A 6th year in high school that allows you to avoid CEGEP

Private colleges expect a surge in demand for their 6-year programe secondary, which makes it possible to avoid the obligations of the new law on the official language in English-speaking CEGEPs.

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“We have a lot of requests for next year. Especially with law 96… It’s an issue, ”says the director general of the Académie Étoile du Nord in Laval, Josée Pépin.

In Quebec, the school curriculum includes only five years of secondary studies. In the rest of Canada and the United States, there is a sixth since there is no CEGEP between high school and university.

Several private schools therefore offer the 6e year, known as grade 12 in English, which generally leads to an Ontario secondary school diploma.

Students can then enter directly into universities around the world, but also in Quebec, such as McGill and Concordia, in Montreal, without going through CEGEP.

The new An Act respecting the official and common language of Quebec, French (Bill 96) obliges students in English CEGEPs to take more French courses.

According to a report by Global News, the anxiety generated by this new arrangement would have caused the Kuper Academy, in Kirkland, on the island of Montreal, to move forward the announcement of its new program of 6e secondary.

The management of the Kuper Academy did not respond to our interview request.


The newspaper spoke to officials at four other private colleges that already offer the 6e year.

At the Alexander von Humboldt school in Baie-d’Urfé, classes are given in German from kindergarten to the end of high school. Each year, about half of the students in 5e secondary choose to continue in 6ewhile the others decide to go to CEGEP, says assistant director Tobias Grygier.

“But if the law is maintained as it is, we can think that it [incitera] others to stay in 6e “, he supposes.

Limited capacity

Most managers interviewed, however, believe that it is their personalized approach that attracts students more than the language.

“Anyway, we have a limited capacity,” says Philippe Bertrand, director general of Collège Bourget, a bilingual establishment located near the Ontario border in Rigaud.

This year, it has 28 students in its 6-year program.e unsubsidized secondary.

“Some are a bit overwhelmed by the college system,” says Suzanne Bailey, of Kells Academy, a private school in Montreal.

Among the forty students enrolled this year, there are students who have done all their schooling at Kells, but also young people who have not been accepted in their first choice at CEGEP, illustrates Mme Bailey.

At Collège Bourget, it is mainly high-level athletes who are registered there because of their complex schedule, explains Philippe Bertrand.

Thanks to a partnership with an Ontario virtual school, teaching can be done remotely, which allows young hockey players who are constantly on the road to continue studying, for example.

More expensive than CEGEP

The 6e high school offers a host of benefits, says Josée Pépin of L’Académie Étoile du Nord. More flexibility in the course to obtain the prerequisites, no R rating, good recognition from universities, the creation of a network of contacts in the dream field, she says.

With tuition fees ranging from $13,000 to $15,000, a year at Étoile du Nord is much more expensive than CEGEP.

Several programs of 6e have emerged in recent years: in 2015, 2017 or 2019.

But Stanstead College, located on the American border, already offered a 6e secondary long before the invention of CEGEPs and has simply never stopped offering it, explains director Joanne Carruthers.

“Some people think that the 6e year is a way to skip a year, but it’s not since most then do [l’équivalent d’un baccalauréat] 4 years at university. It’s just a different system,” she says.

The Ministry of Education did not respond to our questions yesterday.


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