High School Programs and Certificate Opportunities

Students shouldn’t have to wait until they graduate high school to gain valuable work experience. A student should be able to reach as far as they would like to during their high school career. That’s why we have various programs that can give your child practical experience in a career field while still earning credits toward their high school diploma.

High School Certificate Programs

To give your child a competitive advantage after high school, they can earn several certifications with their high school diploma. It’s a good idea to keep these certification requirements in mind when choosing electives!

High School French Certificates

Your child can earn a French as a Second Language certificate in either of our Core French or Immersion French programs as long as they complete the requirements. These certificates can be earned at every OCSB high school.


  • Core French Certificate requirements: 4 French language courses, including the Grade 11 and 12 Core French courses.
  • Immersion French Certificate requirements: 10 French courses (4 language courses and 6 additional courses taught in French). A Cooperative education placement, linked to a French credit, may be included toward the 6 additional credits.
High School Business Certificate

To earn a Business Studies Certificate, your child needs at least 5 credits through Business Studies courses (“B” codes), Economics courses (CIC3E, CIE3M, CIA4U), or Cooperative education credits tied to Business courses. This certificate can be earned at every OCSB high school. Talk to your guidance counsellor for more information.

High School Technological Education Certificate

Your child can earn a Technological Education certificate by completing a minimum of 5 credits through Technological Education courses (“T” codes) or Cooperative education credits tied to Technological Education courses. This certificate can be earned at every OCSB high school. Talk to your guidance counsellor for more information.

Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) program

The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program at the Ottawa Catholic School Board gives your child hands-on experience in an in-demand career sector while still in high school. Students in grades 11 and 12 get to explore career options, gain qualifications and start carving out their future right now.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a specialized program that enables full-time students who are 15 years of age or older to explore careers in the skilled trades (earning co-op credits in related curriculum courses) while earning valuable work experience in an occupation that requires apprenticeship before they graduate from high school.

OCSB Elite Skilled Trades Academy

Our Elite Skilled Trades Academy is a specialist 1-year focus program, broken up over one semester of grade 11 and one semester of grade 12. The Academy offers Carpentry, Automotive, and Masonry programs. Students gain sector-recognized certifications and begin their Apprenticeship training with an employer while still in high school. Instead of paying for post-secondary school after they graduate, students will also receive their Level 1 certification, paid by the Academy, while they are still in high school. This is the Apprenticeship route and will allow students to be ready to work in well-paying jobs immediately after they graduate high school. Students alternate semesters between their home school and St. Paul High School and can graduate with their peers from their home school. After graduation, students can continue their Apprenticeship with their employer.

Cooperative Education

Our cooperative education program is a unique experience that allows students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work placement. The program allows participants to take what they learned in school and apply it to a real-world work environment.

Focus Programs

Focus Programs are packages of courses that concentrate on a particular field of interest or training to provide students with curriculum-specific and workplace experience. This helps build a foundation for their chosen career path.

Dual Credit Programs

Students with the potential to succeed that may be facing challenges completing diploma requirements can benefit from this program option. Students can earn up to four dual credits, which count towards their high school diploma and their post-secondary diploma, degree or apprenticeship certification.

Specialized Programs for High-Performance Athletes and Artists

We recognize the need to provide flexibility to top athletes and artists so that they may continue to train at the provincial, national, and international levels in their disciplines while continuing with their academic studies.