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Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) program

The Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) program is a specialized program that allows students to focus on a career path that matches their skills, interests, and talents while working towards their high school diploma. The program also help students transition into their chosen path once they graduate. By taking a specific cluster of courses, students gain specific skills and knowledge related to their chosen field. SHSMs encourage students to focus their secondary school education toward a career area of their choice.

Students can earn a SHSM program creditation no matter what their postsecondary plans — work, apprenticeship, or college/university.  Students will gain:

  • a customized high school education suited to student interests and talents
  • the development of specialized knowledge and skills
  • targeted training and certifications relevant to a chosen career

 

Complete five components to earn a SHSM designation

  • specified number of high school courses
  • specified sector-recognized certification and training courses
  • experiential learning and career exploration activities
  • “reach ahead” experiences
  • a Sector Partnered Contextualized Experience (SPCE)

The experiential learning opportunities must be connected to the student’s post-secondary pathway, and range from several hours to full courses. An experiential (exploring) learning activity connected with the student’s post-secondary pathway can be considered a “reach ahead” (focusing) experience. The activity can be recorded only once on the student’s SHSM record as either an experiential learning activity or a “reach ahead” experience.

The Sector Partnered Contextualized Experience (SPCE) component includes one of the following options: Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) training; sector-delivered contextualized coding; or, sector-delivered mathematical literacy. The SPCE will require an approximately 6 hour activity, delivered with a sector partner and have an experiential and an assessment component.

 

Explore 13 unique SHSM programs

Graduate with a specialist designation on your diploma

Students who successfully complete an SHSM will receive a high school diploma with a “specialist” designation. The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) will include an embossed seal, along with formal recognition on his/her Ontario Student Transcript (OST). This recognition lets employers and postsecondary education know that the student has knowledge, skills, and industry-recognized qualifications related to a particular career field.

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SHSMs at the OCSB

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