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Specialist High Skills Major Program

The Specialist High Skills Major [SHSM] is a specialized program that consists of a Ministry-defined combination of either 9,10 or 11 required credits depending on the Major, as well as prescribed experiences that relate to a specific economic sector.

 What is SHSM?

Each specialized high skills major has a framework identifying required components encompassing a specific combination of courses and experiences that relate to a particular economic sector.

 Specialist High Skills Major Program

The progam provides students with essential skills and work experience. Students focus their learning on components of various sectors while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. When it is time to make a post-secondary choice, students are well-informed and can draw on actual work experience to help them decide.

 Advantages for Students Earning a SHSM

Specialized High Skills Majors offer students a career-focused secondary school learning environment with a focus on a specific sector of the economy that meets their particular interests and talents. Earning a SHSM provides the following opportunities for students:

  • The focused learning experiences help students explore, identify and refine career goals and make informed decisions related to their postsecondary goals;
  • Students are able to recognize the connection between learning and future employment. Students have the opportunity to establish relationships and networks in their chosen career field;
  • Students in a SHSM earn skills, knowledge and sector-recognized certifications;
  • Experiential learning experiences enable students to gain confidence in their ability to be successful, refine their skills and work habits, and see the connection of their studies to the real world and their future career;
  • Experiential learning opportunities provide opportunities for students to access resources, equipment, and expertise that may not be available in their secondary school. These opportunities may be available for students in a variety of venues including colleges, training centres, public institutions, businesses and industries.
  • Students have opportunities to reach ahead to have experiences in postsecondary destinations. These opportunities may range from a job twinning, job shadowing, post secondary visits, and dual credit(s);
  • Students may be able to shift between post secondary destinations within the SHSM;
  • Students are able to enter a SHSM based on readiness and alignment of the program with their interests and the postsecondary goals. Entry into a Major is usually in Grade 11 in order for the student to be appropriately scheduled into the framework's required credits.
  • A student may exit the SHSM before completion without  jeopardizing progress towards the OSSD, retaining credits and certification earned up to that point;