The permanent presence of the Center d’études collégiales (CEC) of the Cégep de Valleyfield and the Université du Québec à Montréal in Saint-Constant, which opened its doors in 2021, is another step for citizens who want to study close to where they live.
Several dignitaries and stakeholders were present at the Saint-Constant campus, rue Saint-Pierre, on November 18 to formalize the status of the institution. The infrastructure work, including the installation of the ground floor and the relocation of the old library, took three years. They totaled $3.3 million in expenses.
A class can consist of about thirty students. (Photo: Le Reflet – Denis Germain)
“In all surveys on the factors that young people prioritize when choosing their university, the choice of course naturally takes second place, but also proximity to where they live,” said Director Marc Rémillard General of Cégep de Valleyfield.
According to him, it is a “solid achievement” to have managed to set up a study center with permanent status in the heart of Saint-Constant so that people in the region can access higher education close to where they live.
La Prairie MP Alain Therrien initiated the process with Mayor Jean-Claude Boyer when he entered politics. During the press conference, the mayor shared how this project came about from an inspiration.
“When Alain informed me that there was a need for post-secondary education in the region, I jumped in,” he explained. Education is important to Saint-Constant.”
Alain Therrien and Jean Claude Boyer. (The Reflection – Denis Germain)
In addition, he recalled that it is possible to follow a training course at all levels without leaving Saint-Constant with the inclusion of the UQAM in the study center.
For her part, Sanguinet MEP Christine Fréchette stressed that the new school could be the beginning of an “ecosystem” in Saint-Constant.
The Rector of UQAM, Madga Fusaro, welcomes this partnership, which will be beneficial for future generations.
“With this modernized campus, UQAM is strengthening its presence in Montérégie and working towards its core mission, which is to promote access to university studies for a population whose training needs are growing. The university intends to further anchor itself in the community through the development of various research projects and collaborations with surrounding communities, organizations and companies.”
A common room. (Photo: Le Reflet – Denis Germain)
Dahiana Guzman is one of the special education technicians who can learn from home within 30 minutes.
“I went back to school, but the universities and CEGEPs were all far away, especially since it was expensive with parking and travel costs,” she says. If the CEGEP [Valleyfield] showed up in Saint-Constant, it was easier and cheaper.”
The fact that CEGEP is smaller gives it better access to teachers, she argues.
“We know them, they are not just teachers but people who are part of our lives,” she emphasizes.
The resident of Saint-Rémi has also made new friends in a profession that she is very attracted to after working from home for a long time.
The college programs offered are Liberal Arts, Special Education and the Tremplin Path Diplôme d’études collégiales (DEC). It is also possible to get a college certificate in computerized accounting, applied office automation and human resource management support agent.
For the university level, UQAM offers certificates in administration, accounting, early childhood education and human resource management.
Since the study center was founded, more than 600 students have enrolled, 250 of them in 2021 and 260 in 2022.
The building consists of 12 classrooms, a library and two study rooms.
According to the campus management, agreements have been concluded with neighboring communities in order to be able to use certain sports facilities, especially for physical education classes.
The Ministry of Education granted approval in 2018 and work started in 2019. The first university cohort was launched in 2021.