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Last updated on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

7-2-10 buttonWhat is your pathway?

All secondary schools in HWDSB offer a wide range of programs, course types and learning opportunities to prepare you for success in high school and beyond.

Pathways in high school prepare you for your chosen post-secondary destination.  Plans and destinations may change as you develop as a person, but planning your path, your way will help you be successful. The five pathways we refer to are: Apprenticeship, College, Community, University and Work.

No matter what your post-secondary destination is, the opportunity to explore the world of work during high school will help you develop new employability skills, and provide potential networks for community service and job/career opportunities.

Learn more in our 7-2-10 Transition Guide.

Our Programs

Some programs require specialized facilities, equipment or funding and can only be offered at some locations. Our Secondary Program Strategy supports transportation to these programs for interested students. Ask your guidance counsellor for more specific details.

Experiential learning activities vary in length and commitment from both the student and the employer or community placement. This experience gives you a quick look (through shadowing, twinning or work experience) or a semester long look at potential career options through co-operative education.

Dual Credit Program

These programs help students gain experience and credits for college and/or apprenticeship courses while still enrolled in high school. Successful students earn credits toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and a college diploma/certificate; or, their OSSD and a Level 1 Apprenticeship. Learn more about Dual Credits at www.gotocollege.ca or http://goo.gl/CQa9lR. Dual Credit Program students attend Mohawk College for one half of their day and their home school for the other half; they are part-time Mohawk students with all the rights and privileges of any other part-time Mohawk student. We encourage applications from students unsure if they are ready for college, or those who consider college their post-secondary pathway but may be at-risk of not graduating high school.

Visit our Dual Credit page to learn more.

How to Apply

Students interested in registering for a Mohawk College Dual Credit are asked to contact  their Student Services Department at their secondary school.  Application packages for Dual Credit Programs must be completed with your Guidance Counselor.

Healthcare Support Services Program

This program is intended to provide career preparation for students interested in a health-care career. Students gain the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to participate in related co-operative education in a Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) hospital under the guidance of an HWDSB teacher and HHS staff. Students learn for nine weeks in ­classes with an HWDSB teacher at Juravinski Hospital, in addition to nine weeks of full-day co-op placements at HHS hospital sites. Students learn and practice clinical/support services skills in a simulated hospital ward with authentic medical equipment and resources. Students participate in a variety of co-op placements in Customer Support Services in the five HHS hospitals.

Course Outline

Healthcare Support Services Program Outline

Sample Culminating Activity

How to Apply

  • Download and complete the attached Healthcare Support Services Application Package.
  • Have a teacher complete the Teacher Reference form
  • Submit the completed package along with a current résumé to a Co-op Teacher or your Guidance Counselor at your school by the required deadline.

Application Deadlines:
Semester 1 – May 15th
Semester 2 – December 2nd

Militia Co-op Program

This program is an opportunity for students to gain experience in a military environment, develop self-confidence, leadership and teamwork skills, all while earning high school credits. This is a four-credit program that runs in Semester One for the 2016-2017 year but will run in Semester Two for the 2017-2018 school year. Students spend the semester at an Armoury (James Street North, Hamilton), arriving every morning and returning home every evening. Students may be required to work several weekends/evenings over the semester, but generally do not train on weekends. The student will attend high school classes at the Armoury in the morning (two credits: one in Phys.Ed. and one in Math). Students complete their Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) training in the afternoon (two credits through co-op). On completion of the program, successful students can continue with their unit on a paid, part-time basis about one night per week, and one weekend per month. Summer employment is also available for students who successfully complete this program.

How to Apply

  • Download and complete the attached Canadian Forces Co-op Informed Consent.
  • Submit the completed form along with a current résumé to a Co-op Teacher or your Guidance Counselor at your school by the required deadline.

Application Deadlines:
Semester 1 – May 15th.
Semester 2 – December 15th.

Ontario Public Service (OPS) Learn and Work Program

This program is funded by OPS and the Ministry of Government Services. Students are given the opportunity to earn secondary school credits while completing a specialized co-op placement in the Ontario Public Service and its related agencies. These paid work experiences are available in areas including: Administrative and Support Services; Arts, Culture and Heritage; Communications and Marketing; Human Resources; and Travel and Tourism. Any HWDSB student may apply for the 15-20 positions available each semester. Only four Ontario school boards offer the program. Located at Delta Secondary School. Please review the Ontario Public Service overview for more information.

How to Apply

  • Download and complete the attached Ontario Public Service Application.
  • Have a teacher complete the teacher section of the form
  • Submit the completed application along with a current résumé  and cover letter to a Co-op Teacher or your Guidance Counselor at your school by the required deadline.

Application Deadlines:
Semester 1 – May 15th
Semester 2 – December 2nd

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a School to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.

Students have an opportunity to become registered apprentices and work towards becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade while completing their secondary school diplomas.

