905-687-7301 34 Catherine Street, St. Catharines, ON L2R 5E7

What is a Specialist High Skills Major?

A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a Ministry of Education approved program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector, while meeting the requirement of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The program also assists students in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM enables students to gain sector specific skills and knowledge.

The St. Catharines Collegiate has been approved by the Ministry of Education to offer the Arts and Culture SHSM.

Profile of the Arts and Culture Sector

According to the Canada Council for the Arts, arts and culture are essential elements in the new global economy – not only for their entertainment value but also for the skills they develop in individuals. For example, an arts education challenges people to think critically and to solve problems creatively – skills that are now in high demand. During the 1990s, the culture sector labour force grew by 31 per cent, compared to a growth rate of 20 per cent for Canada’s labour force as a whole.

The SHSM–Arts and Culture enables students to build a foundation of sector-focused knowledge and skills before graduating and entering apprenticeship training, college, university, or an entry-level position in the workplace. Depending on local circumstances, this SHSM may be designed to have a particular focus – for example, on dance, dramatic arts management, or technical production. Where a choice of focus areas is offered, students may select one.

What will students learn in the Arts and Culture major study?

A bundle of nine Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits in which students earn:

  • Four arts and culture major credits
  • One English credit and one credit in either business studies or Canadian and world studies tailored to include units focused on arts and culture

- Two cooperative education credits to gain workplace experience that enables students to refine, extend and practice sector-specific knowledge and skills

-Experiential learning, career exploration and reach ahead activities within the sector

-Certifications and training programs/courses in first aid, CPR and hazardous materials 

-Essential Skills and work habits required in the sector

What are the future career paths for arts and culture?

For arts and culture majors, possible careers include:

  • Apprenticeship – gem setter/goldsmith, stage sound and light technician
  • College – photographer, graphic artist
  • University – journalist, writer, visual artist, conductor
  • Entry level workplace – photographic and film processor, printing machine operator, sign maker