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Giving High School Students More Opportunities To Succeed

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Giving High School Students More Opportunities To Succeed

McGuinty Government Expands Specialist High Skills Major Program

Ministry of Education

Ontario is helping more high school students get an academic and career edge by expanding its Specialist High Skills Major program to 100 more schools across the province, benefiting 8,000 additional students.

Two new majors will also be introduced this fall -- sports and non-profit.  This brings the total number of majors to 18 across Ontario. Other examples include construction, energy, agriculture, and aviation and aerospace.

This specialized secondary school program helps students earn certifications and focus on future careers through more hands-on learning opportunities and workplace experiences.

Students who major in sports will be better prepared for careers such as coaching, training, sport management and sport broadcasting, while those majoring in non-profit can get experience at community agencies.

This is part of the province's new Open Ontario plan to create jobs and opportunities for more Ontarians and build a well-educated workforce.

Quick Facts

  • The Student Success programs have helped raise Ontario's graduation rate from 68 to 79 per cent in five years.
  • In 2010-11, there will be over 1,000 Specialist High Skills Major programs in more than 530 secondary schools - an increase of 260 programs and 100 schools over the 2009-10 school year. There will also be 28,000 students enrolled.
  • Earlier this week, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced a new environment and resource management program to be offered at Walkerton District Secondary School in September.

Additional Resources


“As part of Education Week, I am pleased to announce the expansion of our Specialist High Skills Major program - one of our initiatives that has helped more than 52,500 additional students graduate since 2004.”

Leona Dombrowsky

Minister of Education

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