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Specialist High Skills Major

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs are sector-specific programs that start in Grade 11. They're made up of a bundle of courses with options for all post-secondary pathways. In an SHSM, students:

  • complete a specific bundle of 8-10 courses in the student's selected field
  • earn valuable industry certifications related to the selected field
  • gain important on-the-job skills through co-operative education placements

For more information about SHSM programs available at SCDSB schools, visit:

Cooperative Education

All students, regardless of their post-secondary destination, have the opportunity to take cooperative education (co-op). In co-op, students learn by integrating classroom theory and learning experiences at a workplace.

Dual Credit

Through dual credit courses, students can earn a high school credit at the same time as a college credit. Dual credit courses give students the chance to experience post-secondary education. The college credit will count towards a college diploma as long as it's a requirement for the college program the student chooses to pursue.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is available to all full-time students who are at least 16 years old and have 16 high school credits. To enter OYAP, students must be in a co-operative education program. Once the student becomes a registered apprentice, the hours earned through the co-op may count towards their apprenticeship. Students are also placed on the waitlist for trade school. Visit

Learning Centres/Resource Rooms

All high schools have a place where students can receive additional support. Some students with special education needs may spend a portion of their day in a Learning Centre. This is outlined in their Individual Education Plan (IEP).

More information about special education can be found on the SCDSB's Special Education page.

Alternative Learning

We have an Alternative Secondary School with locations throughout Simcoe County. The program is designed for students who have difficulty coping with a large school setting, and who may benefit from the small class sizes, one-on-one assistance, flexibility, and close relationships with the teachers.

For information, please contact

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement (AP) provides secondary students with an opportunity for learning that goes beyond the Ontario Curriculum, allowing them to experience university-level programming while still in high school. Many Canadian and international universities recognize AP standing for first year study in specific courses. AP exams are developed and administrated by the College Board in New Jersey, U.S.A. and are written in May of each year. For more information about AP, contact our guidance department.