In a complex and changing social context, providing all students with the best possible education requires a constant readjustment of educational practices. This is a special challenge in Cycle Two of secondary school, when students are in the middle of adolescence, a time of transition marked by a more active quest for intellectual, emotional and social autonomy. At this time, when young people are on the threshold of adulthood and, subsequently, the working world, their relationship to knowledge changes.

In response to this situation, the Québec Education Program presents the main educational orientations that should guide school staff, as well as the learning considered essential for young people today.1

Like the programs ofr elementary education and Secondary Cycle One, of which it is the logical continuation, the program for Secondary Cycle Two has four distinctive characteristics:

  • It targets the development of competencies by students who are actively involved in the learning process.
  • It integrates all the subjects into a coherent whole focused on the major issues of contemporary life.
  • It explicitly targets cross-curricular learning, learning that transcends the boundaries between subjects,
  • It calls on the professional expertise of school staff and allows for individual and collective choices.

In addition, it provides for the diversification of educational choices and the exploration of accupational fields by offering three paths: 2

  • a General Education Path
  • an Applied General Education Path
  • a Work-Oriented Training Path consisting of two learning options
    • preword training
    • training for a semiskilled trade

This first two paths lead to vocational training, college-level studies or university. The third one is offered in work-study programs and may lead directly to the job market; under some conditions, it may also lead to vocational training programs or continued studies in general education.

A set of electives and, in some cases, workplace practicums in different sectors of activity broaden the students' range of choices, and there are various bridges between the paths.

This section allows teachers and other school system personnel to read and use the Québec Education Program (QEP), Secondary Cycle Two, General Education and Applied General Education paths.

Photographs in the QEP are published by permission of parents and students. They are for the exclusive use of Québec school system personnel and may be used for pedagogical purposes only. Users of this section must respect this restriction.


1. The Québec Education Program presents the prescribed learning while allowing for the exercise of professional autonomy by school personnel. It was written for professional educators. The use of specialized terminology is therefore justified in order to prive the utmost precision and rigour.

2. These paths, which are set out in the Basic school regulation, are presented in greater detail in the section
A Curriculum for the 21st Century
.