The Canadian Coast Guard College

As one of the most formidable institutions developing strong Canadians responsible for protecting our northern waters, the Canadian Coast Guard College continues to live up to its solid reputation.


The Canadian Coat Guard College is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to turning out the greatest defenders of Canada’s 243 000 kilometre coast line.

Dec13_CCGC_arial_viewEstablished in 1965, the College is known for its quality education and reliable and distinctive programs Training is offered in both French and English and the College includes a training facility, administration building and a residential building, making it unique on an international spectrum. Located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, students have easy access to the environment they will later be defending.

The College recruits by going to career or job fairs and by visiting high schools to educate students on its programs. Canadian Coast Guard College hopefuls can apply to the College online. The selection process is difficult and the competition is stiff.  According to College Executive Director, Brian Leblanc, “there are hard and fast academic requirements.”

Full transcripts and academic records from secondary and post-secondary institutions are reviewed. While certain academic requirements vary from province to province or territory, all applicants must have at least a Grade 12 language credit and be proficient in certain math and physics courses.

The Canadian Coast Guard College provides training for Officer Cadets as well as for other employees of the Canadian Coast Guard or those involved with marine and environmental protection. Although some of what is taught takes place in the classroom cadets  receive realistic applied training. Sometimes using simulators, they are faced with true-to-life situations that could arise while on the job.

“There is an academic portion including math, physics, labs and where students learn theory,” said Leblanc. “But it is also very hands-on. They will learn seamanship, the specific machinery. Engineering cadets learn welding and about the equipment.”

Leblanc says, “we’re also pretty heavy on physical fitness.We have a great facility for cadets to maintain their health. All in all, it’s a very well-rounded program.”

Honing its slogan “Nil sine cura” or “Attention to Detail”, the Canadian Coast Guard College looks for applicants who not only meet the grade and academic requirements but have an active interest in navigation or engineering and, of course, it can’t hurt to have a background working around water. Other values they look for in applicants are professionalism and integrity.

“We look for candidates who have strong organizational skills and communication skills,” said Leblanc. “People who are clear-headed, logical and can be a team player are often successful [here]. We appreciate a taste for adventure and travel as well as a strong sense of commitment.”

At the College, cadets work around a very irregular schedule so Leblanc said that an ability to adapt is also not only helpful but necessary.

The College covers many of the expenses for successful applicants who are admitted to the Officer-Cadet program. Tuition, room, board and books are paid for. Furthermore, all graduates of the College are guaran-teed a position with the Canadian Coast Guard.

“Their pension and health care start from day one. They put in their four years here, we ask that they give back a four-year commitment once they’ve graduated,” explained Leblanc.

However, most stay with the Coast Guard for a lot longer

Leblanc was one of them. He started in 1983 when attending the Canadian Coast Guard College meant a three-year program but he never left. He has been working with the Coast Guard ever since.

“It has been a long and very rewarding career,” said Leblanc.