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On Learning Economics in CEGEP

By Bernard

Before 1980, the Economics courses were copied on the university's programs:  macroeconomics and microeconomics.  Some CEGEP were teaching these courses at a so high level that the universities were giving equivalence to their students.  It was the case of many English Cegep, and some French CEGEP in Montréal.  On the other side, some CEGEP were teaching the economy not even at the "Economics" level of the highschools.  And it was worst with many courses in the human sciences program.

So, the economic teaching was rejuvenated and that new program was implemented in 1991.

Later, for implementation in September 2002, there have been another revision of the program.  I have taught only one semester in this late program, still teaching in second year of the old program in 2002.

Here is how the economy teaching is presented now at Vanier College.  There, the economics teachers are in a common departement with the political science teachers.

"Economics and Political Science are two disciplines which are very closely linked. In fact, in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were treated as a single body of thought called Political Economy.

"Economics deals with how a society uses its limited resources to satisfy the ever-increasing material wants of people. Political Science, on the other hand, is concerned about the operations of governmental institutions and political decision-making. The two disciplines complement each other. Political decisions take into account economic conditions. The government cannot, for example simply decide to raise taxes without considering the effects on the economy and the popularity of the party in power. And citizens make economic decisions when they purchase a product as well as when they elect representatives to parliament. Thus, it is important to understand the factors behind the political decision-making process as well as the economic functioning of the society.

"The linkage between the two subjects is even more striking in the international arena, as the world moves forward a single unit, an integrated global village. The pattern of international commerce, the value of major currencies, interest rates, international debt, health and environmental issues, disarmament, economic and military power blocs are all closely linked. These vital issues are dealt with in our curriculum.

"The department organizes special events including field trips: Stock Market, Parliament; guest speakers and mock Parliaments or United Nations.

"Economics Course Offerings

  • Introduction to Macro Economics (Compulsory for Social Science & Commerce students)
  • Introduction to Micro Economics
  • International Economic Relations
  • The Underground Economy
  • Current Issues in Economics
  • Business Economics (for Business Administraton students only)