The goals of OYAP are:

  • To provide students with the opportunity to start training in a skilled trade while completing the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma;
  • To enable students to make the school to work transition by direct entry into apprenticeship training;
  • To provide employers with the opportunity to train the skilled workers they require;
  • To provide a viable solution to address the problem of skilled tradespeople shortages in general, and specifically the lack of young people joining the trades.

For more information please visit our OYAP page.

Transitional Work Experience Program

This program was developed to ensure that special needs students have every opportunity to achieve their full potential. It is a unique learning opportunity providing students with on-the-job training and valuable work experience. Students in the program are aged 14 to 21 and have been identified as having special needs. Program staff and school support staff are responsible for the training of students. This involves teaching the duties of the job and providing an overview of safety procedures in the workplace. School board staff provide ongoing monitoring and job coaching. Located at all HWDSB secondary schools.

A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12.

Resources:
Ministry of Education SHSM Website

Arts & Culture Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Dundas Valley, Glendale, Sir Allan MacNab and Westdale secondary schools.

Aviation & Aerospace Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Ancaster High School and Sir Winston Churchill secondary schools.

Business Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Glendale Secondary School.

Construction Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Saltfleet and Westdale secondary schools.

Environment Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Waterdown District High School.

Health & Wellness Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Delta, Sherwood, Sir Allan MacNab and Sir Winston Churchill secondary schools.

Horticulture & Landscaping Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Saltfleet District High School.

Hospitality & Tourism Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Delta, Mountain, Orchard Park and Sir John A. Macdonald secondary schools.

Information & Communications Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Nora Frances Henderson Secondary School.

Justice, Community Safety & Emergency Services Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Nora Frances Henderson Secondary School.

Manufacturing Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Dundas Valley, Nora Frances Henderson and Sir Winston Churchill secondary schools.

Non-Profit Specialist High Skills Major

An SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Through specialized programming, students are given the opportunity to ‘reach ahead’ and experience relevant training and learning specific to the sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. An SHSM is a four-semester, two-year program for any interested student in grades 11 or 12. Located at Saltfleet District High School.

At HWDSB, we know that some programs will be of interest to few students at a limited number of school sites. These programs require specialized facilities, equipment or funding. Our Secondary Program Strategy supports transportation to these programs for interested students. Ask your guidance counsellor for more specific details and locations of these programs.

Accelerated Literacy Program Hamilton Area (ALPHA)

ALPHA is an accelerated program for students aged 14 to 18 who have recently arrived in Ontario schools with limited prior schooling. In this program, students make significant gains in English language development literacy and numeracy skills as well as academic skills and knowledge. ALPHA is designed for students who are fluent in their home language and who would benefit from an accelerated program which allow for two years of learning to be addressed in one year. Students are referred to this program upon entry to HWDSB through the Assessment Centre. The goal is for the students to be successfully integrated into a regular classroom.

Art Smart

This program engages HWDSB students in the production of a full-scale musical, in partnership with Theatre Ancaster. Young actors in the program will be able to sing, dance, play and act while earning four credits towards their diploma, including two co-op credits. Students will be enrolled in specialized courses in drama, voice, instrumental, dance and musical theatre. Classes are enriched by partnerships with The Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts and local artists. Opportunities are also available for students interested in set and costume design, lighting and technical support. To be eligible, applicants will be 15 years of age or older; will have successfully completed at least eight credits; will submit all required application information by the due date; and will attend an interview session, if requested. Located at Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School. Students from other HWDSB schools will attend Sir Allan MacNab for their second semester.

How to Apply

  • Download and complete the attached ArtSmart Application package.
  • Have a teacher complete the Teacher Reference form
  • Submit the completed package along with a current résumé to a Co-op Teacher or your Guidance Counselor at your school by the required deadline.

Application Deadlines:
Semester 1 – May 15th.
Semester 2 – December 15th.

Note: Audition information will be posted at a later date.  Please be sure to check the site for updates or speak with your Co-op Teacher or Guidance Counselor.

Audition-based Program of the Arts

This program trains students in all aspects of the arts including Foundations of Theory and Technique, Individual and Collaborative Creation and Performance, and Critical Analysis. Students major in one of eight disciplines: Dance, Drama (Performance and Production); Music (Instrumental, Strings, Vocal); or Visual and Media Arts. In addition to required credits, students have experiential learning opportunities such as career exploration, professional certification, discipline-specific training, opportunities beyond the classroom and seasonal collaborations on large-scale stage productions, small-scale studio productions and informal studio productions that invite broader school participation.  Graduating students receive a Certificate of Recognition in the Arts and Additional Qualifications such as industry training, professional resume and headshot, and professional portfolio.  Located at Glendale Secondary School.

