Penetanguishene Secondary School is the place to be if you love the outdoors!  With a focus on environmental issues, wilderness experience and hands-on-learning, our Specialist High Skills Major in the Environment promises to be a great adventure.  Not in OELP?  That's OK!  This SHSM is available to both students who are in OELP, and students who want to "specialize" their learning, but are not interested in the OELP course "package".

5 Components of SHSM

  • a bundle of 8-10 credits, specializing in the industry or sector of the student's choice (in this case, th ENVIRONMENT)
  • sector-recognized certification and training
  • experiential learning activities
  • "reach ahead" experiences
  • development of essential skills linked to the student's desired career, using the Ontario Skills Passport

Value to Students

  • allows for a customized education that caters to traditionally academic and non-academic students equally (while meeting the requirements of their OSSD)
  • sector-specific knowledge and skills are valued by the sector and post-secondary institutions
  • increased retention rate of students both in and after secondary school
  • re-engagement in secondary school upon recognition of the link between the "outside" world (their desired career sector) and the classroom
  • college/university registrars see a SHSM designation on the application as an indication of interest in and commitment to a sector, which translated directly into increased student retention at the post-secondary level
  • students will earn a SHSM seal on their diploma

Benefits to Employers

  • employers can hire students that have specialized training and experience, in some cases, straight out of high school
  • new employees come with relevant certifications (eg. First Aid/CPR, health and safety training, wilderness survival training) which will reduce initial training costs to the employers
  • employers have to deal with less employee turnover, as a student with a SHSM has demonstrated and proven interest in the area

Benefits to the Community

  • there is a growing shortage of workers in some sectors of the economy in Ontario; the SHSM program addresses that need directly
  • Ontario schools no longer operate on the "one size fits all" basis; more students' needs are being met


Still have questions about SHSM in the Environment? (click here)