Slim Header


The Specialist High Skills Major launched in September 2007, is part of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s Student Success Strategy initiative. We at the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board are focused on expanding quality learning opportunities and supporting success for all our students. Students in this program focus their learning on one of two economic sectors that are significant for the Hamilton-Wentworth region—the health & wellness and construction economic sectors.

All students enrolled in this career-focused program will meet the requirements for their secondary school diploma (OSSD) and will be better prepared to make the transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace. Together with our community- partners the SHSM provides secondary school graduates with the knowledge, experience and determination to enter into these sectors.

Pursuing a Specialist High Skills Major enables our students to:

  • customize their secondary school education to suit their interests and talents while meeting the requirements for the OSSD;
  • Students select from a bundle of required credits focused on sector-specific knowledge and skills that are:
    • students must earn 2 experientail learnind credits in Cooperative Education
    • valued by the sector and postsecondary educational institutions; and are designed to help prepare students for a postsecondary destination of their choice. The program has built in flexibility so students may shift between pathways should their career plans change in Grade 11 or 12;
      · Students will earn recognized certifications for prospective employers and postsecondary educational institutions;
  • Students who take part in the SHSM will explore, identify, and refine their career goals and will make informed decisions regarding a postsecondary destination;
  • In addition students take part in “reach ahead” experiences in the area of their postsecondary destination of choice that will help them gain confidence in their ability to be successful, refine skills and work habits, and make an informed choice about future careers and next steps;
  • Develop Essential Skills and work habits that are required in the sector, and have their performance of those skills and work habits assessed and documented in their Ontario Skills Passport;
  • During their work experiences and cooperative education courses students will access resources, equipment, and expertise that may not be available in their secondary school.

The SHSM is a program of excellence which delivered in partnership with the Construction and Health & Wellness sector partners ensures that our students are developing the essential skills that meet 21st century industry standards. For more information feel free to contact the ministry of education site at:

Download General Information