Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)





SHSM is a Ministry of Education approved program run at selected schools across Ontario. It is a flexible combination of courses and experiences that allow students to gain specialized skills, knowledge and experience in a particular sector of the Canadian workforce and prepare them for the future. By finding their passion, students get a head start on life!

At SATEC @ WA Porter CI, we offer two different SHSM programs



Information & Communications Technology (ICT)

2023 SHSM Grade 11 registration information assembly slide deck click here

2023 - 2024 Grade 11 SHSM Applicant Click here to join the potential SHSM google classroom

Grade 9 SHSM info meeting slide deck

Grade 10 SHSM info meeting slide deck

Grade 10 Google classroom (2325 Grade 10 potential SHSM)


Who are they for?

Grade 11 and 12 Students

The SHSM program is available for all four post-secondary pathways (University, College, Apprenticeship & Workplace). Specialist High Skills Majors let students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students receive the SHSM’s seal on their diploma when they

  • complete a specific bundle of 8-10 courses in the student’s selected field
  • earn valuable industry certifications including first aid and CPR qualifications
  • gain important skills on the job with employers

Benefits of Enrolling in the SHSM Program

There are several benefits to enrolling in the SHSM program:

  • Students successful at earning a SHSM receive a special Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with a red seal. This indicates they have specialist skills. In addition, transcripts and other student records document student’s participation in the SHSM Program.
  • Experiences from SHSM allow students to make connections with industry that will aid them in future career hunting.
  • Experiences from SHSM allow students to make a more complete resume.
  • The components of a SHSM ensure quality programs that are valued by post-secondary and employer partners.
  • The SHSM program provides evidence of achievement for prospective employers and post-secondary education institutions.
  • The SHSM program allows access to resources, equipment and expertise that are not available at most secondary schools.

SHSM Program Requirements

There are several requirements students must complete to earn the SHSM OSSD.


Students must take a core set of Ministry of Education approved courses that have been created and bundled to give experiences and skills an a particular sector. These courses are listed on the individual SHSM pages.

Cooperative Education

Students must complete 2 credits in Cooperative Education. Their placement must be in the Environment or ICT, depending on which program they are enrolled in. Coop allows students to explore particular careers and earn real-life job experiences.

Additional Learning Experience (CLA)

These are program related 6-hour modules that students need to complete in selected English and Math courses.

Sector Recognized Certifications & Training

Students must complete certifications and/or training modules. These modules are recognized by industry as valuable skills. Three of the six certificates/modules must be First Aid, CPR and WHMIS. The other three are program specific. These qualifications and training give an advantage when entering the work force.

Experiential Learning & Career Exploration Activities

Students explore learning activities that take place outside the traditional classroom setting. It can include job twinning, work experience and virtual work experience. Students also explore their awareness of and develop the Essential Skills and work habits.

Reach-Ahead Experiences

Students participate in authentic experiences in their post-secondary option of choice. This will allow students to make an informed choice about future careers. Examples may include attending a university or college class, attending/planning a science/technology fair, attending a conference or workshop or completing a dual credit course.

Ontario Skills Passport

Allows students to develop knowledge of the Essential Skills and work habits required within the sector.

(some of the information on this page is from