Beginning in September, Seaway District High School will offer a second option in the Specialist High Skills Major program.
On June 12th the province made it official and the local high school is now accredited for the Transportation High Skills Major in addition to the Agriculture High Skills Major already being offered.
According to principal Terry Gardiner, Seaway staff members Robert Knapp, Tanya Crosby and Mark Lewis were instrumental in securing the new accreditation.
The Specialist High Skills Major program allows students in grade 11 and grade 12 to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests.
The Ontario Ministry of Education offers several options within the Specialist High Skills Major program in addition to agriculture and transportation.
Seaway’s “excellent shop facilities” was just one of the reasons staff chose to pursue accreditation in the transportation program, said Gardiner.
He also explained that “a component of the High Skills Major is co-op and we have partners in the transportation industry that provide co-op for our students.”
In addition, the transportation sector is “a large employer in this part of Ontario.”
Gardiner also pointed out that the two programs, agriculture and transportation, compliment one another. He has students in the agriculture program, for example, who are focused on transportation opportunities within agriculture.
“The High Skills Major program has shown that it engages students. When they are interested in their studies, they do better and they attend more.”
He also pointed out that the program “allows students to explore work options in high school before they make decisions about college.”
They have the opportunity to try a career to see if it fits for them and, as Gardiner admitted, there are students who have said “yes, this is for me” and others who have said “no, not for me.”
The first set of Seaway students to graduate from the Agriculture High Skills Major will do so this year, said Gardiner.
As for the Transportation High Skills Major, students have already begun expressing an interest and signing up for September.