• News
  • June 14, 2013

Preparing More Markham Students for 21st Century Careers

Ontario Government Expands Popular Program for Local Students

Ontario is expanding its Specialist High Skills Majors program to help more Markham-Unionville high school students succeed and prepare for their future careers.

 This September, the following high schools will offer additional Specialist High Skills Majors, including:

  • Milliken Mills High School – Environment
  • Markville Secondary School – Arts and Culture; Environment; Health and Wellness

 With these additions, there will be a total of fourteen Specialist High Skills Majors offered in Markham-Unionville high schools in the next school year in sectors such as Business, Sports, Transportation and Information and Communications Technology.

 “These majors provide our community’s youth with more opportunities to customize their school experience and develop the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers.  Our government is meeting the growing demand for these innovative programs that will help students reach their full potential in school and life.”

— Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville

 The specialized programs allow students to focus their learning on specific economic sectors while developing the skills needed for apprenticeship training, college, university and the workplace. New program components that focus on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are currently being developed for all majors within the program.

 Helping students succeed while preparing them for 21st century jobs is part of the new Ontario government’s plan to build a fair and prosperous society and a strong economy.

 “Programs like the Specialist High Skills Majors are helping meet students’ individual learning needs and interests.  By expanding these programs, we’re creating more opportunities for our students to succeed and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.”

—    Liz Sandals, Minister of Education


  • This is the seventh year in a row Ontario is increasing the number of Specialist High Skills Majors in Ontario high schools to meet growing demand.
  • More than 42,000 students will be enrolled in the program across Ontario next school year – an increase of 4,000 students over this school year.
  • Student Success programs such as the Specialist High Skills Majors have helped the graduation rate increase to 83 per cent, from 68 per cent in 2003-04.
  • In September 2013, about 22,000 high school students will also have access to 600 dual credit programs across Ontario. Dual credits can count towards a high school diploma and a postsecondary diploma, degree or apprenticeship certification.


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