Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)
Student Success is about meeting the individual learning needs of each and every student. Schools are providing students with more opportunities to customize their high school experience and build on their strengths and interests through a variety of new and enhanced learning options. One of those options is the Specialist High Skills Major.
What Is A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)?
The SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized 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.
A SHSM enables students to gain sector-specific skills and knowledge in the context of engaging, career-related learning environments and helps them focus on graduation and on pursuing their postsecondary goals.
Every SHSM 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 includes:
i) 4 major credits that provide sector-specific knowledge and skills
ii) 2-4 other required credits from the Ontario curriculum, in which some expectations are met through learning activities contextualized to the sector
iii) 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