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Helping More Hamilton-Area Students Succeed

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Helping More Hamilton-Area Students Succeed

McGuinty Government Expands Popular Specialist High Skills Majors Program

Ministry of Education

Ontario is helping more Hamilton-area high school students graduate and find their passion in the workforce with the expansion of Specialist High Skills Major programs.

Starting this September, eight Hamilton-area high schools will offer 11 additional Specialist High Skills Major programs, including:

With these additions, there will be 56 Specialist High Skills Majors offered in Hamilton-area high schools next school year in sectors such as business, non-profit and aviation and aerospace. Through these programs, students earn credits while developing the skills needed for college, university, apprenticeship or the workplace.

Building a well-educated workforce that helps Ontario compete in the global economy is part of the McGuinty government's plan to open the door to a bright future for high school graduates.

Quick Facts

  • In 2011-12, there will be over 1,300 Specialist High Skills Majors programs in 600 high schools across Ontario - an increase from 1,000 programs in 540 schools. This is the fifth year in a row Ontario is expanding the number of Specialist High Skills Major programs to meet growing demand.
  • More than 34,000 students will be enrolled in the Specialist High Skills Majors program across Ontario in 2011-12 - an increase of 6,000 students over this school year.
  • Programs like Specialist High Skills Majors have helped Ontario's graduation rate increase to 81 per cent from 68 per cent in 2003.

Additional Resources


“The Specialist High Skills Major program is a favourite of the students I meet in our high schools. Getting experience in a range of fields helps young people discover their talents and possible career options while earning credits to graduate.”

Leona Dombrowsky

Minister of Education

“I wish we had a program like this when I was in high school. I am a strong supporter of hands-on learning that goes beyond the classroom.”

Sophia Aggelonitis

MPP for Hamilton Mountain

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