905-356-2401 5960 Pitton Rd. Niagara Falls ON L2H 1T5

What is a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)?

A Specialist High Skills Major is a Ministry approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector, while meeting the requirements of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The program assists in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace. An SHSM enables students to gain sector-specific skills and knowledge in the context of engaging, career-related learning environments and helps them focus on graduation and on pursing their postsecondary goals. 

Components of the Program Include:

  • Certifications

  • Experiential Learning

  • Specialized Bundle of Nine or Ten SENIOR Credits (depending on the SHSM) that includes a co-op placement of at least TWO CO-OP CREDITS

  • Sector-Partnered Experiences

  • Reach Ahead Experiences

**For more information check out
 the Ministry SHSM Fact Sheet


SHSM's at Westlane:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Horticulture (Through DSBN's Regional DIG IT program) 
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Transportation
  • New SHSM for 2023-2024 Health and Wellness

DSBN Regional SHSM's:

  • DIG IT SHSM Horticulture (runs out of Westlane)
  • Home Build Construction


Students can sign up for SHSM in Grade 11 (you can indicate you interest in the program at the end of Grade 10).
Please speak to your tech teacher about the requirements and how to sign up.