Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) Program:
What is a SHSM program?
The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students in grades 11 and 12 to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from high school. A SHSM program gives students the opportunity to specialize their learning, gain qualifications, and explore a career pathway while still in high school.
Who is it for?
A SHSM program can benefit any student. By the end of Grade 12, students have real world experience, a better sense of the type of work they want to do, and an understanding of where a career in their chosen sector can take them. No matter what path students plan to follow high school — apprenticeship, college, university or workplace training — a SHSM program helps them to focus on and explore a future career.
What are the benefits?
SHSM students will:
- EXPERIENCE first-hand what a career in their sector feels and looks like
- DISCOVER the relationship between school and careers
- NETWORK with postsecondary institutions, local industries, and businesses
- EARN industry-recognized certifications and training
- OPEN doors for summer jobs and future employment
How does it work?
Students in each SHSM program take a bundle of 8-10 courses in grades 11 and 12, including four credits related to the focus of their SHSM and two co-op credits. Throughout each year, students will also participate in several sector-based learning activities such as competitions and learning fairs, job shadowing, presentations from college/university students, and visits to a college/university class, as well as take part in industry-recognized certification and/or training courses.
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 institutions know that the student has knowledge, skills, and industry-recognized qualifications related to a particular career field.
Explore our 7 unique SHSM programs at SJHS