SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Agriculture
Specialist High Skills Majors

SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Agriculture

The SHSM–Agriculture 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. Where local circumstances allow, boards may elect to offer one or more variants of the SHSM in a given sector, each with a particular area of focus. This SHSM may be designed to have a particular focus – for example, on agricultural equipment or animal and crop science. This focus is achieved through the selection of the four major credits in the bundle.

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

For local labour market opportunities in the sector, see your local SHSM contact at the board office.

Tools and resources icon

INSIGHT

The requirements of this SHSM are unique and are geared to the agriculture sector. However, the design of all SHSM programs follows a consistent model, described in Section A: Policy.

Insight icon

Required Components for the SHSM–Agriculture

The SHSM–Agriculture has the following five required components:

1. A bundle of nine Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits

These credits make up the bundle:

  • four agriculture major credits that provide sector-specific knowledge and skills. The four courses must include at least one Grade 11 and one Grade 12 credit, and may include one cooperative education credit related to the sector. (This cooperative education credit would be additional to the two that are required in the bundle; see below);
  • three other required credits from the Ontario curriculum, in each of which some expectations must be met through a contextualized learning activity (CLA) for the agriculture sector. The three credits include:
    • one in English;1
    • one in mathematics; and
    • one in science or business studies (or a cooperative education credit related to the sector, which would be additional to the two cooperative education credits required in the bundle; see below);
  • two cooperative education credits that provide authentic learning experiences in a workplace setting, enabling students to refine, extend, apply, and practise sector-specific knowledge and skills.

1. Note that a compulsory English credit is required in Grade 11 and in Grade 12 for graduation with an OSSD. Schools may determine whether the CLA, required for the SHSM bundle of credits, is completed in the Grade 11 or Grade 12 English course.

Find It icon

FIND IT!

See Section A1.2 for more on SHSM credits.



Credits
Apprenticeship Training
Grades 11–12

College
Grades 11–12

University
Grades 11–12

Workplace
Grades 11–12
Major Credits
One credit may be substituted with a cooperative education credit (additional to the 2 required co-op credits)
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
English including a CLA 1 1 1 1
Mathematics including a CLA 1 1 1 1
Business Studies or Science including a CLA
May be substituted with 1 cooperative education credit (additional to the 2 required co-op credits)
1 1 1 1
Cooperative Education 2 2 2 2
Total number of credits 9 9 9 9

Note: Multiple credits in the Ontario technological education curriculum allow additional instructional time for the practice and refinement of skills needed to develop student performance to the levels required for certification, entry into apprenticeship programs, or participation in school–work transition programs (see The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12: Technological Education, 2009, page 17).

2. Sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs

This SHSM sector requires students to complete a specified number of compulsory and elective sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs, as indicated in the following table. NOTE: Where an item in the table is capitalized, it is the proper name of the specific certification or training course/program that is appropriate for the SHSM. Where an item is lowercased, it is the name of an area, type, or category of training for which specific certifications or training courses/programs should be selected by the school or board. The requirements are summarized in the table below.

Find It icon

FIND IT!

See Section A1.3 for more on SHSM certifications and training.

Three (3) compulsory
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Level C – includes automated external defibrillation (AED) Standard First Aid Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – generic (i.e., not site-specific) instruction
Three (3) electives from the list below
animal first aid basic electrical safety chainsaw safety compass/map/global positioning system (GPS)
customer service equipment operation safety fall protection fundamentals of the combine – level 1
grain grading hazardous atmospheres and confined spaces health and safety – basic herbicide and pesticide
hydraulics – basic infection control Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) introduction to pest management
ladder safety training large animal handling leadership skills livestock medicine
livestock production lockout/tagging nutrient management portfolio development
principles of drainage project management safe lifting sector-specific software 1
sector-specific sustainability practices sector-specific vehicle operation and safety seed saving small engine maintenance
soil testing techniques theory of combine settings and adjustments – level 2 transgenic plant identification vehicle lift safety
weed and pest identification and management Working at Heights

3. Experiential learning and career exploration activities

Experiential learning and career exploration opportunities relevant to the sector might include the following:

  • one-on-one observation of a cooperative education student at a placement in the agriculture sector (an example of job twinning)
  • a day-long observation of a skilled tradesperson in the agriculture sector (an example of job shadowing)
  • a one- or two-week work experience with a member of an industry association or a professional in the sector (an example of work experience)
  • the grooming of an animal (e.g., a dog, a cow, or a horse) for a competition
  • the care and feeding of farm animals
  • a visit to a farmers' market or farm machinery supplier
Find It icon

FIND IT!

