Way back in 1932, an enterprising group of educators composed of Angel Albano, Cresencio Barangan, Maximo Caday, Manuela Romero, Rufina Mariano and Nicolas Nicolas pooled their hard-earned savings to put up and incorporate the first private non-sectarian educational institution in Ilocos Norte known as the Northwestern Academy.
The operation of the school was interrupted in 1945-1948 with the outbreak of World War II. Upon resumption, a 12 room building, the first it can call its own was constructed to accommodate the influx of students. In 1949, the academy became Northwestern College with Apolinario Aquino as President. Opening of new courses followed namely Associate in Surveying, Bachelor of Laws, BS Commerce, Technical Engineering, Industrial Education, Master of Arts in Education, BS Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.