This month marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel, or CEGEPs as they are widely known. They are publicly funded pre‑university colleges in Quebec’s education system that are intended to make post-secondary education more accessible in Quebec. The festivities have been ongoing for the institutions celebrating, and Vanier College has made the most of it to improve the campus.
Several English Cegeps in Montreal will all be celebrating in their own ways. Vanier College built a new Learning Commons Library and a multidisciplinary simulation lab for Nursing and Respiratory Technology students. Though not quite 50 itself, John Abbott College will set up a Hall of Distinction to honor past employees, graduates and friends who helped build and promote the institution. As the 50th anniversary of CEGEPs precedes Dawson College‘s 50th by one year, they will be officially celebrating next year.
The cegep system was put in place by the province’s government of the day in 1967 as part of Quebec’s secular revamp of the education system after the Quiet Revolution and originally had just 12 facilities available. Today, Quebec offers 48, including five English language institutions.
A vital piece
Statistics show that graduates have a 94% placement rate, with 84% working in a field related to their training, and 82% are working full time.
« To date, 2 million college graduates have benefitted from the wonderful access to higher learning they enjoy at Vanier and other cegeps throughout the province. What an outstanding achievement,” said Vanier’s Academic Dean Annie-Claude Banville.
Their presence is particularly felt in smaller communities and outlying regions of Quebec as they have been town centers for learning, research and economic activity.
Next up is marking the anniversary by recommending that students and the public to attend a special gala event that will feature the concert by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. The anniversary show OSM Celebrates 50 years of Cegeps will be presented at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on Thursday, November 30, 8pm.