SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Environment
Specialist High Skills Majors

SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Environment

The SHSM–Environment 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 environmental science or environmental studies. 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.

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INSIGHT

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

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Required Components for the SHSM–Environment

The SHSM–Environment has the following five required components:

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

These credits make up the bundle:

  • four environment 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 environment sector. The three credits include:
    • two in English;1 (one credit must be in grade 12) and
    • one in mathematics;
  • 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.

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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 2 2 2 2
Mathematics including a CLA 1 1 1 1
Cooperative Education 2 2 2 2
Total number of credits 9 9 9 9

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.

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

Four (4) compulsory
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Level C – includes automated external defibrillation (AED) compass/map global positioning system (GPS) Standard First Aid Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – generic (i.e., not site-specific) instruction
Three (3) electives from the list below
advanced training in a technique (e.g., knots techniques) animal and plant management Below Zero chainsaw safety
customer service fire safety and fire extinguisher use geographic information system (GIS) habitat restoration
Hike Ontario Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) introduction to stream assessment protocol ladder safety training
leadership skills Leave No Trace life-saving (Bronze Cross or higher) Ontario Hunter Education
paddling techniques Pleasure Craft Operator portfolio development project management
Project Wild radio operator search and rescue sector-specific vehicle operation and safety
species identification (e.g., fish, birds, plants, trees, small mammals) water/ice safety watershed management wilderness first aid
wilderness survival 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 environmental sector (an example of job twinning)
  • a day-long observation of an environmental sector employer or employee (an example of job shadowing)
  • a one- or two-week work experience with a member of an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) or an employee in the environmental sector (an example of work experience)
  • attendance at a trade show (e.g., Toronto Sportsmen's Show, Outdoor Adventure Show), a conference, or a workshop focusing on the environmental sector
  • assisting with trail maintenance and trail cleanup
  • participating in Envirothon
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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.

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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
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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.

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

Pathways for the SHSM–Environment

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.

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Awareness building (Grades 7 and 8)

Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future, published in June 2007, is the report of the Working Group on Environmental Education, appointed by the Ontario government to make recommendations about environmental education in Ontario. The report states that environmental education should be "highly visible within, and reflected across, the Ontario curriculum" (page 13). With the implementation of this recommendation, students will have opportunities to learn about the environment in every elementary and secondary school grade.

The SHSM–Environment provides a focus for students in the elementary and junior high school grades who become sufficiently interested in the environment to want to pursue a career in this area. 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 more information on providing Grade 9 and 10 students with opportunities for exploration of SHSM programs. Teachers who want to encourage students interested in enrolling in the SHSM–Environment program can make sure that these students are better informed about this sector by developing activities that both address curriculum expectations in geography and science courses and letting students explore environmental issues. 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 this sector:

  • 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.
  • Civics (compulsory): This Grade 10 course enables students to explore what it means to be an informed, participating citizen in a democratic society. Students learn about the elements of democracy in local, national, and global contexts, about political reactions to social change, and about political decision-making processes in Canada.

Specialization (Grades 11 and 12)

Students acquire the sector-specific knowledge and technical skills required to earn their Ontario Secondary Diploma (OSSD) with an SHSM–Environment 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.

The environment is a very wide field of study that includes various career pathways and employment opportunities. Two areas of focus in this sector are environmental science and environmental studies.

An environmental science focus is geared towards students interested in careers in sciences, engineering, technology, and research. In the college and university pathway, students with an environmental science focus are advised to take additional math credits in Grade 12 (Advanced Functions [MHF4U] and/or Mathematics of Data Management [MDM4U]).

An environmental studies focus is for students more interested in recreation, tourism, and environmental policy.

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.

Students may want to consider the Ministry of Natural Resources Ontario Ranger Program as a summer cooperative education placement.

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–Environment

This template shows program requirements for the SHSM–Environment 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–Environment.

