Environment SHSM

About the Program

The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program in the Environment gives students an opportunity to specialize, gain qualifications, and plan a career pathway in various areas of the Environment sector while still in high school. The SHSM Program has a number of required components, designed to give students a "leg-up" to pursue post-secondary opportunities in each of the identified sectors, valuing all 4 destinations.

The Required Components are as follows:

  • Bundled Credits: Each SHSM program offers students a bundle of 8 - 10 credits, including:
    • 4 "major" credits in courses related to the Environment (2 in Grade 11 and 2 in Grade 12)
    • Supporting credits: 2 English credits, 1 Grade 11 math credit, 2 cooperative education credits, and other complimenting credits depending on the program, that will be delivered in the context of that sector
  • Contextualized Learning Activities: Supporting credits, such as English, or math include units and other opportunities for SHSM students to learn in the context of the sector they have chosen
    • i.e. Students complete a poetry unit on Environmental issues
  • Certifications and Awareness Training: Sector-recognized certifications related to the major and selected from a list, including Standard First Aid, CPR Training, WHMIS, Global Positioning System (GPS) and three electives specific to the Environment sector, such as paddling techniques
  • Experiential Learning Opportunities:
    • Job-shadowing, job-twinning, work experience
    • Minimum of 2 Cooperative Education credits linked to the major
    • Field trips, other workplace experiences for students to explore careers related to that sector
  • Documentation of Essential Skills and Work Habits through the Ontario Skills Passport
  • Reach Ahead Experiences: In the field and sectors considered as a post-secondary destination, ranging from a few hours to full courses (dual credit programs)
  • Students can complete the SHSM program to prepare them for their pathway to any of the four post-secondary destinations, apprenticeship, college, university and work

More Information

For more information on the Specialist High Skills Major Environment program, contact your school guidance counsellor, log onto OnSorts.ca or contact the program teacher.

Programs & Locations


Program Name



Program Teacher

Further Information

Royal Botanical Gardens ECO Studies

Aldershot School



Jason Blair


905 637-2383

Program Website

Program Brochure

Bronte Creek Project

Gary Allan High School


Jodie Schnurr


905 691-0190

Program Brochure

E.A.R.T.H. (Environmental Awareness & Respect Through High Skills Major)

Georgetown District High School



Gord Swanson


905 877-6966

SHSM Environment Garth Webb Secondary School (#49) September 2013

Amy Westenberg


905 847-6875

Focus on opportunities in conservation, research, recreation and innovation for students interested in the environment and protecting our natural resources.



To learn more about the process or to start the process you can download the following document. This document is designed to help you through the process of being accepted into a SHSM program.


You may also pick up a complete package from the School to Career Guidance contact at your present school to book a visit or interview.

For the name of the School to Career Contact at your school go to our Contact Us page.


OnSorts (On-Line Student OYAP Registration and Tracking System) Use OnSorts to keep your post-secondary endeavours up-to-date, show your interest in apprenticeship or coop studies, or just to learn more about your options.
ALL HCDSB students must meet with their guidance counsellor or Lead teacher to apply to a program currently running in this school year. 

Click here to visit OnSorts.ca.