Specialist High Skills Major


A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace.​ 


These programs help to meet the needs, interests and strengths of all students, engaging them in learning and better preparing them for graduation and beyond.


Students complete the following five required components:


1) A specified number of high school credits (including a cooperative education placement)

2) Specified sector-recognized certifications and training (e.g., First Aid & CPR)

3) Experiential learning and career exploration activities

4) Reach-ahead experiences 

5) Sector-partnered contextualized experience (SPCE)


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 red seal, along with formal recognition on the Ontario Student Transcript (OST). This recognition lets employers and post-secondary institutions know that the student has knowledge, skills, and industry-recognized qualifications in a particular sector. 


Form information students can contact their assigned guidance counsellor and review the SHSM fact sheet found below.