New program beginning in September 2023
The High Skills Major certificate program enables students to earn credits toward their high school diploma while completing courses, and experiencing real-world opportunities related to their career interests. For the 2023–2024 pilot program, students can choose between three certificates: Arts, Technology, and Skilled Trades.
Each certificate has four components:
- Focused Course Selection: Students complete Co-operative Education 11 or 12, plus three elective courses that align with a career pathway.
- Community-Based Learning: Students complete a minimum of two community-based learning experiences (such as participation in a community event, workshop, or sector-related competition).
- Training and Credentials: Students complete a minimum of six training certificates and credentials that are valued by post-secondary programs and employers.
- Portfolio: Students showcase their learning, skill development, and career interests in a portfolio on myBlueprint.
Students increase their awareness of labour market options and can make informed decisions about their education and future.
Students develop specialized skills, earn sector-valued credentials, and have opportunities to network with professionals and employers.
After completing all requirements, students earn a certificate in addition to their high school diploma. Plus, students can share their portfolio with post-secondary programs and employers.
How to Enter the Program
There is no formal application process. Students should notify their school counselor as soon as they know they would like to pursue a High Skills Major Certificate.
Ideally, students should decide to enter the program during the course selection process in grade 9. However, students can enrol at a later point in high school, as long as they can complete all the components of the program.
If students are currently enrolled in a recognized program such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Options and Opportunities (O2), or French Immersion, they can still earn a High Skills Major Certificate.
2023-24 Pilot Schools
This year, 9 schools will pilot one of three certificates: Arts, Skilled Trades, or Technology.
In upcoming years, the High Skills Major program will expand to more schools. As the program grows, schools can apply to offer a major in other career sectors.
JL Ilsley High School : Technology