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Experiential Learning

Specialist High Skills Major(s)

August 27, 2020

The Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) program offers students the opportunity to explore a specific community, or economic and/or industrial sector in preparation for post-secondary destinations.

Type of Experiential Learning: Work-Integrated Learning

What does it look like?

The Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) program offers students the opportunity to explore a specific community, or economic and/or industrial sector, in preparation for post-secondary destinations in one of four pathways: Apprenticeship, College, University, or Workplace. SHSM includes specified, bundled credits, sector-recognized certifications, ‘Reach Ahead’ activities, and participation in a sector-partnered contextualized experience, where students work with real community organizations to solve an authentic problem their organization may face. The Waterloo Region District School Board currently offers eight SHSM Sectors.

Benefits

Students and Families

  • Provides opportunity for skill development and exploration for students intent on expanding experience, skills, and contacts related to an employment sector

Employers and Community

  • Promotes youth engagement and profile of community placement or employer as progressive and supportive
  • Develops talent, skills, and employees related to a sector

Educators

  • Provides meaningful, sector-oriented experience for students with an interest in an employment sector
  • Links directly to curricular learning outcomes and promotes cross curricular-focused instruction

Considerations

Students and Families

  • Promotes exploration of a career destination related to an employment sector
  • May be particularly engaging for those with an interest in employment sector-related skills and career opportunities

Employers and Community

  • May be a helpful support in identifying possible talent, community contributors, and employees

Educators

  • Allows for close work with colleagues/students to make curricular programming more relevant and connected to sector applications

Ontario SHSM

WRDSB SHSM

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