McGuinty Government Expands Specialist High Skills Major Program

May 28, 2010 - More local high school students will get an academic and career edge with the expansion of the Specialist High School Majors (SHSM) program at local schools this fall.

This specialized secondary school program helps students earn credits towards their diploma, gain sector certifications and focus on future careers through more hands-on learning opportunities and workplace experiences.

Two new majors will be offered in 2010-11 within the Avon Maitland District School Board. Central Huron Secondary School will offer a Specialist High Skills Major in Information and Communications Technology. This is the first time that the Clinton school has hosted a SHSM program. F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham will add a Health and Wellness major to its existing SHSM programs.


* “I am thrilled that we are providing more hands-on learning opportunities for our high school students. Our Specialist High Skills Major program is one of the initiatives that has helped more than 52,500 additional students graduate since 2004.”
      Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education
* “We are helping more students succeed at Central Huron and F.E. Madill Secondary Schools by giving them work experience in their community and opportunities to test drive their career interests while in school.”
      Carol Mitchell, MPP for Huron-Bruce
* "Students who select these programs experience a seamless journey that begins in the classroom and leads to highly skilled careers."
      Chuck Reid, Director of Education, Avon Maitland District School Board
* “Offering specialized programs such as these help our students identify a clear pathway to a career, gain valuable experience and enhanced certification. The interest being generated in these programs further engages our students in the learning and improves student achievement and graduation rates.”
      Jenny Versteeg, Board Chair, Avon Maitland District School Board


* In 2010-11, there will be over 1,000 Specialist High Skills Majors programs in more than 530 secondary schools across Ontario – an increase of 260 programs and 100 schools over this school year.
* In 2010-11, there will be 28,000 students enrolled in the Specialist High Skills Majors program across Ontario – an increase of 8,000 students over this school year.
* The Student Success programs have helped raise Ontario’s graduation rate from 68 to 79 per cent in five years.
* There are currently 18 different majors across Ontario. Examples include sports, non-profit, energy, agriculture, aviation and aerospace, and construction.


See the complete list of Specialist High Skills Majors available in September 2010.