• News
  • June 21, 2011

Helping More York Region Area Students Succeed

Ontario Government Expands Popular Specialist High Skills Majors Program

June 21, 2011

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


Starting this September, 22 York Region area high schools will offer 8 additional Specialist High Skills Major programs, including:

  • Father Michael McGiveny Catholic High School – Arts and Culture
  • Cardinal Carter Catholic High School – Business
  • St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School – Business
  • Sacred Heart Catholic High School – Health and Wellness
  • Brother Andre Catholic High School – Arts and Culture & Sports
  • St. Augustine Catholic High School – Information and Communications Technology
  • Holy Cross Catholic Academy – Arts and Culture
  • Father Bressani Catholic High School – Business & Information and Communications Technology
  • Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School – Transportation
  • Markville Secondary School – Business & Information and Communications Technology
  • Middlefield Collegiate Institute – Health and Wellness
  • Aurora High School – Business
  • Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School – Environment
  • Dr. John M. Denison Secondary School – Hospitality and Tourism
  • King City Secondary School – Environment & Transportation
  • Stephen Lewis Secondary School – Business
  • Vaughan Secondary School – Business
  • Thornhill Secondary School – Health and Wellness
  • Woodbridge College – Arts and Culture
  • Emily Carr Secondary School – Business
  • Sutton District High School - Health and Wellness
  • Keswick High School - Transportation


With these additions, there will be 10 Specialist High Skills Majors offered in York Region high schools next school year in sectors such as Transportation, Environment and Business. 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.


“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




  • 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.



Learn more about our Student Success programs.

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