What is a Specialist High Skills Major?

What are they?

Specialist High Skills MajorsSpecialist 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 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 through cooperative education placements.

Who is it for?

Grade 11 and 12 students who:

  • Are planning a pathway to an apprenticeship, college, university, or into the workplace.
  • Want to identify, explore and refine their career goals and make informed choices about their next steps after secondary school.

Pursuing an SHSM enables students to:

  • gain important skills on the job with actual employers, at skills training centres and at school
  • earn valuable industry certifications, including first aid and CPR qualifications.

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

At Forest Heights Collegiate Institute, SHSMs are available in the following sectors:  Arts and Culture & Information and Communication Technology.

Arts & Culture SHSM Program


The following link provides more information:

Requirements and Occupations for the SHSM – Arts and Culture

Information & Communication Technology SHSM Program 

The following link provides more information:

Requirements and occupations for the SHSM – Information and Communication Technology