Specialist High Skills Major

The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a specialized, Ministry of Education-approved program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific sector or interest while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). SHSM programs assist students in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace. 

Students who complete all the requirements of the SHSM program will receive an Ontario Secondary School Diploma with an embossed SHSM seal. This seal is a representation of the skills and knowledge acquired through various training activities, certifications and experiences. 

Students graduating with a SHSM designation on their diploma will also receive a SHSM Record, which provides details regarding their achievement of the five required components. 

Key Benefits

Pursuing an SHSM enables students to:

  • customize their secondary school education to suit their interests and talents; 

  • build a resume of specialized knowledge and skills and sector-specific, industry recognized, certifications and training;

  • make informed decisions about their post-secondary destination by seeing first-hand what a career in the sector looks and feels like; and, 

  • gain confidence in their ability to succeed, and see the connections between school and careers.

How an SHSM is Recognized

Students who successfully complete an SHSM receive:

  • An Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with an embossed SHSM seal;

  • An SHSM Record documenting his/her achievement; and,

  • Formal recognition on his/her Ontario Student Transcript.

2019-2020 RCDSB SHSM Facts

  • 7 RCDSB secondary schools offered with 39 programs SHSM
  • 13 SHSM sectors
  • 833 students participated
  • RCDSB footprint 52% of Grade 11 or 12 participated
  • SHSMs offered: Arts and Culture, Construction, Energy, Environment,
  • Food Processing, Health and Wellness, Horticulture and Landscaping,
  • Hospitality and Tourism, Information and Communication Technology,
  • Justice Community Services and Emergency Services, Manufacturing,
  • Sports, Transportation
  • Ministry of Education Funding: $666,150

Additional Resources (subtitle)

Below are links to additional resources with information on the topic referenced above. The RCDSB, other government departments (provincial or federal) or third-party organizations may provide these additional resources: