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 SHSM program.  These included reach ahead activities, sector relevent certifications and a 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.

For more information, please visit WRDSB SHSM page or the Ministry of Education website.

EDSS offers four Specialist High Skills Major programs: Health and Wellness (H & W), Manufacturing,  Environment, and Construction (NEW 2020-2021)

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

 Construction enables students to build a foundation of sector-focused knowledge and skills before entering apprenticeship training, college, university, or an entry-level position in the workplace.

  • Apprenticeship Training: carpenter, electrician, heating, refridgeration, and air conditioning mechanic, plumber, roofer and shingler
  • College: architectural technologist, civil engineering technologist, construction manager, contractor and superivisor, electrical trade
  • University: architect, civil engineers, electrical and electronics engineer, mechanical engineer
  • Workplace: concrete finisher, construction trades helper and labourer, home building and renovation manager

Course Requirements and Certifications for each SHSM:

Health and Wellness