Specialist High Skills Major

What is a Specialist High Skill Major (SHSM)?


The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program is a ministry-approved specialized program that enhances knowledge and skills of career-related learning and is obtained in conjunction with meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). This program was designed to allow students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector and assist in the transition from secondary school to post-secondary endeavours such as apprenticeship, post-secondary education or entering the workforce.

Each Specialist High Skills Major program must be approved by the ministry. Every SHSM must include the following five components, which are outlined in detail in individual guides for each sector:

1. A bundle of 8-10 Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits that includes:

2. Sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses.

3. Experiential learning and career exploration activities within the sector.

4. 'Reach ahead' experiences connected with the student's chosen postsecondary pathway

5. Development of Essential Skills and work habits, and the use of the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) for purposes of documentation.

Advantages to completing a SHSM

 Pursuing a SHSM allows students to:

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