New Program Alert: Sports SHSM at STA

Calling all sports enthusiasts! Anticipated in the 2021-22 school year is a new Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program here at St. Thomas Aquinas in sports (pending ministry approval). To learn more about this exciting new opportunity, and clear up any questions you might have, Ms. Merrick was generous enough to tell me all about this new program.

  1. What exactly is the SHSM program all about? 

 The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program in sports gives students an opportunity to specialize, gain qualifications, and plan a career pathway in various areas of the non-profit sector while still in high school. The SHSM Program has a number of required components, designed to give students a “leg-up” to pursue post-secondary opportunities in each of the identified sectors, valuing apprenticeship, college, community, university, and the workplace.

  1. What kind of student is the program best suited for?

The amazing part about SHSMs is it is tailored to any kind of student. The Sports SHSM would focus on careers in the sports sector (physiotherapy, sports broadcasting, performance, training and treatment, recreation and support, and business and media entertainment). All pathways are targeted by the program, so if you are interested in apprenticeship, workplace, college, or university, this program is made for you!

  1. Are there any courses interested students should be taking in grades 9 & 10 to help them succeed in the program?

 I would suggest taking a physical education course in grade 9 or 10 to make sure you are interested in this area. If you are interested and are in pre-IB, please contact your guidance counselor as you may have to take a course or two in grade 10 to ensure you can still meet the requirements of the program. 

  1. What experiential learning opportunities are available as part of the program?

 Experiential Learning experiences could include any of the following:

  •  One-on-one observation of a cooperative education student at a placement in the sports sector (job twinning).
  • A day-long observation of an employee in the sports sector (job shadowing).
  • A one- or two-week work experience with a member of an industry association or a professional in the sector (work experience).
  • A volunteer experience at a community sports facility or at a professional sports team event.
  • An experience coaching an elementary school student or team in an extracurricular activity.
  • Participation in an exercise class at a fitness facility.
  • A tour of an athletic facility.
  • Attendance at a sports sector career fair.
  1. What post-secondary pathways does the SHSM lead into?

 The Specialist High Skills Major programs are great because they tailor to every pathway. It is up to you which direction you would like to focus on.  

  1. How can interested students learn more about the program?

Please fill out this Google Form if you are interested, and Ms. Merrick will get back to you with more information.

Click here to see a list of frequently asked questions about the program.

Contact your guidance counselor to discuss which courses you need to put on your option sheet for next year!

Don’t forget to keep this amazing new program in mind when submitting your option sheets! Thank you to Ms. Merrick for taking the time out of her busy day to answer my questions.

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