In the English-language sector of Quebec's educational system, students were
formerly able to go directly from high school (after completion of Grade XI)
to university. In 1967, the
Quebec government passed the General and Vocational Colleges Act, providing for
a new level of education following high school, the collegial level. Each college
is an independent
public corporation, separate from both high schools and universities. These community
colleges, commonly called CEGEPs after the initials of the French name, "Collège
d'enseignement général et professionnel", are distinctive institutions in Quebec.
They offer two-year general programs, leading to university studies, and three-year
programs serving a wide variety of interests. Tuition-free, the junior colleges
are open to all residents of Quebec who have completed secondary level and who
can meet the standards required for successful completion of the collegial programs.
They are also open to
foreign students who pay fees currently set at about $3600 CDN per semester.
Champlain Regional College, the fourth of the English language colleges, was established on April 7, 1971.
The College is named after Samuel de Champlain: seventeenth century explorer, fur trader, writer and far-sighted administrator of New France.
With its three widely separated locations, Champlain was the first regional college in the CEGEP network.