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.

Specialist High Skills Major at Notre Dame

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 apprenticeship, college, university and work, valuing all 4 destinations.


    1. Bundled Credits
      Each SHSM program offers students a bundle of 9 – 11 credits, including 4 “major” credits in the identified sector in Grade 11 and Grade 12 and 2 or 3 supporting credits in English, math or science that will be delivered in the context of that sector
    2. Certifications and Awareness Training
      Sector-recognized certifications that are related to the major
    3. Contextualized Learning Activities ( CLAs )
      Units of study that are embedded into the delivery of supporting credits such as English, Math or Business courses and are sector-specific
    4. Experiential Learning
      A minimum of two credits in Co-operative education in addition to job shadowing and twinning, work experience, and reach ahead activities such as field trips, tours, and career exploration

SHSM Programs offered at Notre Dame:

      • Business Leadership
      • Horticulture and Landscaping
      • Information & Communication Technology
      • Arts & Culture
      • Manufacturing

For more information on these programs please visit School To Career or make an appointment in Student Services

De Franco, RobSpecialist High Skills Majors (SHSM)