SHSM program

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High School

Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) program


What is a SHSM program?

The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students in grades 11 and 12 to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from high school. A SHSM program gives students the opportunity to specialize their learning, gain qualifications, and explore a career pathway while still in high school.


Who is it for?

A SHSM program can benefit any student. By the end of Grade 12, students have real world experience, a better sense of the type of work they want to do, and an understanding of where a career in their chosen sector can take them. No matter what path students plan to follow after high school — apprenticeship, college, university or workplace training — a SHSM program helps them to focus on and explore a future career.


What are the benefits?

SHSM students will:

  • EXPERIENCE first hand what a career in their sector feels and looks like
  • DISCOVER the relationship between school and careers
  • NETWORK with postsecondary institutions, local industries and businesses
  • EARN industry-recognized certifications and training
  • OPEN doors for summer jobs and future employment


How does it work?

Students in each SHSM program take a bundle of 8-10 courses in grades 11 and 12, including four credits related to the focus of their SHSM and two co-op credits. Throughout each year, students will also participate in several sector-based learning activities such as competitions and learning fairs, job shadowing, presentations from college/university students, and visits to a college/university class, as well as take part in industry-recognized certification and/or training courses.

SHSM questions answered

Have questions about the SHSM program? Read our FAQ to learn more. Then speak to your school guidance counselor or lead SHSM teacher.

Plan ahead for a SHSM

Younger students are encouraged to look at their options and plan ahead.

SHSM program locations

See which SHSM programs are offered at each of our high schools.

Registration Information

Enrolment to SHSM programs is limited. Learn about the registration process.

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