In the natural sciences, the Journal’s men’s rankings are dominated by two junior CEGEPs at Sorel-Tracy and Baie-Comeau, where men graduate far beyond expectations.
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For the principal of Cégep de Sorel-Tracy, there is no doubt that the size of the institution with its 1,300 students makes all the difference.
“We are a very small CEGEP, and I would say it is a great strength,” says Stéphanie Desmarais, speaking of a “human scale” college.
The bond between students and teachers is strong as they are “super available” and participate in extracurricular activities. “It creates connections outside the classroom with teachers that are useful in the classroom,” says Ms. Desmarais.
Despite its small size, CEGEP also has more than a dozen sports teams. Ms. Desmarais adds that the rate of students doing sports is 13% and this inevitably has a positive effect on men.
The story is similar to that of Cégep de Baie-Comeau, where the graduation rate for boys in the natural sciences was one of the highest in the state.
“Our greatest strength is people. We don’t leave anyone behind,” says Managing Director Manon Couturier.
First of all, it’s the teachers that make all the difference, he says. “We have a small group of students so it allows them to have a much more individual approach with our students. They believe all students can be successful.”
Natural sciences student Jacob Girard confirms this. “You can almost always see your teachers,” he says. The young man says he accidentally went and asked questions to the math teacher while the teacher was in class with another group of students.
Cégep has also developed “strong ties” with the two secondary schools in Baie-Comeau. Manon Couturier adds that the CEGEP math teacher talking directly to her high school colleagues gives her a better portrait of the students who come to her class each fall.
Although he disagrees with the inter-institutional comparisons according to the journal’s rankings, the Director-General still thinks that the presentation of data by gender is interesting as it gives institutions the opportunity to deepen their reflection on this issue.
“It’s important that we take care of our boys,” she says.
Photo Courtesy of Cégep de Sorel-Tracy
College sports teams encourage boys to continue their education
In high school and college, sports can be a powerful antidote to dropout. Antony Héroux believes he would have dropped out if it weren’t for basketball that would motivate him to get up in the morning and go to CEGEP.
“Luckily I had basketball because that’s why I went to school. I often thought of sacrificing everything there to go to the shops, but really the Rebelles team at CEGEP pushed me to get my diploma,” he says.
The former student of Cégep de Sorel-Tracy, now 23, first failed her French course, which put her off for a year in her nursing education. He then failed at the next internship, which made him question everything.
“I was very close to quitting everything, but basketball pushed me to continue. He tells the young person who has been playing this sport since the third year of primary school, that this is what got me my diploma.
At the Fédération des cégeps we believe that sport can change everything, especially for boys.
“It sounds cliché, but we have too much testimony not to name this fact,” says Bernard Tremblay, president and CEO.
The success rate is generally higher among boys enrolled in sports teams, especially in Cégep de Rimouski.
In recent years, the college esports league (better known as e-sports) the initiative had an “impact” on children, if not unanimously, adds Mr. Tremblay.
“It’s helped me make so many more friends at CEGEP, we work hard as a team,” said Félix-Antoine Kakos, environmental technology, occupational health and safety student, and part of her college’s esports team. I find that great.”