Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM)

The Specialist High Skills Major is a program which gives students a focus in their senior high school years that leads to all post-secondary destinations (apprenticeship, college, university, and work). A student must take two Grade 11 and two Grade 12 courses in a specialized area, and a co-operative education course. It also involves contextualized units in Math and English where the focus is in the specific sector.

Students will also have the opportunity to explore experiential learning and reach ahead activities such as field trips, competitions, etc. At the conclusion of the program, students will receive a special Red Seal diploma and transcript as evidence of their completion of a Specialist High Skills Major. Check out http://www.haltonpathways.ca for more information.

Our school offers SHSM courses in the following sectors:

  • Business – Click HERE to see VIDEO
  • Arts and Culture – Click HERE to see VIDEO – APPLICATION FORM HERE
  • Mechatronics

Each Specialist High Skills Major is a bundle of 8 to 10 courses within a selected field/sector completed in grades 11 and 12. Students choosing a SHSM program learn on the job with employers as well as in school, earning valuable industry certification and training related to their chosen sector.

Key Benefits of a Specialist High Skills Major

Pursuing a SHSM helps students to:

  • Customize their secondary school education to suit their interests and talents.
  • Develop specialized knowledge and skills.
  • Earn credits that postsecondary educational institutions and the sector recognize.
  • Gain sector-recognized certification and career-relevant training.
  • Develop essential skills and work habits documented through the Ontario Skills Passport.
  • Identify, explore and refine career goals and make informed decisions about their future.
  • Remain flexible, with the option to shift between pathways, should their goals and plans change.

Students who successfully complete a SHSM receive:

  • an Ontario Secondary School Diploma with an embossed red seal.
  • an SHSM Record documenting his/her achievement.
  • formal recognition on his/her Ontario Student Transcript.

To Learn more about SHSM Programs:

  • Look at the brochures for sectors that interest you to learn about program components and schools offering the program.
  • Look at the individual school based program brochures to learn about how the program is offered in particular schools.
  • Talk to your Guidance Counsellor.

University Scholarships Opportunities for SHSM students

Almost all are automatic and multiple or unlimited “winners”:

Brescia and King’s College at Western University


Brock University


Guelph (Ontario Agriculture College)

Trent University

University of Windsor

St. Mary’s University Halifax

Helpful Resources

Interested in a program?

Take a look at the application and fact sheet below:

SHSM Fact Sheet

To apply for one of the HT SHSM programs, download and complete the SHSM APPLICATION FORM

Business SHSM info

SHSM Business Certifications

HT SHSM P2 Business-Pathways Chart Certifications (June2019)

HT Business SHSM Activities (March19)

Mechatronics SHSM info

De Franco, RobSpecialist High Skills Majors (SHSM)