See Section A1.4 for more on experiential learning and career exploration activities.

POLICY

Note that volunteer activities in an SHSM cannot be counted towards the hours of community involvement required to earn the OSSD.

Policy icon

4. Reach ahead experiences

Students are provided one or more reach ahead experiences – opportunities to take the next steps along their chosen pathway – as shown in the following examples:

  • Apprenticeship: visiting an approved apprenticeship delivery agent in the sector
  • College: interviewing a college student enrolled in a sector-specific program
  • University: observing a university class in a sector-related program
  • Workplace: interviewing an employee in the sector
Find It icon

FIND IT!

See Section A1.5 for more on reach ahead experiences.

5. Essential Skills and work habits and the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP)

Students will develop Essential Skills and work habits required in the sector and document them using the OSP, a component of the SHSM.

Find It icon

FIND IT!

See Section A1.6 for more on Essential Skills and work habits.

Pathways for the SHSM–Agriculture

See the table illustrating the four pathways and required credits leading to completion of this SHSM.

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

Visit the ministry's SHSM website for related resources.

Tools and Resources icon

Awareness building (Grades 7 and 8)

See Section B3.4 for information on building awareness of SHSM programs among students in Grades 7 and 8.

Exploration (Grades 9 and 10)

See Section B3.4 for information on providing Grade 9 and 10 students with opportunities for exploration of SHSM programs. In addition, students considering this SHSM can be encouraged to enrol in the following courses to become better informed about careers and postsecondary options in the sector:

  • Exploring Technologies: This Grade 9 course is recommended for all students following SHSM pathways that have a technological education focus. The course provides students with opportunities to explore a variety of technologies, including agriculture technology, by engaging in activities related to them.
  • Career Studies (compulsory) and Discovering the Workplace: Some of the expectations in these Grade 10 courses provide opportunities for students to explore occupations and other postsecondary options in the sector and to participate in experiential learning activities.
  • Transportation Technology: This course is recommended for any Grade 10 student who is considering enrolling in an SHSM–Agriculture program with a focus on agricultural equipment.
  • Green Industries: This course is recommended for any Grade 10 student who is considering enrolling in an SHSM–Agriculture program with a focus on crop science.

Specialization (Grades 11 and 12)

Students acquire the sector-specific knowledge and technical skills required to earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with an SHSM–Agriculture by completing its five required components. Students and their parents/guardians are encouraged to consult with guidance counsellors and teachers to select the courses that will enable students to pursue their goals.

Students pursuing an apprenticeship pathway should consider the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), which enables them to start an apprenticeship while earning their OSSD.

Students pursuing a university pathway are advised to complete their required cooperative education credits in Grade 11, in order to allow room in their timetables in Grade 12 for credits needed to meet university entrance requirements.

When helping students plan their SHSMs, particularly with respect to the selection of courses to fulfil the requirement for credits in the major, teachers should bear in mind that technological education courses can be offered as single-credit or multiple-credit courses.

Program Pathways: SHSM–Agriculture

This template shows program requirements for the SHSM–Agriculture in Grades 11 and 12, along with some of the additional credits needed for an OSSD. It is provided to help guide students in choosing the credits they need to meet the SHSM requirements in the pathway of their choice. Students should always review their pathways plan with their parents/guardians and their teachers to ensure that they have all the credits they need to graduate with an SHSM–Agriculture.

