specialist high skills major programs

Contact: Mrs Sheri Eady.

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Programs and Focus Programs were introduced by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to provide high school students with a special opportunity to take a concentration of courses that may not be available in their home school. These programs are being offered at a variety of schools throughout the Board.

shsm2 SHSM Programs offer in-depth training in an employment sector. Students are required to take a bundle of credits. They attend one semester at a designated school and earn remaining credits or requirements at their home school.


Focus programs allow students to explore an area of interest in Grade 11 or 12. Students attend the program for one semester at a designated school and are able to earn four credits.

The following SHSMs are hosted at South Carleton:

Community Support Services (Health and Wellness SHSM)

Students will further their studies while exploring careers related to community support services: geriatric services workers, youth workers, early childhood educators, fitness trainers, among many other exciting choices. This inclusive learning program provides pathway opportunities for students pursuing post secondary studies as well as the workplace. Students will develop a ‘helping attitude,’ that will serve them well regardless of which area of specialty they decide to pursue. This program allows students to explore and experience emerging career pathways, because demographics indicate that graduates in the health and wellness sector will be in high demand in the near future.
Prerequisite: None

Digital Photography, Media and Imaging (Communications and Information Technology SHSM)


Students will participate in a comprehensive digital media program that will include print, photography, and graphic design, where they will gain experience, develop skills, and increase their knowledge of this career sector. Students will develop transferable skills that will prepare them for the school/post secondary/work transitions. A major focus of the program will be the development of a professional portfolio that includes sports photography, events photography, newsletters, creation of books, 3D effects, posters, brochures, and photo packages. This portfolio will be a living record that students will be able to use and update throughout their post secondary experience and on into their careers. Another key emphasis of the program will be on improving the student’s awareness of the appropriate use of social media including Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Prerequisite: None.

Fabrication (Manufacturing SHSM)

Students have the opportunity to experience the fabrication trade through a variety of on-site and in-class projects which focus on design, welding, and quality control standards as they relate to the manufacturing industry. Student work will include both traditional and advanced manufacturing processes as they apply to design principles, electronic, pneumatic, and hydraulic control systems. Students will investigate, evaluate and select metals appropriate for projects and learn to use hand tools, power tools and welding techniques. Instruction will take place in the manufacturing shop, classroom, and through projects undertaken in the community.
Prerequisite: None

House Building (Construction SHSM)

Students will work with their teacher and a home-building company in a cooperative environment to construct or renovate a house. Through a variety of in-class and on-site projects, students will focus on traditional and advanced construction techniques, as they apply to the home-building industry. Students will work on floor, wall, and roof framing, install sheathing, windows and doors, insulation, drywall, painting, trim, and flooring. Students will also apply estimating skills as they relate to lumber take-offs, square footage, volume, and board feet. Instruction will take place in-class and on a construction site.
Prerequisite: Students must be 16 years of age or older.

Automotive Service and Repair (Transportation SHSM)

Students in the Automotive Service and Repair Program will gain first hand experience in vehicle and small engine repair. This program will engage and inspire students to learn more about small engines, tire changing, welding and general vehicle maintenance. Fundamental to this program is establishing and facilitating a strong understanding of all major vehicle systems, including engine management systems, power trains, steering/control, suspension, brake and body systems. Students will learn about engine rebuilds and full vehicle service repairs that would mirror the industry best practices found in many Auto Service Centers. This program will prepare students for pre-apprenticeship opportunities in the work force, as well as college/university programs.

High School Happenings, a TV show produced for Rogers by students at Colonel By S.S., featured some of South Carleton's SHSM programs on their April 5 show.  View the show

Other specialist high skills and focus programs are available at other schools - find out more at OCDSB Course Guide.


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