Specialist High Skills Major
The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program, which is part of the Ministry of Education’s Student Success initiative in the province of Ontario, has been introduced to offer province-wide specialized programs in specific ministry-identified sectors to support the success of all students.
The SHSM Program has a number of required components, designed to give students a “leg-up” to pursue post-secondary opportunities in each of the identified sectors, valuing all four post-secondary destinations (apprenticeship, college, university and work).
In Halton, all SHSM programs are open to students in both the Halton District and Halton Catholic District School Boards and are a part of the School to Career program family. See SHSM Process page
for more information.
What is the Specialist High Skills Major?
The SHSM enables students to customize their high school experience to suit their interests and talents, and prepares them for a successful post secondary transition to apprenticeship training, college, university, or employment, while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The SHSM enables students to gain the sector-identified preparatory credits, skills and knowledge, and make informed career decisions. This makes the learning environment more engaging for students, focuses them on graduation and prepares them to pursue their career goals.
What are the highlights of these programs?
- A selected bundle of 9-10 required credits identified in a Ministry approved framework including:
- 'Major' credits (4), which provide sector specific knowledge and skills;
- other required credits (3), including English, science and mathematics, delivered in the context of the specific sector;
- Earn sector recognized certifications to assist in successful transition and possible advanced standing in the workplace and post secondary destinations;
- Earn additional certifications such as 1st Aid, CPR and WHMIS;
- Engage in experiential learning through job shadowing, work experience, and cooperative education - a minimum of 2 co-op credits linked to the 'Major' credits;
- Use the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) to document demonstration of essential skills and work habits;
- Engage in 'reach ahead' experiences that range from experiential learning, lasting a few hours in length, to full courses;
- Receive relevant training that will lead to any post secondary destination and assist with easy transition into the workplace.
When do students start a SHSM?
Students are able to enter a SHSM based on readiness and alignment of the program with their interests and post secondary goals. Entry should occur no later than Year 3 in order for the student to be appropriately scheduled into the required courses. See SHSM Process
Specialist High Skills Major Process
To learn more about the process or to start the process you can download the following documents. These documents are designed to help you through the process of being accepted into any Specialist High Skills Major program.
Several Examples of the Specialist High Skills Major offered in Halton:
Please see the School to Career guidance counsellor in your school for more information or go to http://www.schooltocareer.ca
to obtain more information of all the STC programs offered in Halton.
You can also go to http://www.onsorts.ca
if you are interested in registering in any of these programs. Registration in the system does not commit the student to anything, other than gaining more information to make an informed decision. OnSorts.ca
is a web-based registration system that is used by the Halton Catholic District School Board. Students will need their OEN number (found on most student cards or from a guidance counsellor) and their birth date in order to register online.