The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) offers grade 11 and 12 students the opportunity to explore a targeted career path in depth.  This program may be completed at the University, College, Apprenticeship or Workplace level.

Successful completion of this enrichment program earns students a unique red seal of achievement on their graduation diplomas.  In most cases, it also offers an advantage on post secondary program applications and job opportunities. In addition, some colleges and universities also offer specific scholarships to SHSM graduates.  Most importantly, all students are impacted by the experiential learning connected to the mandatory Co-op placement.

Enrolment: Students officially enrol in the SHSM program in Grade 11.  The program requires a 2 year commitment to complete the 9 credit course requirements.

EDSS offers three Specialist High Skills Major programs: Health and Wellness (H&W) and Manufacturing  and Environment .

Some Examples of Career Opportunities in these  sector areas include:

Health & Wellness (H & W)

  • Apprenticeship Training: Child and Youth Worker, Early Childhood Educator, Educational Assistant
  • College: Ambulance Attendants, Paramedical Occupations, Biomedical Engineering Technologist
  • University: Chiropractor, Dentist, Pharmacist
  • Workplace: Certified Personal Trainer, Doctor’s Office Receptionist, Fitness Instructor


  • Apprenticeship Training: Electrician, Industrial Instrument Mechanic Millwright – Industrial, Precision Machinist, Precision Metal Fabricator, Tool and Die Maker, Welder
  • College: Design and Drafting Technologist, Instrumentation and Control Technologist and Technician, Manufacturing Technician/Technologist, Production and Quality Control Technologist
  • University: Chemical Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineer, Mechanical Engineer
  • Workplace: Foundry Worker, Inventory Clerk, Labourer, Material Handling, Machine Operator, Metal Machining, Motor Vehicle Assembler

Environment directs students toward courses which enhance global and environmental awareness.

  • Apprenticeship Training:  mechanic, arborist, heat and frost insulator, dairy herdsperson
  • College:  paralegal, immigration officer, forest ecologist, biological technician
  • University:  environmental lawyer, landscape architect, power engineer, forestry professional
  • Workplace:  landscaper, gardener, florist, outdoor and recreation guide


Course Requirements and Certifications for each SHSM:

Health and Wellness

Extra training may include:

First Aid and CPR, WHMIS, infection control, allergy awareness, concussion awareness, customer service, fitness, safe food handling, lab practices, medical terminology, sterile techniques, personal training, portfolio development, safe body mechanics, wrapping and taping for performance and injury, and many more!