FAQ

THINKING ABOUT TAKING A DISTANCE LEARNING COURSE?
1. Who can take distance secondary level courses recognized by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur?
  • Any Québec resident who has reached the age of 16 before July 1st of the current school year may take credited secondary-level distance education courses that are offered by Québec school boards.
  • Any Québec resident who has reached the age of 16 before July 1st of the current school year living temporarily outside of Québec or abroad may enrol in distance education courses in the same way as if they were living in Québec. They must, however, make the necessary arrangements with the school board in question to be entitled to the official recognition given to Québec students who sit for an examination in an educational institution at the end of their distance education studies.
  • Canadian citizens from other provinces or foreign students may enrol in a course given by a school board if they meet the admission criteria. Registration fees will, however, be higher and, unless special arrangements are made, they will not be entitled to the official recognition given to Québec students who sit for an examination in an educational institution at the end of their distance education studies. For more information, contact a school board that welcomes foreign students, notably in the Montréal area.
2. Is it possible to take professional or personal development courses?

Anyone wishing to take certain professional or personal development courses may do so at their own expense, regardless of place of residence. These courses are non-credited. This is the case, for example, for the course Du français sans fautes.

3. Are distance education courses recognized by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur?

Yes, if you are enrolled in a Québec school board, they have exactly the same value as courses taken in an adult education centre.

4. Are distance education courses worth the same number of credits as courses taken in an adult education centre?

Yes. To obtain the credits for courses that lead to a Secondary School Diploma you must sit for a supervised examination approved by the Ministère. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive a transcript from the Ministère.

For popular education courses, you will receive an attestation of studies from the school board.

5. Are distance education courses recognized by CEGEPs?

The answer is yes for those courses that lead to a Secondary School Diploma. These courses are recognized in the same way as courses taken in adult education centres or secondary schools in Québec.

6. What courses are available?

In adult general education, all compulsory courses (from Secondary I to V) and a wide selection of optional courses leading to a Secondary School Diploma (SSD) are available through distance education in the school boards.

Courses in the Administration, Commerce and Computer Technology sector, as well as certain professional development courses are also available through certain school boards.

Not all courses are offered by every school board. In order to know exactly which courses are available at which adult education centre, you must contact a school board.

Note that some school boards may also offer courses other than those on the SOFAD course list. You must contact the school board in question to find out about registration procedures.

7. Can I get help if I’m not sure which courses to take?

The school boards' adult education centres provide consultation services (e.g. information and referral, counselling). Counsellors in these centres can assess your situation, evaluate your prior learning and identify your educational needs.

8. Are vocational education courses offered?

Yes. Nearly 200 education centres offer vocational education programs. You will find the list of school boards that offer vocational education and professional development courses by clicking here..

9. Can I register for a secondary-level distance education course even if I have a Secondary School Diploma?

Yes. For example, if you are missing a secondary-level course that is a prerequisite to a course you wish to take in CEGEP or university, you may take this course through distance education.

In fact, any person who wishes to take any course may do so by paying the required fees, even if he or she has already passed this course in secondary school. No examination may be taken a second time.

10. When can I register?

In general, you can register at any time during the year. Services may, however, be interrupted for a few weeks during the summer. Contact the school board of your choice to find out about registration dates.

11. How do I know which courses to take when I have been away from school for several years?

By calling a school board, you may consult a counsellor who will help you establish a study plan.

You may also have to do certain placement tests to determine exactly which French, English, Social Sciences or Science and Technology courses you should take to obtain a Secondary School Diploma (SSD).

12. How much time do I have to complete a distance education course?

In general, you will have up to eight months to complete your courses. This depends on the school board’s education centres and the courses you are taking.

The amount of time you will need to complete a course depends on the number of course credits involved and your own personal work pace. You will agree on a study plan with your instructor or tutor.

ABOUT DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES
1. Who offers distance education courses?

Québec school boards are in charge of registration and all matters related to instruction. There are four adult education centres that offer English distance education courses in Québec. Contact the centre directly in order to find out which courses it offers and the procedure for registering.

2. Is there someone who can help if I encounter difficulties?

You may contact the instructor or tutor assigned to you. The school board will inform you of the procedure for getting in touch with you him or her.

3. Are there exams to be written?

For courses leading to a Secondary School Diploma, once you have successfully completed the assignments, you must sit for a supervised exam in an adult education centre.

However, if you wish to take a course for your own personal interest or for professional development purposes and you do not need to earn secondary-level credits, you do not need to sit for the supervised exam.

4. Can I obtain a Secondary School Diploma entirely through distance education?

Yes. Once you have earned all of the required secondary school credits, you will receive a Secondary School Diploma from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.

5. How long does it take to complete a Secondary School Diploma?

The time frame can vary considerably, depending on the number of courses to be taken and your own work pace.

6. Are there costs for taking a course?

Yes, there are registration fees. In certain cases, fees are also charged for a placement test or an assessment of your academic records. Moreover, you will be required to purchase additional materials for some courses (e.g. science and technology).

Costs may vary and are set by the school board offering distance education courses. You should contact a school board to find out the cost of the courses that are of interest to you.

7. Can I apply for financial assistance?

You are eligible for financial assistance under the Ministère's Loans and Bursaries Program only if you are enrolled in vocational training.

In general, you must be studying full time; your status as a full-time student is determined by the rules in force in your educational institution.

If you are a part-time student, in certain circumstances, you may be "deemed to be pursuing full-time studies" and consequently be eligible under the Loans and Bursaries Program.

If you are a part-time student, and only if you are enrolled in vocational training, you may be eligible for financial assistance under the Loans Program for Part-time Studies.

8. Can I register for both distance education courses and courses offered in a school?

Yes. You can decide to take some courses through distance education and others in a school.

PURCHASING SOFAD MATERIALS
1. Can I buy SOFAD materials without enrolling for distance education courses?

Yes, you can do so in different ways.

  • You can purchase the materials online, in the Catalog section of SOFAD’s website. However, the placement tests are for the sole use of adult education centres and distance education centres that offer placement services.
  • You can contact an adult education centre in a school board that uses SOFAD learning materials and say that you wish to purchase materials without registering for a course. The sale price should be the one indicated on our website.
  • SOFAD materials can also be purchased directly from our distributor.
    SOCADIS Inc.
    420, rue Stinson
    Saint-Laurent (Québec) H4N 3L7
    Telephone: 514 331-3300 and 1 800 361-2847
    Fax: 514 745-3282 and 1 866 803-5422
2. Can I return materials purchased from SOFAD?

SOFAD’s policy on the return of merchandise:

All claims for incomplete or incorrect (wrong quantity or document) orders must be communicated within 10 days following the date of shipment; proof of purchase must be provided. Also, any defective or damaged product must be returned to SOCADIS Inc. ''postage due'' within 30 days following the billing date. The replacement merchandise will be shipped upon receipt of the defective or damaged products. All sales are final and no returns will be accepted.

3. Are there delivery charges?

Delivery charges apply to all orders (digital products excluded).

  • For the carrier SOCADIS (service available only tor schools with a client account), delivery charges are calculated on the total amount invoiced before taxes. For orders of less than $500, the delivery charge is $7. For orders of more than $500, the delivery charge is 1.4% of the total amount invoiced before taxes, rounded to the next hundred. For example, the delivery charge for an order of $765 will be $11.20 (1.4% of $800).
  • For CANADA POST, delivery charges are calculated based on the quantity of products ordered and the destination.
4. What are the delivery periods?

Delivery periods are from 24 to 48 hours for schools and from 3 to 7 business days for individuals.