Dawson College was the first English CEGEP and is located in Westmount, just west of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dawson College is located near the heart of downtown Montreal in a former nunnery on 4.85 hectares of green space. It is the largest CEGEP in Quebec, with a student population of about 7,500 day students and 2,500 night students enrolled in more than 50 fields of study.
The CEGEP offers two types of programs: pre-university and technical. The pre-university programs, which take two years to complete, cover the subject matters which roughly correspond to the additional year of high school given elsewhere in Canada as well as university-level introductory courses in preparation for a chosen field in university. The technical programs, which take three years to complete, apply to students who wish to pursue a skilled trade. Evening courses are offered through Continuing Education in both credit and non credit division and corporate training is available as well. Dawson recently partnered with the University of Sherbrooke to launch the Confucius Institute in Quebec on its campus.
The college traces its origins to the merger of several institutions which became public in 1967, when the Quebec system of CEGEPs was created. The current Dawson College was the first English-language institution in the Quebec network of CEGEPs when it opened its doors to 1,200 students in the fall of 1969. The College is named for Sir William Dawson, a principal of McGill University from 1855 to 1893.