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OrangevilleDistrict Secondary School


Specialist High Skills Major

  • A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a type of ministry-approved specialized program. A SHSM allows students to focus on knowledge and skills that are of particular importance in certain economic sectors, and to obtain certifications recognized in those sectors, as they work towards meeting the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students who graduate with a SHSM designation on their transcript are prepared for success in a particular sector and in the postsecondary destination of their choice, whether it be apprenticeship training, a college or university program, or the work place.
  • Every SHSM must include the following five components, which are outlined in detail in ministry-approved frameworks developed for each area of specialization:
    • “Reach ahead” opportunities, which allow students to experience learning in their intended postsecondary destination and which can range from a day of attendance at college, a university, or a workplace to the completion of a dual credit.


      Use of the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) to document demonstration of essential skills and work habits.

      Experiential learning through job shadowing, work experience, and a minimum of 2 credits earned through co-operative education.

      Compulsory certifications, which are identified in each SHSM framework.

      one-half credit for the Grade 10 Career Studies courses (which also meets a compulsory half-credit requirement for the O.S.S.D.

          A package of 9—11 required credits (the majority earned in Grade 11 and 12 courses) that constitute a pathway to one of four possible destinations: apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace. The package must include:

        • four credits—called the “major” credits—for courses that provide knowledge and skills closely related to the particular sector of specialization, which are specified in each of the frameworks;
        • three or four additional required credits for courses in English and other relevant disciplines (e.g., science, mathematics, or business studies), as specified in each of the frameworks, which include units of study that are customized to the particular sector. Some credits (e.g. English) may be used to meet compulsory credit requirements for the O.S.S.D.
        • two co-operative education credits, which may be used to meet two of the 18 compulsory credit requirements for the O.S.S.D


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External Links

  • : 22 Faulkner Street, Orangeville, Ontario, Canada L9W 2G7
  • : 519-941-0491
  • : 519-942-4901
  • :