  • Shaded boxes represent required credits in the bundle for the SHSM–Environment.
  • (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
2 English credits (C)*
(one credit must be in Gr. 12)
2 English credits (C)*
(one credit must be in Gr. 12)
2 English credits (C)*
(one credit must be in Gr. 12)
2 English credits (C)*
(one credit must be in 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)
4 environment 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 environment 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 environment 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 environment 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 Environment Sector

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

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

Apprenticeship Training College
  • Arborist 2225
  • Aquaculture Operator and Manager 8257
  • Biological Technologist or Biological Technician 2221
  • Conservation Officer or Fishery Officer 2224
  • Environmental Technician 2231
  • Field Technician – Air Pollution 2231
  • Forest Ecologist 2121
  • Forestry Technologist/Technician 2223
  • Geological and Mineral Technologist/Technician 2212
  • Habitat Management Technician 2221
  • Hatchery or Fisheries Technician 2221
  • Mapping and Related Technologist/Technician 2255
  • Quality Control – Chemical Engineering Technologist 2211
  • Silviculture and Forestry Workers 8422
  • Soil Testing Technologist 2231
  • Technician – Pollution Control 2231
University Workplace
  • Air Quality Meteorologist 2114
  • Chemical Engineer 2134
  • Climatologist 2114
  • Environmental and Occupational Toxicologist 2121
  • Environmental Biologist 2121
  • Environmental Engineer 2131
  • Environmental Impact Analyst 4161
  • Environmental Planner 2153
  • Environmental Program Coordinator 4161
  • Forestry Professional 2122
  • Geological Engineer 2144
  • Geologist and Geochemist 2113
  • Interpretive Naturalist 2121
  • Landscape Architects 2152
  • Meteorologist 2114
  • Urban and Land Use Planners 2153
  • Waste Diversion Consultant 4161
  • Canoeing Guide 6442
  • Fishing Guide 6442
  • Hunting Guide 6442
  • Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Workers 8612
  • Outdoor Sport and Recreation Guide 6442
  • Outfitter 6442
  • Recreation Program Leader 5254
  • Recycled Paper Handler 7452
  • Silviculture and Forestry Workers 8422
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator 9424

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. For more detail, refer to the NOC website. 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 Environment Sector

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

Apprenticeship Training
Arborist Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification

 

College
Chemical Engineering Technology – EnvironmentalAdvanced diploma
Ecosystem Management TechnologyDiploma/advanced diploma
Environmental and Civil Engineering TechnologyDiploma
Environmental and Natural Resource StudiesDiploma
Environmental Health and SafetyBachelor's degree
Environmental Landscape ManagementDiploma
Environmental Science and TechnologyBachelor's degree
Environmental TechnologyDiploma/advanced diploma
Fish and Wildlife Technician/TechnologyDiploma/advanced diploma
Geographic Information Systems – ApplicationsDiploma
Geographic Information Systems – CartographyDiploma
Earth Resources TechnologyDiploma
Geomatics TechnologyDiploma
Integrated Environmental Site RemediationBachelor's degree
Natural Resources – Law EnforcementDiploma
Outdoor Adventure SkillsDiploma
Park Operations and Outdoor RecreationDiploma

 

University
Agricultural and Environmental ScienceBachelor's degree
Conservation and Restoration EcologyBachelor's degree
Earth Science (Geology and Geomorphology)Bachelor's degree
EcologyBachelor's degree
Engineering (Environmental, Water Resources,
Biological, Geological, Civil)
Bachelor's degree
Environment and BusinessBachelor's degree
Environment and Resource StudiesBachelor's degree
Environmental BiologyBachelor's degree
Environmental ChemistryBachelor's degree
Environmental DesignBachelor's degree
Environmental GeographyBachelor's degree
Environmental ScienceBachelor's degree
Environmental StudiesBachelor's degree
Environmental ToxicologyBachelor's degree
Geomatics and Geographic Information SystemsBachelor's degree
Land Resource and Soil ScienceBachelor's degree
Natural Resources ManagementBachelor's degree
Outdoor RecreationBachelor's degree
Renewable ResourcesBachelor's degree

 

Training for the Workplace
Campground OperatorCertificate
Canoe/Hiking GuideCertificate
Customer Service – Environmental SectorCertificate
Ecotourism and Adventure TourismCertificate
Freshwater Angling GuideCertificate
Hunting GuideCertificate
Municipal Grounds PersonCertificate
Outdoor Adventure SkillsCertificate
Tour GuideCertificate