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​Specialist High Skills Major

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

What is a Specialist High Skills Major Program?

It is a program that enables students in all pathways to gain specific skills, training and knowledge related to a career field. It “customizes” students’ high school program based on their interests and helps them focus on their career goals and on graduating.

What is involved in a SHSM?

  • Students take courses that relate to the career they are interested in
  • Students take a 2 credit or 4 Credit that relates the their future career path
  • Industry-recognized training and certification (fork lift, crisis intervention, etc.)
  • Reach Ahead activities (attend a University/College Class) and Experiential Learning activities (tour of the RVH, Toronto Auto Show) associated with the specific business sector

Why take a SHSM?

  • Seal of Distinction on your Diploma
  • Ministry Specialist High Skills Major tracking sheet listing the students qualifications
  • A “leg up” on other job / program applicants
  • Possible apprenticeship hours (OYAP)

Bear Creek is proud to offer Three Specialist High Skills Major Programs :

Health and Wellness SHSM (checklist)
Sports SHSM

Arts & Culture SHSM
Transportation SHSM (checklist)

For more information, please visit the Bear Creek section at . Be sure to print off an application from the website for the SHSM that interests you and take it to the Guidance office.

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.

View more information about our Coop program.

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 Educa​tion 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.