Specialist High Skills Major

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a program approved by the Ministry of Education where students focus their studies on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

These programs enable students to gain sector specific skills and knowledge in engaging, career-related learning environments, and prepare in a focused way for graduation and postsecondary education, training or employment.

SHSMs assist students in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace.

Components of a SHSM

The requirements of each SHSM are unique and geared to a specific sector.

The design of all SHSMs, however, follows this model and includes all five components.

Each SHSM consists of five required components:

1. Bundled Credits

Several of these credits often replace the elective choices in a student’s timetable.

A defined bundle of credits consisting of eight to ten Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits, including Co-operative Education. The credits in the bundle provide students with technical knowledge and skills particular to and valued by the SHSM sector.

Therefore, the required credits for each SHSM will vary, depending on:

  • the specific sector of each SHSM program
  • the student’s chosen pathway to one of four postsecondary options apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace within each SHSM.

The bundle consists of:

Major credits

Each SHSM includes four major credits, which include a combination of at least one Grade 11 and one Grade 12 credit. The remaining two courses can be taken in Grade 11 or Grade 12. These courses enable students to build a foundation of sector-focused knowledge and skills before entering a postsecondary destination.

Other required credits

In addition to the four major credits, each SHSM student must complete two, three or four other required credits from the Ontario curriculum. Other required credits include English, Math, and other subjects that enhance student learning within the specific industry sector.

Co-operative Education credits

Co-operative Education courses provide authentic learning experiences in a workplace setting and enable students to refine, extend, apply and practise the sector-specific knowledge and skills acquired in the bundle of credits.

Each SHSM pathway requires that students must complete a minimum of two credits in Co-operative Education in a work placement in the sector.

NOTE: There are NO extra credits required to complete this program. All required credits may be obtained within the 30 required credits for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

2. Certification and Training

All SHSMs require six or seven sector-recognized certifications that have been identified through extensive sector consultations. This component of the SHSM enables students to acquire the knowledge and skills related to safe work habits and sector-specific training. In addition, students with sector-recognized certifications and training have an advantage when entering the workforce.

They include:

  • three or five compulsory certifications or training courses/programs (example: first aid, CPR, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System WHMIS)
  • the required number of remaining certifications, which are selected from a list of elective certifications or training courses/programs.

NOTE: All certifications required within the SHSM are offered to the student of the program at no cost.

3. Experiential Learning and Career Exploration Activities

The SHSM experiential learning and career exploration requirement consists of planned learning activities that take place outside the traditional classroom setting.

Experiential learning and career exploration activities give students opportunities to explore, observe, participate in, and reflect on a variety of sector-specific experiences and careers. These activities also enable students enrolled in the SHSM to find out about the opportunities available in careers that interest them.

4. Reach Ahead Experiences:

Students pursuing a SHSM must have opportunities for reach ahead experiences connected with their postsecondary plans. These experiences enable Grade 11 and 12 students to gain confidence in their ability to be successful, refine skills and work habits, and make informed choices about future careers and next steps.

5. Sector Partnered Community Experiences

Seven Key Benefits for Students

Pursuing a SHSM enables students to:

  1. Customize their secondary school education to suit their interests and talents.
  2. Develop specialized knowledge and skills that are valued by the sector and postsecondary education institutions.
  3. Earn credits that are recognized by the sector and postsecondary education institutions.
  4. Gain sector-specific and career-relevant certification and training.
  5. Develop essential skills and work habits that are valued by the sector.
  6. Identify, explore and refine their career goals and make informed decisions about their postsecondary destination.
  7. Remain flexible, with the option to shift between pathways should their goals and plans change.

Specialist High Skills Majors in Rainbow Schools

Agriculture

A Specialist High Skills Major in Agriculture is offered at:

  • Manitoulin Secondary School (Animal and Crop)

Access the form below to register today!

Arts and Culture

A Specialist High Skills Major in Arts and Culture is offered at:

  • Barrydowne College (Visual Arts)
  • Chelmsford Valley District Composite School (Community Based Culture)
  • Manitoulin Secondary School (Visual Technology)
  • Sudbury Secondary School (Fine Arts)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Business

A Specialist High Skills Major in Business is offered at:

  • Lasalle Secondary School (Management)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Construction

A Specialist High Skills Major in Construction is offered at:

  • Espanola High School (Carpentry Techniques)
  • Lasalle Secondary School (Modern Residential Construction and Woodworking Concepts)
  • Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School (Architectural and Technology Design)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Energy

A Specialist High Skills Major in Energy is offered at:

  • Lasalle Secondary School (Renewable Energy)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Environment

A Specialist High Skills Major in Environment is offered at:

  • Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School (Sustainable Agriculture)
  • Lively District Secondary School

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Forestry

A Specialist High Skills Major in Forestry is offered at:

  • Espanola High School

Access the form below to register today!

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness is currently being offered at:

  • Chelmsford Valley District Composite School (Exercise Physiology and Health)
  • Confederation Secondary School (Health Care)
  • Lockerby Composite School (Health Service)
  • Sudbury Secondary School (Shild Care and Fitness)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Hospitality and Tourism

A Specialist High Skills Major in Hospitality and Tourism is offered at:

  • Espanola High School

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

A Specialist High Skills Major in Information and Communication Technology is currently being offered at:

  • Confederation Secondary School (Robotics)
  • Lively District Secondary School (Software and Digital Media)
  • Lockerby Composite School (Software, Digital Media and Computer Systems)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Manufacturing

A Specialist High Skills Major in Manufacturing is currently being offered at:

  • Confederation Secondary School (Fabrication)
  • Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School (Engineering, Design + Innovative Technology)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Mining

A Specialist High Skills Major in Mining is currently being offered at:

  • Lively District Secondary School (Technology)
  • Lockerby Composite School (Engineering)

For required components and additional information, please click the brochure below.

Sports

A Specialist High Skills Major in Sports is offered at:

  • Lasalle Secondary School (Sports Industry)
  • Lively District Secondary School (Sports Industry)

Access the form below to register today!