Welcome to SHSM

What is a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)?


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The SHSM initiative is a Ministry of Education program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), and assists in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace. Students completing a SHSM will be recognized by a red seal on their OSSD.

Students will focus their secondary school educational pathway in one of 11 major sectors:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Construction
  • Health and Wellness

Every SHSM has the following 5 components:

  • a sector-specific bundle of 8-10 credits in Grade 11 and 12, which includes two Grade 11 and two Grade 12 major credits, two cooperative education credits and contextualized learning activities in math, English and science or business;
  • 6-8 sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses;
  • experiential learning activities within the sector;
  • reach ahead experiences connected with the student's chosen postsecondary pathway
  • development of key Essential Skills and work habits required in the sector, and the use of the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) for purposes of documentation
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