Welcome to Biotech SHSM

What Is Biotech SHSM?

SHSM, Specialist High Skills Major, is a ministry-approved program that allows students to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students in the SHSM program will complete a career-specific COOP practicum arranged by A.Y. Jackson Secondary School. Completion of the SHSM requirements results in the award of a Red Seal Designation on your OSSD. This indicates to Universities and Colleges that a significant portion of your high school courses have a focus in Biotechnology under the Health and Wellness Sector. The following are some of the reasons for joining Biotech SHSM:
COOP Opportunity

It prepares students for post-secondary education with experience in a career-specific COOP practicum.

Skills Development

It helps students to develop specialized skills in an authentic working environment.

Career Exploration

It provides an opportunity for students to identify, explore, and refine their career goals.

Certification & Training

It prepares students for post-secondary by offering various certification and training from our community partners.

Decision Making

It helps students to make informed decisions about their post-secondary destination.

The Red Seal

The red seal on your OSSD will help you standout amongst the graduates and post-secondary applicants.

3 Easy Steps to Graduate with Biotech SHSM

Click here to download the poster..



You may join Biotech SHSM by starting with IDC3O, a grade 11 course with a focus on general laboratory skills and techniques. IDC3O serves as an introductory SHSM course and is designed to prepare students to fulfill the many SHSM requirements in Biotech. Click here for the application form.



Sign up to take COOP in the subsequent year (preferably in your Grade 11 year). COOP serves as a practicum for students who are interested in a health care-related career. We partner with health care networks in Toronto to offer COOP placements in hospitals, vet clinics, pharmacies, and other health care environments.



Sign up to take IDC4U in your final year (Grade 12). IDC4U is a grade 12 University course that serves as an introductory course to Biotechnology. We introduce advance laboratory techniques in this course in order to help student prepare for a post- secondary career in Biotech. Topics include: Gel Electrophoresis, Gene Cloning & Transformation, Chromatography, and Evolutionary Genetics.


The year AYJSS started its Biotech SHSM Program


Total SHSM graduates at AYJSS from 2013 to 2019


Total Biotech SHSM Graduates at AYJSS from 2013 to 2019


Percentage of Biotech Students Successfully Graduated to Post-Secondary Institutes

Stories from Biotech SHSM

Check out our activities and events hosted by Biotech SHSM.

Types of Training We Offer

There are 4 mandatory and 3 elective training that students has to complete in order to graduate with the SHSM red seal. It is essential that students take the three designated Biotech SHSM courses (IDC3O, COOP-2, and IDC4U) since we have incorporated the different training in these courses. The following are some examples of the training that we conducted for students. Training #1 to 4 are mandatory. Students will have the option of selecting three elective training from #5 to 12.
  • 1. CPR-C (AED)
  • 2. Standard First Aid
  • 3. WHMIS
  • 4. Infection Control
  • 5. Fitness
  • 6. Lab Practices
  • 7. Sterile Techniques
  • 8. Leadership Skills
  • 9. Mental Health Awareness
  • 10. Stress Management
  • 11. Customer Services
  • 12. Communication Skills

    Get in Touch

    Please drop by the SHSM office or contact Mrs. Hassam or Mrs. Burt for more information.
    • A.Y. Jackson Secondary School
    • 50 Francine Drive, North York, ON M2H 2G6
    • 416-395-3140 x 20098
    • shsm.ayjscience.ca