Welcome to SHSM

Welcome to the SHSM Page for Courtice Secondary School!


What is a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)?
SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

SHSM Sectors
Courtice Secondary is proud to offer programs in the following  sectors:

  • Arts & Culture
  • The Environment

Benefits to Students
SHSM assists students in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college,  university, or the workplace:

  • Successful completion of an SHSM is indicated on the student’s Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) by a Red Seal.
  • Successful completion of an SHSM is indicated on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript (OST), where it may be seen by any post secondary institution, employer or training organization.
  • Students receive an SHSM Record that documents their achievement of the required components, including sector-related certifications earned and or training courses completed.
  • Students gain valuable experience and certifications, which increases confidence in their ability to succeed and see the connections between their studies, the world beyond high school and future careers.
  • Students have the opportunity to explore, identify and refine career goals and make informed decisions related to post secondary education or training and next steps towards a career.

What is required?
Every SHSM must include the following components:
Contextualized Learning Activities (CLAs)
Students in a SHSM program will complete learning activities that are based on the knowledge and skills
relevant to the economic sector of their chosen SHSM.
Contextualized learning activities address curriculum expectations in these courses. For example, a student in a Construction SHSM could have a six-hour unit on building roof trusses as part of his or her Grade 11 Mathematics course.

Sector-Recognized Certifications
All students will receive certification in:

  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System)
  • CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) - Level C; includes automated external defibrillation (AED)
  • Standard First Aid

In addition, students will receive at least three more sector-specific certifications, for example:

  • recording equipment
  • chainsaw safety
  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • CWB welding
  • fall protection
  • elevated work platforms
  • plant layout
  • safe food handling
  • Smart Serve.

Experiential Learning
Students will have experiential learning activities within the sector, which may include:

  • job shadowing experience
  • short term work experience
  • virtual work experience
  • Skills Canada competitions.

“Reach Ahead” Experiences
“Reach Ahead” experiences are connected with students’ chosen post-secondary pathway. These experiences could include visits to sector-related industries and/or businesses, training facilities, skills competitions, colleges, universities and dual credit programs.

Bundled Credits

A SHSM Program must contain a bundle of 8-10 credits including:

  • four major credits that provide sector specific knowledge and skills
  • two to four other required credits from the Ontario curriculum, in which some expectations are met through learning activities related to the sector
  • two credits in Cooperative Education related to the major credits

To view the SHSM Parent Guide from KPR click HERE.

Contact Information

Contact Information




Kari-Ann Stone

Guidance Counsellor       








More Information

More Information

For more Information on SHSMs available at Courtice Secondary:

 - Arts & Culture (Click HERE)

 - The Environment (Click HERE)

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