Specialist High Skills Major

Specialist High Skills Majors let students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students receive the SHSM seal on their diploma when they:
  • complete a specific bundle of 8-10 courses in the student's selected field
  • earn valuable industry certifications including first aid and CPR qualifications
  • gain important skills on the job through cooperative education placements.
Who are they for?
Grade 11 and 12 students who are:
  • heading for apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace
  • wanting to identify, explore and refine their career goals and make informed choices about their next steps after secondary school.
Holy Cross offers SHSM programs in 3 economic sectors: Agriculture, Construction and Non-Profit.

Agriculture SHSM

The Agriculture SHSM enables students to build a foundation of sector-focused knowledge and skills before graduating and entering apprenticeship training, college, university, or an entry-level position in the workplace. This particular SHSM is designed to have a particular focus on developing skills required for the maintenance and repair of agricultural equipment, and technical skills used in an agricultural setting (i.e. welding, construction), . This focus is achieved through the selection of the four major credits in the bundle.

Construction SHSM

The Construction SHSM gives students an opportunity to specialize, gain qualifications, and plan a career pathway in various areas of the Construction sector, one of Ontario's largest sectors. The construction industry is very diverse and offers the opportunity to participate in all sorts of projects. Students learn skills that would prepare them for home building and renovations, industrial construction, institutional and commercial construction and civil engineering construction.  Students will also have opportunities for Reach Ahead experiences and through cooperative education, working with sector partners as well as visiting colleges and universities that offer Construction related programs.

Non Profit Program SHSM

The Non Profit Program is a specialized program that will allow Holy Cross students in Grades 11 and 12 to focus their learning on the non profit sector while meeting the requirements to graduate with their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The non profit sector offers a wide range of careers that are dynamic, engaging and rewarding in areas such as art, culture, social justice, education, information technology, health care, and social development. The common vision throughout this growing sector in Canada’s economy is the desire to make a difference both in our community and throughout the world working with various aid organizations.​

Certifications and Training for Non-Profit Students:

Four (4) compulsory
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Level C – includes automated external defibrillation (AED) ethical considerations Standard First Aid Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – generic (i.e., not site-specific) instruction
Three (3) electives from the list below
behavior management communication skills compass/map/global positioning system (GPS) conflict resolution
customer service environmental awareness equity and inclusion event coordination
fundraising group dynamics incident management Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE)
legal/administrative procedures leadership skills non-violent crisis intervention personality inventory
portfolio development project management proposal/grant writing SafeTALK
sector-specific software 1 self-defence social media networking successful exhibiting