What is Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)?

The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a program that allows students to gain credits toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and focus their learning on a specific economic sector at the same time. The SHSM is a Ministry of Education approved program.

Pursuing an SHSM can help students:
  • Customize their high school education to suit their interests and talents
  • Develop specialized knowledge and skills
  • Earn credits that postsecondary educational institutions and employers recognize
  • Gain sector-recognized certification and career-relevant training
  • Engage in STEM-related activities that develop innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship
  • Identify, explore and refine career goals and make informed decisions about their future
  • Transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace
SHSM is for Grade 11 and 12 students who are heading for apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace or wanting to identify, explore and refine their career goals and make informed choices about their next steps after secondary school.
Students receive the SHSM seal on their diploma when they:
Complete a specific bundle of 8-10 courses in the student's selected field
Earn industry certifications like first aid and CPR qualifications
Gain important skills on the job through cooperative education placements
Students who successfully complete an SHSM receive:
  • an Ontario Secondary School Diploma with an embossed SHSM seal
  • an SHSM record documenting their achievement
  • formal recognition on their Ontario Student Transcript

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