  • Shaded boxes represent required credits in the bundle for the SHSM–Agriculture.
  • (C) represents a compulsory credit for the OSSD.
  • The SHSM bundle of credits must include two cooperative education credits, but may include a maximum of four. The possible options are noted below, and explained fully in Section A1.2 of this guide.
Apprenticeship Training Pathway
Specialization
Grades 11–12
College Pathway
Specialization
Grades 11–12
University Pathway
Specialization
Grades 11–12
Workplace Pathway
Specialization
Grades 11–12
1 English credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 English credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 English credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 English credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 math credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 math credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 math credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 math credit (C)*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
1 business studies* or science credit* (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
1 business studies* or science credit* (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
1 business studies* or science credit* (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
1 business studies* or science credit* (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
4 agriculture major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
4 agriculture major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
4 agriculture major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
4 agriculture major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
May be used as (C) credits
2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
May be used as (C) credits
2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
May be used as (C) credits
2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
May be used as (C) credits
2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11)
2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12)

* A contextualized learning activity (CLA) must be included in the course. (Note that students must take Grade 11 and Grade 12 English to graduate with an OSSD, but schools may choose to offer the CLA in either grade.)

** May be taken the summer before Grade 11

Note: To guide students and teachers in the development of their SHSM program, schools can access the latest approved SHSM course list for each sector through their SHSM board lead.

Occupations in the Agriculture Sector

The following table provides examples of occupations in the agriculture sector, with corresponding National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes, sorted according to the type of postsecondary education or training the occupations would normally require.

Find It icon

FIND IT!

See Section A1.6 for more on occupations and NOC codes.

Apprenticeship Training College
  • Arborist 2225
  • Blacksmith 7266
  • Dairy Herdsperson 8253
  • Farm Equipment Technician 7312
  • Fruit Grower 8251
  • Horse Groom 6483
  • Parts Person 1472
  • Swine Herdsperson 8253
  • Agricultural Equipment and Supplies Technical Salesperson 6221
  • Customer Support Representative 6221
  • Farmer and Farm Manager 8251
  • Technical Sales Specialist 6221
  • Veterinary Equipment and Supplies Salesperson 6221
  • Winery and Viticulture Technician 8251
University Workplace
  • Agricultural Chemist 2112
  • Agricultural Inspector 2222
  • Agronomist 2123
  • Chemical Engineer 2134
  • Mechanical Engineer 2132
  • Soil Scientist 2115
  • Veterinarian 3114
  • General Farm Worker 8431
  • Greenhouse Worker 8432
  • Harvesting Labourer 8611
  • Mechanic Helper 7612
  • Pet Groomer and Animal Care Worker 6483
  • Specialized Livestock Worker 8253

Note: This information is based on the 2006 NOC. An update to the NOC in 2011 resulted in changes to the codes and titles for many occupations, and in some cases to the occupations included in the group. Ontario Job Futures uses information based on the 2006 NOC. (Note also that some of the names of occupations listed here reflect common usage in the sector and may differ slightly from those used in the NOC system.)

Postsecondary Programs and Training in the Agriculture Sector

The following are examples of programs and training related to careers in the agriculture sector and the accreditations associated with each.

Apprenticeship Training
Agricultural Dairy Herdsperson Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Agricultural Equipment Technician Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Agricultural Fruit Grower Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Agricultural Swine Herdsperson Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Arborist Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Blacksmith Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Horse Groom Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Horse Harness Maker Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Hydraulics/Pneumatics Mechanic Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Motive Power Techniques Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Saddlery Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification

 

College
Agriculture Diploma
Agriculture – Equine Diploma
Animal Care Diploma
Greenhouse Technician Diploma
Veterinary Assistant Diploma
Veterinary Technology Diploma
Winery and Viticulture Diploma

 

University
Agricultural Business/Economics Bachelor's degree
Agricultural Science/Organic Agriculture Bachelor's degree
Agronomy Bachelor's degree
Animal Science/Zoology Bachelor's degree
Bio-Resource Management Bachelor's degree
Environmental Economics and Policy Bachelor's degree
Plant Biology Bachelor's degree
Veterinary Medicine Bachelor's degree

 

Training for the Workplace
Business Management Certificate
Coaching and Horsemanship Certificate
Equine Management Certificate
Welding Techniques Certificate