The coming into being of the West Visayas State University (WVSU) dates back to 1924 when it became an independent and distinct teacher training institution known as the Iloilo Normal School (INS). However, its birth can be traced back as early as 1902 when it was opened as a tributary normal school with secondary school instruction.
In 1916, it was a secondary school complete with elementary and training departments. It was only, however, in 1924, with the completion of its main building (now Quezon Hall) and the laboratory school building when INS became a distinct educational institution itself. The year likewise, became a kick off point for a more established secondary normal school program, which eventually became a two-year collegiate training program and still later in 1952 a four year normal college course.
In 1954, through RepublicActNo. 375, the Bachelor of Science in Education major in Elementary Education was granted. It became a pioneer and premier teacher-training institution in Western Visayas, a prestige it continues to enjoy with academic programs catering to local and global needs. Truth to this is its being named Center of Excellence (1994) by the late Sen. Blas P. Ople and Center of Excellence for Teacher Education (1995) by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The INS became the West Visayas State College by virtue of R.A. 4189 in 1965, and commenced the offering of the Bachelor of Science in Education for Elementary and Secondary teaching. Bachelor of Arts; and Master’s in Education. It was in the same year when the Graduate School and the School of Arts and Sciences were in place. The Secondary Laboratory School was opened in 1969. In September 1972, RA 6596 authorized the offering of University level courses in education, arts and sciences. The period from 1974, its Golden Jubilee year to the early 1980s was one of marked growth, witnessing the establishment of the School of Medicine (1 975), School of’ Agriculture (1976), and School of Nursing (1977). The doctoral program of the Graduate School was likewise, introduced in 1977. The B.S. Biological Science, AS Mass Communications, and B. S. Forestry programs took off in 1981. On January 27, 1986, PD. 2019 converted the College into the West Visayas State University, integrating the Iloilo National College of Agriculture (INCA) into its system. In 1987, the University acquired the Don Benito V. Lopez Memorial Hospital, which became the WVSU Hospital, a 150-bed tertiary, teaching and training hospital. The University further established in 1993, the Physical Education, Sports, Culture and Recreation Center which later became the degree-granting PESCAR Institute and later College of PESCAR in 2000. Strict observance of the trilogy of functions became evident in the University as early as 1986, when the Office of Research and Non-Formal Education was established followed by the Office of Extension in 1988. In 1993, the Department of Mass Communications became the degree granting Institute of Mass Communications, which was later converted into a College in 2000. The Diamond Jubilee in 1999 was ushered in by the offering of more academic programs: the Bachelor in Cooperatives Management (1997) and the Bachelor of Science in Information Management and Bachelor of Science in In formation Technology (1998). In 2000, the Higher Education Modernization Act (1997) integrated into the University four CHED supervised schools in Calinog, Janiuay, Lambunao, and Pototan. In 2001, the WVSU Board of Regents and the Department of Health (DOH) approved the conversion of the hospital to a 300-bed WVSU Medical Center that it is today. Likewise, in 2001, the Bachelor in Statistics and Research program was introduced. The University Distance Education program through the Diploma in Teaching (DlT) course began in Summer 2003. By the first semester of 2003 four new courses were commenced: Bachelor/n Hotel and Restaurant Management, Bachelor in Broadcasting, Bachelor in Journalism, and Bachelor of Science in Development Communication. In 2004, the University instituted its Verticalization Scheme in academic programs through the operations of the graduate schools in the College of Education and the College of Arts & Sciences.