Apply:

Documents:

Important Dates in Round Two:

  • Thursday, March 8, 2017 – Applications Due To Glendale (Electronically)
  • Monday, March 27 & Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Auditions/ Talent Previews
    3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Glendale Secondary School
  • Friday, March 31, 2017 – Placement Offers are Sent
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 – Notice of acceptance (or decline) is due to school
  • Wednesday, April 19 – Option Sheet Night 2017-2018
    6:00-8:00pm at Glendale Secondary School

Contact for more information:

HWDSB Audition-Based Program of the Arts
145 Rainbow Drive, Hamilton ON, L8K 4G1
905-560-7343 ABPA@hwdsb.on.ca

Building Careers from the Ground Up

The “Building Careers ” program is intended to provide career preparation for students with an interest in Residential Building Construction careers.  Students will have the opportunity to work with a Construction Technology teacher building homes with Habitat For Humanity.

Students will also complete Co-operative Education placements with building trades doing work at various building sites in the region. Placements could include electrical, plumbing, framing, bricklaying, general contracting etc.

This program is available in both semesters, and requires students to commit for the entire day, all semester. Students have the opportunity to earn up to 6 credits in this program.

Course Outline

Note: Pre-placement course work occurs at Mountain Secondary School.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines:
Semester 1 – May 1st
Semester 2 – December  1st

English as a Second Language

HWDSB’s Secondary School ESL Program teaches children in grades 9 to 12 to communicate in English effectively. A strong command of the English language will help make your child successful in Canadian society. Secondary aged English Language Learners (ELLs) work to complete 30 credits needed for graduation and can substitute up to three ESL or ELD credits for compulsory English credits.

The goals of HWDSB’s ESL/ELD programs are to:

  • Assist the Newcomer with English language acquisition;
  • Provide orientation to Canadian society and culture;
  • Develop basic interpersonal communication skills in English;
  • Enable students to graduate from Secondary skills with the academic language and skills needed to be successful in Canadian post-secondary institutions and workplaces.

Learn more about our English as a Second Language program.

Exciting Youth to Education (EXYTE)

EXYTE is a project-based experiential program where students learn and create re-purposed, recycled furniture, artwork and other household items.  The projects are then displayed and sold in the community.  Students earn art, business and co-op credits in this semester long program.

To be eligible for this unique program, students:

  • should be in Grade 11 or 12
  • enjoy designing, creating and building projects
  • enjoy working in a small classroom setting
  • may follow the Workplace/Open course type
  • may be identified with an exceptionality
  • must submit all required application information by the due date
  • will attend an interview session, if requested

EXYTE Application

French Immersion

HWDSB offers French Immersion to help secondary school students achieve educational goals set forth by the Board and the Ontario Ministry of Education, while also developing French abilities to:

  • Communicate easily with French-speaking people
  • Understand and appreciate Canada’s Francophone and Anglophone heritage
  • Continue their educational development in French or English
  • Accept employment that requires French or English or a combination of the two languages

HWDSB awards a Certificate of French Immersion attached to the student transcript to show a student’s involvement in French Immersion at the secondary level. Students earn the certificate by successfully completing four secondary courses in French Immersion and at least six courses in other subjects taught in French. Located at Sherwood and Westdale secondary schools.

Learn more about French Immersion.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

This is a Grade 11/12 university preparation program recognized in over 140 countries, including universities in Ontario and Canada. Students concurrently study up to six challenging subjects that instill a global perspective with cross-cultural understanding. IB students learn through inquiry, and gain a sense of social responsibility, independence and critical-thinking skills vital to university studies. IB students can apply for university credit, based on their results in IB examinations. IB graduates gain both the Ontario Secondary School Diploma and an IB Diploma. Located at Ancaster, Glendale and Westdale secondary schools. Learn more by visiting IBO.org.

Participate remotely which will allow you to view the presentation and type in questions you may have.

You can find the catchment areas for HWDSB IB schools online. If you have questions, please contact your home IB school’s co-ordinator:

Native Youth Advancement With Education Hamilton, NYA:WEH

The Native Youth Advancement With Education Hamilton (NYA:WEH) program, funded through community grants, provides a culturally based support for Aboriginal youth through HWDSB. The program amalgamates two streams of education – Western and traditional – which are integral to the success of Aboriginal youth. Both education systems provide services and supports so youth can become lifelong learners and contributing citizens in a diverse world. Dedicated support programs are located at Sir John A. Macdonald, Delta, Mountain and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary Schools.

Learn more about NYA:WEH.

Strings

Students in the Strings program study the performance, creation and analysis of classical music into the 21st century. With beginner and advanced courses, the program builds on strings instruction at HWDSB elementary schools or in the community. It is offered in partnership with the Instrumental Music Program, which includes offerings in vocal, instrumental, guitar, keyboard and the performing arts. This can lead to a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) designation in Arts and Culture. As a Tier 3 HWDSB program, students from any HWDSB secondary school can attend. Located at Glendale Secondary School.

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