Specialist High Skills Major

What is the Specialist High Skills Major?


Specialist High Skills Major Health Care Science / Medical Technology

The SHSM enables students to customize their high school experience to suit their interests and talents and prepare for a successful post secondary transition to apprenticeship training, college, university, or employment, while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

The SHSM enables students to gain the sector-identified preparatory credits, skills and knowledge, and make informed career decisions. This makes the learning environment more engaging for students, focuses them on graduation and prepares them to pursue their career goals.

HDSB - Read about our 6 NEW SHSM Programs Press Release 2013

What are the highlights of these programs?

  • Select a bundle of 9-10 required credits identified in a Ministry approved framework including:
  • ‘Major’ credits (4) provide sector specific knowledge and skills (landscaping or manufacturing)
  • Other required credits (3), including English, science and mathematics, delivered in the context of the manufacturing sector;
  • Earn sector recognized certifications to assist in successful transition and possible advanced standing in the workplace and post secondary destinations
  • Earn additional certifications such as 1st Aid, CPR and WHMIS
  • Engage in experiential learning through job shadowing, work experience, and cooperative education- a minimum of 2 credits linked to the ‘Major’ credits;
  • Use the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) to document demonstration of essential skills and work habits;
  • Engage in ‘reach ahead’ experiences that range from experiential learning a few hours in length to full courses.
  • Receive relevant training that will lead to any post secondary destination and assist with easy transition into the workplace.
Transportation Specialist High Skills Major

When do students start a SHSM?

Students are able to enter a SHSM based on readiness and alignment of the program with their interests and post secondary goals. Entry should occur no later than Year 3 in order for the student to be appropriately scheduled into the required courses. See the SHSM process at right.


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.

Tweet us at OYAP Halton for more information about apprenticeship and our great OYAP programs.

Like us on Facebook at HDSB Pathways.
Halton Pathways


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.