March 2017

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Date: March 24, 2017

Memorandum to: Director of Education

From: Sandra Bickford
Director
Student Success Policy Branch

Lillian Patry,
Director (Acting)
French-Language Education Policy and Programs Branch

Subject: Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Programs – 2017-18

This memo is to provide you with information on your approved SHSM programs for 2017-18, and request your confirmation by April 5, 2017 that these programs will be offered.

The 2017-18 SHSM Confirmation Form (Appendix 1), lists the approved SHSM sectors and schools for your board for 2017-18, along with the projected enrolment for 2017-18 and completion rate from 2015-16. Please do not issue a news release or other public communications regarding this approval until advised by the Ministry. A separate memo with the SHSM funding amount for each board will be sent after we receive the SHSM Confirmation Form (Appendix 1).

The Premier's Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel report, "Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: A Shared Responsibility", released in June 2016 makes recommendations on how the province can build on its world-class skills, education and training systems to prepare Ontario's current and future workforce. The report recognizes the SHSM as a program that provides students an opportunity to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while exposing them to opportunities in the workforce.

Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Transportation Technology had the largest number of new SHSM programs this year with 14 and 13 programs respectively. These two sectors show labour demand while attracting students and helping them develop skills and opportunities that meet the needs of the jobs of today and tomorrow.

The Ministry's commitment to SHSM programs includes an ongoing focus on ensuring quality programs and opportunities for students. The funding for SHSM programs is to be used to address implementation expenditures including:

  • students' certification and training programs;
  • tracking students' completion of the SHSM components;
  • capital equipment expenditures;
  • teacher training;
  • partnership development; and
  • CLA implementation (for schools that have opted-in to deliver CLAs).

SHSM completion rates have increased year over year. The focus is to continue to move towards an improvement in SHSM completion rate in all sectors while encouraging the expansion of quality programs. As a continuation of practice from last year, the SHSM funding formula for 2017-2018 will include a cap on program enrolment based upon sector-specific SHSM program completion rates and the average enrolment by sector. Provincially in 2015-16, 48% of grade 12 students completed the SHSM program and received the SHSM seal on their OSSD. For the 2017-18 school year, mature programs (4+ years) who are under 10% of the average sector-specific completion rate in 2015-16 will now be capped at a funding maximum based on the average number of students in that sector. This funding cap will impact 200 programs in 52 boards. If you have programs that were impacted, these will be indicated with an asterisk (*) and a revised enrolment projection on the attached confirmation form.

The SHSM continues to be a highly successful program to engage students. Achievement data from OnSIS indicates that approximately 96% of all credits attempted by students enrolled in SHSM programs in 2014-15 were achieved compared to 94% by all non-SHSM students:

  • SHSM students taking 'workplace' courses achieve their credits at a rate of 94% as compared to non-SHSM students that achieve their credits at a rate of 87%; and
  • SHSM students taking 'college' courses achieve their credits at a rate of 95% as compared to non-SHSM students that achieve their credits at a rate of 90%.

Your board's SHSM students' credit achievement rates compared to non-SHSM students have been provided to your board lead.

The next steps are:

  1. Confirm your SHSM programs for 2017-18 on Appendix 1, and review the enrolment funding adjustment for programs under the provincial sector completion rate, and sign and email to StudentAchievement@ontario.ca by April 5, 2017;
  2. The Ministry team will host an Adobe connect session for SHSM board leads to review SHSM program approvals and the funding formula; and
  3. Teachers new to the SHSM program are invited to attend a one-day orientation session in Toronto in May 17th, 2017. Details will be sent to your SHSM board lead.
  4. If you require further information regarding SHSM programs, please contact Sudeshna Dutta at 416-325-2508, sudeshna.dutta@ontario.ca.

    Thank you for your on-going commitment to support success for all students. We look forward to working with you and to hearing about SHSM program successes in your board.

    Original signed by

    Sandra Bickford Director Student Success Policy Branch

    Lillian Patry, Director (A) French-Language Education Policy and Programs Branch

    c: Student Success Lead SHSM Board Lead Regional Office Manager


    Appendix 1:  Confirmation Form

    CONFIRMATION OF AGREEMENT TO OFFER
    THE FOLLOWING SHSM PROGRAMS IN 2017-18

    PLEASE EMAIL SIGNED COPY OF THIS FORM TO
    StudentAchievement@ontario.ca

    Email To: Ministry of Education
    Student Success Policy Branch
    StudentAchievement@ontario.ca
    Attention: The SHSM TEAM

    Email by April 5, 2017

    School Board:

    Sector School Name Age of Program for 2017-18 Program Projected
    Total Student Enrolment
    2017-18
    Program Completion Rate
    2015-16
    Provincial Average
    Sector Completion Rate
    2015-16
    Adjusted student enrolment program funding
    2017-18

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Please indicate any SHSM programs that will NOT be running in the 2017-18 school year in the space below:

    Please do not issue a news release or other public communication regarding this approval until advised by the Ministry.

    ☐  Please check this box to confirm that the SHSM program(s) listed above will be delivered in 2017-18 (noting any exceptions in the space provided), and that any programs with completion rates under the provincial sector average will have strategies in place to improve their program completion rate.

    Date:

    This represents your signature. You must fill in the date above.