A message from our Director General, Angela Burgos
In Quebec, students graduate from high school a full year earlier than their counterparts elsewhere in North America. This means they are heading to college with a full year less schooling and a full year less maturity than the rest.
So, it’s really no wonder that nearly 60% of students fail courses in their first semester of Cegep, or that only about 65% of students entering Cegep end-up graduating from Cegep at all. In fact, it’s entirely predictable.
At sixteen or seventeen, most students have never experienced what it means to study independently, without the guidance and structure they relied on in high school. What’s more, when a student enters Cegep, his or her parents are no longer kept in the loop about their performance or attendance, so the role they may once have played in coaching their child is greatly diminished. They may assume that everything is fine, when, in reality, it isn’t.
Here is an all-too-common scenario:
A student enters Cegep at age 17, having coasted successfully in high school without having to think about self-managing her studies. After a few weeks, as mid-terms approach, she discovers that she is overwhelmed by her course load and fails an exam or two. She doesn’t ask for help, because she has never had to before, so she falls further and further behind. She feels hopeless and depressed, because she never experienced any difficulties in high school. She blames herself and does not know where to turn. She considers dropping-out.
At Centennial College, our goal is to stop this cycle.
We know that successful students are made, not born, and that you can’t expect students to develop effective learning behaviours and become autonomous and resilient learners on their own. That’s why we teach our students how to develop the skills they need to succeed in college, such as planning, time-management, self-discipline, perseverance, stress management, and self-advocacy – skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.