In the sciences, the Journal’s men’s rankings are dominated by two small CEGEPs, Sorel-Tracy and Baie-Comeau, where boys graduate well beyond expectations.
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For the director of the Cégep de Sorel-Tracy, there is no doubt that the size of the institution, with its 1,300 students, is crucial.
“We are a very small CEGEP and I would say it is a big force,” says Stephanie Desmarais, who speaks of the college “on a human scale.”
The connection between students and teachers is strong as they are “super available” and involved in extracurricular activities. “It creates connections with teachers outside of the classroom that are useful in the classroom,” Ms. Desmarais says.
Despite its small size, CEGEP also has over a dozen sports teams. The proportion of students involved in sports is 13%, which inevitably benefits boys, adds Ms. Demarais.
The story is similar to Cégep de Baie-Comeau, where the proportion of boys graduating in science is one of the highest in the province.
“Our great strength is people. We leave no one behind,” says CEO Manon Couturier.
According to her, it’s all about the teachers. “We have a small group of students, so this allows them to have a much more personalized approach to our students. They are convinced that all students can succeed.”
Jacob Girard, a natural science student, confirms this. “You can visit your teachers at almost any time,” he says. According to the young man, he even had occasion to ask questions to his math teacher while he was in a class with another group of students.
Cégep has also established strong links with two secondary schools in Baie-Comeau. The CEGEP math teacher talks directly to her classmates, which allows her to get a better idea of the students who come to her class every fall,” adds Manon Couturier.
Even if she does not agree with the comparisons between establishments in the magazine’s rankings, the Executive Director nonetheless believes that sex-disaggregated data is of interest as it gives establishments an opportunity to deepen their thinking in this regard.
“It is very 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 studies
In high school and college, sports can be a powerful antidote to dropouts. Anthony Eru is convinced he would have dropped out of school if he didn’t have basketball to motivate him to get up in the morning and go to CEGEP.
“Fortunately, I had basketball because I kept going to school. I often thought about sacrificing all this to go to work in stores, but in fact it was the Rebelles team at CEGEP that pushed me to get a diploma, ”he says.
The now 23-year-old former student of Cégep de Sorel-Tracy initially failed to take a French course, causing him to delay his nursing education by a year. He subsequently failed another internship, which made him doubt everything.
“I was close to quitting, but it was basketball that kept me going. Thanks to this, I got a diploma, – says a young man who has been involved in this sport since the third year of elementary school.
At the Fédération des cegeps, we are convinced that sport can make all the difference, especially for boys.
“It seems like a cliché, but we have too much evidence to not call it reality,” says its president and CEO, Bernard Tremblay.
Success rates are often higher among boys who are registered with sports teams, such as the Cégep de Rimouski.
In recent years, the creation of a collegiate electronic sports league (better known as eSports) also had an “influence” on the boys, even if the initiative is not unanimous, Mr. Tremblay adds.
Félix-Antoine Cacos, an environmental, health and safety student, is part of his college’s esports team: “This has allowed me to make a lot more friends at CEGEP, we work a lot as a team,” he said. I find it fantastic.”