The Challenge

When it first began, the main communication channel used by students and the Cégep was the post office. With the arrival of the digital era, the methodology for managing correspondence and handing work in had to be updated. Consequently, the Cégep had to modernize and review its business model.

To this end, Merlin software, designed for college management and course preparation, was acquired. Custom-developed by a company that closed its doors a few years later, the Cégep had to finalize and maintain the system by itself. Merlin required a major investment for the college in terms of HR and time. Since it was a completely autonomous system, the slightest modification needed became incredibly complex. Staff members had to carry out any necessary programming by themselves just to rectify small issues like changing dates or putting commas in letters. Unfortunately, Merlin provided no flexibility for them at this level.

Faced with this problematic situation, Cégep à distance put out a call for tenders in order to find the best specialist to whom management could be turned over.

The Transition

It was only in 2013 that Berger-Levrault’s COBA Collegial Education solution was selected following the call for tenders, and the partnership between the Cégep and Berger-Levrault began.

COBA’s Collegial solution centralized all systems in one place, allowing for complete, straightforward and more efficient management of student files. Likewise, this turnkey solution eliminated additional modules that caused problems of compatibility and information loss.

Also, time was saved as a result of no longer having to carry out certain administrative tasks (filling in forms, signing documents, etc.), allowing college staff to allocate more time to pedagogical supervision.

The Satisfaction

Throughout the process of transition to COBA Collegial, Cégep à distance received tremendous support and attention from Berger-Levrault team members. They have been able to support this client by understanding its business processes and being an important resource in terms of knowledge transfer.

Cégep à distance is highly satisfied with the way Berger-Levrault has taken over management of this complex project. Berger-Levrault has proved to be a very proactive partner as these changes were being made. Cégep à distance has always felt supported, listened to and accompanied as its needs were being met.

About Cégep à distance

In 1991, Cégep à distance was created by the Rosemont cégep. Its mission was to deploy and promote distance learning in the Quebec college network. However, it wasn’t until 2002 that “Cégep à distance” became the program’s official name. In 2005, the Ministry of Education gave it the mandate of developing distance learning for English-speaking students.

Its unique business model grants students autonomy in their choice of program, with access to 163 different courses, including about 30 with an English version. This training method has well and truly proved its value, and allows students to follow their courses when and where it suits them best. It is ideal for reconciling family, work and study issues. Each year, some 21,000 different courses are undertaken and Cégep à distance trains between 13,000 and 15,000 students. Cégep à distance has already catered for up to 32,000 students in a single year.


Creation of Cégep à distance by Cégep Rosemont.

163 and 21,000

163 different courses, including around 30 in English.
Each year, more than 21,000 different courses are taken.

13,000 and 15,000

Students are trained annually by the Cégep à distance.


Alexis Thibault

Assistant Director

“The attentiveness and prompt responses of members of the Berger-Levrault team gave us confidence in their college management solution.”

Profile LinkedIn