Sign In
/Style Library/ci_upload/7e3fc6db-fece-4dea-950c-ddf0a3a62d1en.png?rev=-262882405
Logo Image For Printing



What is a Specialist High Skills Major?

The SHSM program offers students in grade 11 and 12 the opportunity to explore a specific area or career of interest, and to acquire the skills and experience that will assist them in their postsecondary pathway: Apprenticeship Training, College, University and the Workplace.

At the TCDSB, there are over 2300 students enrolled in 76 SHSM programs across 28 high schools. Students may register for a program offered by their home school. 

  Each SHSM Program Includes: (Please watch the SHSM Video for ​more information)

 The five components of an SHSM Diploma

1.  A Bundle of Credits
​Eight to ten Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits consisting of:
  • four major credits; 
  • two to four other required credits; and 
  • a minimum of two required cooperative education credits.​

2. Certification and Training
All SHSM programs require 6-8 sector-recognized certifications or training courses. 
They include specified numbers of:
  • compulsory certifications or training courses(e.g. Standard First Aid, CPR level C);
  • elective certifications and/or training courses, which are selected from a list provided by the Ministry of Education for each sector.

3. Experiential Learning and Career Exploration Activities
  • Experiential learning and career exploration activities allow students to explore, observe, participate in, and reflect on a variety of sector-specific experiences and careers. 
  • These activities enable students enrolled in the SHSM program to learn about the opportunities available to them in careers that interest them.
  • i.e. Skills Canada competition, job shadowing, career fair/panel conference. 

4. Reach Ahead Experiences

  • These are learning experiences that are connected with the student’s postsecondary plans
  • ​ i.e. attending a conference/workshop, touring a postsecondary institution, completing a Dual Credit course, etc.

5. Sector-Partnered Experiences

SPE activities are experien​tial activities co-delivered with a sector partner. They provide students with the opportunity to gain insight into the relationship between their sector program and how the following are used within the sector:

  • ​Mathematical Literacy
  • Contextualized Coding
  • ICE (Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship)

Upon graduation, students who complete an SHSM program will receive:

       An OSSD with an embossed SHSM seal of distinction;
​​•       An SHSM Record Card documenting the student's achievement placed in the student's OSR.

Students In SHSM Programs Have The Opportunity To:

  • Customize their secondary school education to suit their interests and talents through a specialized package of credits;
  • Develop sector-recognized knowledge and skills while earning their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD);
  • Explore, identify, and refine career goals - cooperative education credits allow students to practice and refine skill development, network with professionals working in the sector and gain sector-specific employment experience;
  • Make informed decisions regarding postsecondary destinations;
  • Access resources, equipment, and expertise that may not be available in their home secondary school;
  • Receive a special SHSM red seal designation on their diploma; and
  • Network with potential employers

SHSM Postsecondary Opportunities:​  

SHSM students identify themselves through a checkbox on OCAS and OUAC when they are applying to College or University. 

There are scholarship and incentive opportunities for SHSM graduates at some of the following postsecondary institutions. Click on the links below to learn more.

Header graphic

SHSM Programs Offered By The TCDSB 

SHSM Programs by Sector for 2021-22.PNG


Students interested in their school's SHSM Program should contact their guidance counsellor, an SHSM subject teacher or send an email to for more information.​

SHSM Your Skills Your Future Logo.PNG