Cégep à distance was created in 1991 by the Collège de Rosemont which had been mandated by the Ministère de l’Éducation to develop a distance education CEGEP. Initially known as the Centre collégial de formation à distance, Cégep à distance adopted its new name in 2002. In 2005, the ministry entrusted it with the mandate to develop distance education for the English-speaking community.
Cégep à distance has always made a point of adapting its teaching materials to the times. The cassettes and videotapes of the 1990s have now been replaced by modern interactive media.
Since 1991, Cégep à distance has been developing self-supporting asynchronous courses, with continuous registration and variable end dates. In these courses:
- Everything needed to complete the course is included in the course materials (self-supporting);
- Studies are customized, because the student studies at the most personally convenient time and place (asynchronous);
- Registration is continuous and students can complete the course at their own pace, without being placed in a cohort (continuous registration, variable end date).
Today, to better meet the needs of its clients, Cégep à distance is testing new methods of course distribution, both for students and to support the CEGEPs in the network. Cégep à distance strives to be an innovative, flexible, living and motivating learning environment that fosters the development of the full potential of its students.
Cégep à distance: 25 ans avec vous
This video (in French) was produced for the 25th anniversary of Cégep à distance. It reviews the CEGEP’s highest achievements and traces its path since its creation in 1991.
Cégep à distance through the history of distance education in Québec
The history of Cégep à distance has closely mirrored the development of distance education in Quebec. From the traditional correspondence course to today’s multimedia on-line courses, this progression has advanced through several important periods.
1946 : Creation of the Office des cours par correspondance
In 1946, when industrialization was taking off in Quebec, the ministère du Bien-être social et de la Jeunesse created the Office des cours par correspondance,’ to meet the growing demands for specialized training of workers, especially in the remote areas of the province, and to respond to the need for instructional material in French.
This institution changed its name several times over the ensuing decades. It eventually came under the jurisdiction of the Ministère de l’Éducation under the name Direction générale de la formation à distance (DGFD). This directorate oversaw distance education at the high school and college levels.
1972 : Creation of Téluq
In 1972, the board of governors of the Université du Québec created Télé-Université (now known as Téluq) – initially on an experimental basis. Twenty years later, Télé-Université was granted its letters patent.
1988: Statement from the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation
In 1988, in its statement on distance education in the educational system, the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation recommended entrusting the responsibility for distance education to the educational networks and promoting the creation of service centres at the high school and college levels.
1991: Creation of Cégep à distance
Inspired by Télé-Université, which had become a major player in distance education at the university level, the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) decided to further the development of distance education by entrusting an organization in the CEGEP network with a specific mandate to expand the distance education offerings within the province. In 1991, the Ministère de l’Éducation mandated the Collège de Rosemont to manage and develop the Centre collégial de formation à distance (CCFD), now known as Cégep à distance.
Although other colleges were interested in the field, Rosemont was the main provider of distance education at the college level. It had already been offering correspondence courses since 1974. In 1990-1991, it offered 17 courses and received approximately 2000 distance-education course enrolments, including 300 from 16 colleges that had service agreements with the CCFD.
1994 – Creation of the CLIFAD
In 1994, the Comité de liaison interordres en formation à distance (CLIFAD) was created to allow high school-, CEGEP- and university-level distance education groups to work together. The CLIFAD adopted the mission to promote distance education and defend its interests.
1995: Creation of SOFAD
In 1994, the DGFD accepted its final student enrolments. In 1995, a group of school boards created the Société de formation à distance des commissions scolaires du Québec or SOFAD. In 1996, the Ministère de l’Éducation officially gave SOFAD the mandate for distance education at the secondary school level.
2002: The CCFD becomes the Cégep à distance
2005 – Cégep à distance given the mandate to serve the Anglophone community
Today – College-level distance education revisited
The popularity of distance education just keeps on growing. While correspondence courses were the method of choice for nearly 50 years, distance education institutions have quickly embraced the arrival of the Internet and new technologies, without compromising the quality of their educational offering.