Academies / SHSM

Specialized Programs

wecdsb academies

Specialized Programs

WECDSB Academies, Villanova Hockey Academy, Villanova STEM Academy and Several SHSM programs.

WECDSB Academies

The Academies of WECDSB offer students an opportunity to pursue their individual passions by focusing their efforts on particular disciplines, both athletic and academic. Whether it’s learning a trade, developing their skills in a certain sport activity, or advancing their knowledge in such academic areas as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, we have a variety of academies throughout our schools that help our students become more fully engaged with their education.

Sports Academies Promotion
Contruction Academy, SHSM, and Co-op Promotion
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St. Thomas of Villanova Academies

We have 2 academies at Villanova – the STEM academy…for those students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, as well as the Hockey academy that has our students on the ice 3 times a week at the Vollmer. These 2 additions have been very successful and they complement the robust programs that we have here at Villanova.

Villanova Hockey Academy

If you have a passion for hockey look no further than the Villanova hockey Academy.  This class takes place on the ice at the Vollmer Complex three times a week, with two days of off-ice training at school.  

On the ice, students will learn:

  • Advanced skating and edgework
  • Stickhandling, passing, and shooting 
  • Individual and team tactics
  • The “why?” along with “how?” for each drill
  • Hockey sense through purposeful drills

Students will take part in standardized diagnostic and summative hockey Canada skill assessments and receive objective data to quantify their progress.  

Off ice, students will focus upon increasing their strength, speed and endurance using modern weight training and plyometric exercises.  Students will also take part in off-ice stickhandling and cross train with other relatable sports such as floorball.  

This class is open to all students and welcomes players from recreational level to AAA

Villanova STEM Academy

The future is already here, and it’s been driven by rapid advances in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

In order for graduates to succeed in the knowledge economy as it continues to expand, they’ll need the competitive advantage that a STEM-based education provides. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.

Our Academies offer students the opportunity to bundle courses together in to STEM-focused packages and provide them with the foundation they’ll need to successfully continue on in related post-secondary disciplines, or exciting careers in STEM-related sectors.

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villanova shsm

St. Thomas of Villanova Specialist High Skills Major

A Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is a specialized program which allows students to experience a range of customized, career-focused learning opportunities while working towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The Ministry of Education has developed SHSM programs for many of the industry and business sectors in the province and has authorized the Villanova to offer SHSM programs in five of these sectors.

Students now have the opportunity to customize their high school experience, explore new ways of learning and ‘reach ahead’ to their post-secondary destination of choice (apprenticeship, college, university or the workplace).

Our 5 programs are focused on the following industries:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Construction
  • Health and Wellness
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Manufacturing and Engineering


The SHSM is a ministry approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and assists in their transition from secondary school to apprenticeship training, college, university, or the workplace. Every SHSM must include the following five components:

  • A bundle of 8-10 grade 11 and 12 credits
  • Sector recognized certifications and/or training courses
  • Experiential learning activities within the sector
  • “Reach Ahead” experiences connected with the student’s chosen post secondary pathway
  • Completion of a “Sector Partnered Contextualized Experience”

Benefits to students enrolled in a SHSM Program:

  • Gain important skills on the job with actual employers, at skills training centers and at school
  • Earn valuable industry certifications, including first aid and CPR qualifications
villanova shsm

Contact Us.

We welcome you to contact us for more information
about any of our programs or questions you may have.

2800 North Townline Rd LaSalle ON, Canada N9H 0K3

(519) 734-6444

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