The college traces its origins to the merger of several institutions which became public ones in 1967, when the Quebec system of CEGEPs was created. Cégep André-Laurendeau was named after André Laurendeau, a novelist, playwright, essay writer, journalist and politician in Quebec, Canada.
The Province of Quebec awards a Diploma of Collegial Studies for two types of programs: two years of pre-university studies or three years of vocational (technical) studies. 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 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 skill trade.