SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Information and Communications Technology
Specialist High Skills Majors

SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Information and Communications Technology

The SHSM–Information and Communications Technology 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 communication systems, computer systems, or software and digital media. 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 information and communications technology 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–Information and Communications Technology

The SHSM–Information and Communications Technology has the following five required components:

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

These credits make up the bundle:

  • four information and communications technology 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 information and communications technology sector. The three credits include:
    • one in English;1
    • one in mathematics; and
    • one in the arts or business studies or science (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.

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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 1 1 1 1
Mathematics including a CLA 1 1 1 1
The Arts or 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.

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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
advanced training in a technique (e.g., website design, coding, digital lighting, search engine optimization) basic electrical safety CISCO networking computer hardware
counterfeit detection customer service electronics – basic elevated work platforms
ergonomics fall protection health and safety – basic Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE)
intellectual property interfacing equipment Internet security ladder safety training
leadership skills lighting and sound equipment maintenance lockout/tagging network cabling
network configuration portfolio development project management recording equipment
sector-specific software 1 sector-specific software 2 specialized skills training program/competition technical support
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 ICT sector (an example of job twinning)
  • a day-long observation of an ICT sector worker (e.g., telecommunications technician) (an example of job shadowing)
  • a one- or two-week work experience with a member of an industry association or a professional in the ICT sector (e.g., a computer game developer) (an example of work experience)
  • attendance at a sector or trade show, a conference, a symposium, or a job fair
  • participation in a local, provincial, or national contest or competition with a focus on ICT
  • a tour of a local television/film studio or network monitoring centre
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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–Information and Communications Technology

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 ICT, 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.
  • Communications Technology (TGJ2O), Introduction to Computer Studies (ICS2O), or Computer Technology (TEJ20): These courses are recommended for any Grade 10 student who is considering enrolling in an SHSM–Information and Communications Technology program. They provide students with opportunities to explore the ICT sector, identify personal interests and aptitudes, and gain a better understanding of the program.

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–Information and Communications Technology 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 have the option of choosing an arts, a science, or a business studies course, depending on their SHSM focus and postsecondary plans, as shown in the following examples.

  • Students focusing on communications systems who have an interest in telecommunications might take a science course, whereas students interested in broadcast technology might take a science or visual arts course, or a business studies course in ICT.
  • Students focusing on computer systems and who are planning to go to university to pursue a career in computer engineering, or to enter an apprenticeship or college program to become a hardware or network technician, might take a course in physics.
  • Students focusing on software and digital media (e.g., developing video or computer games, 3-D modelling, or simulations) might consider taking a physics or visual arts course, whereas students interested in web page design might take visual arts or a business studies course in marketing or entrepreneurship.

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–Information Communications Technology

This template shows program requirements for the SHSM–Information Communications Technology 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–Information Communications Technology.

  • Shaded boxes represent required credits in the bundle for the SHSM–Information Communications Technology.
  • (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 or arts credit*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
1 business studies* or science or arts credit*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
1 business studies* or science or arts credit*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
1 business studies* or science or arts credit*
(in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted.
4 information communications technology 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 information communications technology 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 information communications technology 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 information communications technology 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 Information and Communications Technology Sector

The following table provides examples of occupations in the ICT 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
  • Computer Network Technician 2281
  • Help Desk Technology Support Analyst 2282
  • Telecommunications Installation and Repair/Network Cabling Specialist 7246
  • Telecommunications Line and Cable Worker 7245
  • Audio and Video Recording Technician 5225
  • Broadcast Technician 5224
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologist and Technician 2241
  • Electronic Service Technician 2242
  • Film and Video Camera Operator 5222
  • Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Animator 5241
  • Systems Testing Technician 2283
  • User Support Technician 2282
  • Web Designer and Developer 2175
University Workplace
  • Computer Engineer 2147
  • Computer Programmer and Interactive Media Developer 2174
  • Information Systems Analyst 2171
  • Software Engineer and Designer 2173
  • Technical Sales Specialists 6221
  • Desktop Publishing Operator 1423
  • Residential and Commercial Installer and Servicer – Satellite Dish Installer 7441
  • Retail Salesperson and Sales Cl erk 6421
  • Telecommunications Cable Installer Helper and Splicer Helper 7612

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 Information and Communications Technology Sector

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

Apprenticeship Training
Hardware Technician Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Information Technology Contact Centre
  • Customer Care Agent
  • Inside Sales Agent
  • Technical Support Agent

  • Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
  • Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
  • Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Network Cabling Specialist Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
Network Technician Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification

 

College
Advertising Diploma
Animation Bachelor's degree /diploma
Audio Production, Recording, and Engineering
Technology
Diploma
Communication, Culture and Information Technology Bachelor's degree
Computer/Digital Animation Diploma
Computer Engineering Technology Diploma/advanced diploma
Computer Networking and Technical Support Diploma
Computer Programming Diploma
Computer Science Technology Advanced diploma
Computer Security Investigations Advanced diploma
Computer Systems Technology Diploma
Corporate Media Production Diploma
Digital Media Arts Diploma
Digital Video Production Diploma
Electronics Engineering Technology Diploma/advanced diploma
Film and Television Technician Diploma
Game Development/Multimedia Development Diploma
Graphic Design Diploma
Graphic Design – Advertising and Package Design Diploma
Information Systems Security Bachelor's degree
Information Technology Support Services Diploma
Internet Applications Diploma
Internet Graphic Design Diploma
Linux/Unix System Administration Diploma
Radio Broadcasting Diploma
Software Development Bachelor's degree
Telecommunications Technology Diploma/advanced diploma
Television Broadcasting Diploma
Visual Creative Design, Digital and Media Arts Diploma

 

University
Animation Bachelor's degree
Computer Engineering Bachelor's degree
Computer Science Bachelor's degree
Computer Security Bachelor's degree
Digital Media Bachelor's degree
Electrical Engineering Bachelor's degree
Graphic Communications Management Bachelor's degree
Graphic Design Bachelor's degree
Illustration Bachelor's degree
Image Arts Bachelor's degree
Information Technology Bachelor's degree
Radio and Television Broadcasting Bachelor's degree
Software Engineering Bachelor's degree

 

Training for the Workplace
Adobe Certified Expert Certificate
Animation and Rendering Certificate
Apple Pro Applications Certification Certificate
Art and Design Foundation Certificate
Cisco Certifications CCNA, CCDA Certificate
CompTIA A+ (IT Technician, Bench Technician,
Remote Technician)
Certificate
CompTIA Security Plus Certificate
CompTIA Server Plus Certificate
Computer/Digital Animation Certificate
Computer/Graphic Design/Image Arts Certificate
Desktop Publishing Certificate
Microsoft Certifications (e.g., Microsoft Office
Specialist)
Certificate