Technical training is an educational process that involves, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding, and knowledge related to occupations in the various sectors of the economy and social situations.
Usually taught in a CEGEP, technical training programs lead to a Diploma of College Studies (DCS) or an Attestation of College Studies (ACS).
DCS (DEC in French) : The Diploma of College Studies, or DCS, is issued by the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur (MES) for technical or pre-university studies.
The main goal of technical programs is to prepare students for the labour market, although they may also provide access to university studies. They usually require three years of study (six terms). The program-specific component of technical programs consists of 45 to 65 credits. These programs also include at least one workplace practicum.
The main goal of pre-university programs is to prepare students for university. They usually require two years of study (four terms). Besides the general education components, pre-university programs also have a program-specific component. The number of credits varies based on the program.
ACS (AEC in French) : Programs leading to an Attestation of College Studies, or ACS, are short technical programs (between 4 months and 24 months) set by the colleges and developed locally according to the needs of the labour market, therefore rapidly evolving. The colleges establish the competencies to be acquired, determine the courses and are responsible for the evaluation of learning and the certification of studies. The ACS diploma is issued by the college.
Specifics : Programs contain only program-specific components. There are no general education courses (French, Humanities, Physical Education, English, and complementary courses).
Work-Study Programs : The work-study program is an educational strategy adapted to the changing needs of the labour market. With the work-study approach, learning the trade or occupation integrates, in a structured way, periods in the classroom and practicums in the workplace.
The work-study approach is adopted by the educational institution to provide students enrolled in vocational or technical training with the opportunity to complete at least two workplace practicums (representing a minimum of 20% of the total duration of the program) as a part of their program of study.
The programs of study offered under the work-study formula are those that lead to a diploma recognized by the Ministère:
- Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS)
- Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS)
- Diploma of College Studies (DCS)
- Attestation of College Studies (ACS) with over 40 credits
Concurrent Studies : Concurrent admission gives students the opportunity to begin their vocational training while continuing their general education. This option is designed for individuals in the youth or adult sector, 20 years of age or younger as of June 30th of the preceding year or in training continuity for a DVS started the preceding year. Students in concurrent admission have already confirmed their choice of career and have earned their Secondary II or III credits in the three core subjects, namely, language of instruction, second language and mathematics.
They will pursue their vocational training at the same time as their general education in Secondary III, IV or V in these subjects that are prerequisites for admission to their vocational training program, or in the missing subjects needed for a Secondary School Diploma (SSD) or for admission to college.
A student may continue their general education if they possess the general education prerequisites required for graduation in the vocational training program they are enrolled in, if their goal is to achieve a higher level of general education.
This training path is also intended for those who are at least 18 years of age and who have successfully completed the General Development Test (GDT). These persons can continue their training concurrently to acquire the specific prerequisites needed to obtain a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS).
Individualized Training : Educational strategy allowing a learner to develop skills in an autonomous way, accompanied by a teacher, with the help of learning guides as well as pedagogical and instructional materials.
Distance Education : A form of learning where the instructor is separated from the learner, offering mediated content in various formats (print, digital, online). Most of the time, learning is done from a module that has been set up by the educational organization.
Online Education : A form of learning carried out with the help of information technology, with an instructor (synchronous learning) and sometimes without an instructor (asynchronous learning). It implies a connection to a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.
Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) : Recognition of acquired competencies is a process that allows adults to obtain official recognition of their competencies against standards set out in a program of study. Depending on the goals set up by the individual, this process will help identify which competencies are mastered and which competencies are missing. At the end of this process, the competencies recognized are recorded in an official document (report card, attestation, diploma, etc.) confirming either that all competencies have been completed (the study program) or part of the competencies of said program have been completed (units or credits, etc.).