta became a city on March 21, 1998, UCC likewise recognized the need to adopt a new name. Consequently, in 2001, Mayor Amadeo R. Perez, Jr. broadened the school's educational services and changed its name to City College of Urdaneta by virtue of Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution No. 61 which took effect on November 2001. In 2005, the name was further amended as the City Colleges of Urdaneta. From the time of its birth up to present the College continues to serve as a reservoir and source of manpower needs for the city, nearby towns and for neighboring provinces.
On January 13, 2004, CCU became the first Character School in Region I, inculcating in its students the need, not just for academic excellence, but more importantly, character transformation.
With four (4) decades of service, UCU now boasts of an enrolment of more than 6,000 students. From the borrowed classrooms, the College has now expanded to seven buildings. A newly-refurbished library, student centers, a multi-media library, and renovated rooms are just some of the features that UCU could now lay claim to. As the only local university in the province where people can avail an inexpensive tertiary education the University is located in San Vicente West, Urdaneta City on a one and a half (1.5) hectare of land which continue to expand with seven (7) academic buildings catering to varied curricular programs of the five (5) colleges. As a local university it continues to serve significantly as a potent source for the labor market.