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SHSM - Specialist High Skills Major

What is a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)?

 An SHSM is a Ministry-approved specialized program that provides the opportunity for students to explore and plan for future career options. Students enrol in courses that satisfy their OSSD and post-secondary entrance requirements, while adding valuable experiential learning to the decision making process.

What SHSM programs are offered at Sir Winston Churchill?

 Sir Winston Churchill offers two programs:   "Arts and Culture" and "Information & Communications Technology".


How do students qualify for the SHSM designation?

 Students must complete the following 5 components:

1.      A bundle of 8 (A&C) or 9 (ICT) credits from Grade 11 and Grade 12 Pathways Chart including:

a.       4 Major credits from the respective Pathways Chart

b.      2 (A&C) or 3 (ICT) Required credits  from the respective Pathways Chart

c.       2 Co-operative Education credits that provide authentic learning experiences in a workplace setting.


2.      Certifications: A minimum of 6 sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses, including CPR-C, Standard First Aid, and WHMIS.

3.      Experiential Learning and career exploration activities within the sector.

4.    Postsecondary Reach Ahead experiences connected with the student’s pathway options.

5.      The development of Essential Skills and Work Habits required in the sector, and the use of the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) for the purposes of documentation (all completed in the Co-op component).

 How does the SHSM program benefit the students?

 Pursuing an SHSM enables students to:

• Customize their secondary school education to suit their interests and talents.

• Develop specialized knowledge and skills.

• Earn credits that postsecondary educational institutions and the sector recognize.

• Gain sector-recognized certification and career-relevant training.

• Develop Essential Skills and Work Habits documented through the Ontario Skills Passport.

• Identify, explore and refine career goals and make informed decisions about their future.

• Remain flexible, with the option to shift between pathways, should their goals and plans change.

 How is successful completion of the SHSM program documented?

 Students who successfully complete an SHSM receive:

• An Ontario Secondary School Diploma with an embossed red seal.

• An SHSM Record documenting his/her achievement.

• Formal recognition on his/her Ontario Student Transcript

 When and how do students apply for?

 It's easy!  Students usually get registered into a SHSM program through Guidance a the start of their Gr. 11 year; however all students are encouraged to meet with a Guidance Counsellor as soon as they think that they might be interested, regardless of their current grade.  Together we can map out a plan to see how the SHSM program will work for each student.


For more information, please speak with a Guidance Counsellor and/or:

Mr. Busca, Program Leader for Technology

Ms. Carlson, Program Leader for the Arts