Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)

The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program encourages students to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting their graduation requirements. The SHSM is a valued part of the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB) Grade 11 and 12 students' pathways.

Key Benefits

Pursuing an SHSM enables students to:

  • Customize their high school experience to suit their interests and talents;
  • Develop specialized knowledge and skills;
  • Earn credits that postsecondary educational institutions and the sector recognize;
  • Prepare for a successful postsecondary transition to apprenticeship training, college, university or employment;
  • Gain sector-recognized certification and career-relevant training;
  • Develop essential skills and work habits documented through the Ontario Skills Passport;
  • Explore and refine career goals and make informed decisions about their future; and
  • Become more engaged in their learning.

Student in chef's uniform standing in kitchen behind baked goods

A Fellowes High School SHSM Hospitality and Tourism student shows off some of his work!


How an SHSM is Recognized

Students who successfully complete an SHSM receive:

  • An Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with an embossed red seal;
  • An SHSM Record documenting his/her achievement; and
  • Formal recognition on his/her Ontario Student Transcript.

2011-2012 RCDSB SHSM Facts


7 RCDSB secondary schools offered SHSM

11 SHSM sectors

499 students participated (compared to 384 in 2009-2010)

New SHSMs offered: Energy, Manufacturing, Construction, and Justice Community and Safety

Ministry of Education Funding: $478,700

Additional Resources

Ontario Ministry of Education Specialist High Skills Major