Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

Specialist High Skills Major Program (SHSM)

The SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific sector while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and assists in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace.

An SHSM enables students to gain sector-specific skills and knowledge in the context of engaging, career-related learning environments and helps them focus on graduation and on pursuing their postsecondary goals.

Every SHSM must include the following five components, which are outlined in detail in individual guides for each sector.
A bundle of 8–10 Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits that includes:

  • 4 major credits that provide sector-specific knowledge and skills
  • 2–4 other required credits from the Ontario curriculum, in which some
  • 2 cooperative education credits that provide authentic learning experiences in a workplace setting, enabling students to refine, extend, and practise sector-specific knowledge and skills
  • Sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses
  • Experiential learning and career exploration activities within the sector
  • Reach ahead” experiences connected with the student’s chosen postsecondary pathway
  • Development of Essential Skills and work habits required

Students earning an SHSM receive an OSSD with the red SHSM seal as well as an SHSM Record that documents the student’s achievement of the required components.

In the 2008–09 school year, E.C. Drury was proud to offer an SHSM for the very first time in the ARTS and CULTURE sector. Within the Arts and Culture Sector, Students can further bundle their credits by selecting one of the following three areas:


At ECD students may take the following courses to complete their Arts and Culture SHSM:

  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts
  • Graphic Arts
  • Video Production
  • Set Design and Construction
  • Fashion and Costume Design
  • Media Studies and Business

For more information on SHSM in Ontario Schools visit the government web site: