College education comes after compulsory education, which consists of elementary and secondary school, and precedes university education. In Québec, college is the first level of education at which schooling is not compulsory and students choose their own programs.
Only colleges established under the General and Vocational Colleges Act (CEGEPs), colleges holding a permit under the Act respecting private education and a few affiliated public institutions under the jurisdiction of another Ministère are authorized to offer college education in Québec.
- 48 CEGEPs (public colleges), five of which are English-language institutions
- about 50 private colleges, nearly half of which are subsidized
- 4 affiliated public institutions