Hundreds of students drawn to only English-language CEGEP in Quebec City area

The only English-language CEGEP in the Quebec City area will be filled to capacity this year.

CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence had to turn away about 350 students because it’s already filled to capacity

There's lots of demand to be part of CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence's graduating class. (CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence/Facebook)

The only English-language CEGEP in the Quebec City area will be filled to capacity this year.

CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence admits 400 new students each year. But this year, nearly that many were turned away.

Edward Berryman, the CEGEP's director, said about 350 students were told they could not attend because the school is already full.

Berryman said many high school students want to continue their post-secondary studies in English.

"Those students know that when they enter the workforce, they have added value when they say they graduated from St-Lawrence. They are bilingual."

Berryman said that while this year's numbers are not record-setting, he is noticing a growing trend.

"There are more and more high schools that offer enriched English programs, international profiles, and then when those students graduate and they want to pursue and improve their English, there's only one place to go in the region," Berryman said.

This year Champlain St. Lawrence College got 750 applications, but there's only space for about 400 students every year. (Google Maps)

Christian Brosseau, the Student Activities co-odinator at Champlain St. Lawrence, said he remembers what it was like being a francophone teenager in 1990 applying to attend the CEGEP.

His family objected to his choice.

"My mother, more specifically, being the great sovereignist that she was back in the day, had this great concern about me coming to study in English because of everything going on in the 1990s about sovereignty," Brosseau told CBC.

"All the possibilities that opened up for me was proof in the pudding that it was the right decision."

Brosseau said that, at the time, he was one of only two students from his high school who registered at St-Lawrence College.

"Throughout the years, we could see that there was more of an attraction from francophone students to come and pursue their studies in English here for the same reasons I did."