The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows high school students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while also meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
A Specialist High Skills Major enables students to gain sector-specific skills and knowledge in the context of engaging, career-related learning environments while helping students to focus on graduation and their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace.
Every Specialist High Skills Major program must include the following five components, which are outlined in detail in individual guides for each sector:
A bundle of 8-10 Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits that include:
- 4 major credits that provide sector-specific knowledge and skills;
- 2-4 other required credits from the Ontario curriculum, in which some expectations are met through learning activities contextualized to the sector;
- 2 cooperative education credits that provide authentic learning experiences in a workplace setting, enabling students to refine, extend, and practise sector-specific knowledge and skills;
- Sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses;
- Experiential learning and career exploration activities within the sector;
- “Reach ahead” experiences connected with the student’s chosen postsecondary pathway;
- Development of Essential Skills and work habits required in the sector, and the use of the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) for purposes of documentation.
With a Specialist High Skills Major, we like to say that students not only graduate high school with a diploma, but with a resume!
Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Ontario Ministry of Education