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Greater Essex County District School Board
Building Tomorrow Together
Specialist High Skills Major
What is the Specialist High Skills Major?
The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a program that allows students to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests. Each major consists of a bundle of 8-10 courses, certifications and training, and co-operative work experiences related to the student's selected field.  Students who complete all of the program requirements by graduation will earn a red seal on their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. 


Who are they for?
Grade 11 and 12 students in any pathway (apprenticeship, college, university or the workplace) who are interested in gaining a specialization in a specific industry sector through experiential learning, course work, and additional training and certifications.  Registration for programs can begin as early as the second semester of grade 10 for the following year. 

How do SHSMs help students?
Students have the opportunity 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.
  • Make real-world connections between their course work and their industry of interest. 
  • Differentiate themselves from others in future applications for bursaries and scholarships.
  • Participate in "reach ahead" activities that highlight opportunities available after high school. 
What SHSM sectors are offered at each school and who are the teacher leads? 

How Can I Learn More About the Specialist High Skills Major Program?
Please contact Justin St. Pierre by phone 519-255-3200 ext. 10333 or email [email protected]  You can also contact any GECDSB secondary school guidance department.