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Course Selection and Pathway Planning

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The easiest way to plan your 
education and career.

The myBlueprint Education Planner is an online tool available to all TVDSB students (Grades 7-12), teachers and parents to: investigate and research educational options for all pathways (apprenticeship, work, college and university), discover learning styles, explore career interest surveys, plan secondary school courses, set short-term and long-terms goals, build resumes and much more.

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Pathway Guide 

Making Sense of the Course Codes

Every subject is identified by a common course code designated by the Ministry of Education. The code consists of 5 mandated characters and a 6th character for school use.

e.g. ENG1D1 is Grade 9 Academic English

The first three characters identify the subject. The first letter identifies the department:

A: Arts

B: Business

C: Canadian & World Studies

E: English

F: French

G: Guidance

H: Humanities & Social

LInternational Languages

M: Mathematics 

P: Physical Education

S: Science

T: Technology

The fourth  character identifies:

1: Grade 9

2: Grade 10

3: Grade 11

4: Grade 12

The fifth character identifies types of courses:

C: College 

D: Academic

E: Workplace

L: Locally Developed

M: University/College

O: Open

P: Applied

U: University

The sixth character is school-specific.

Used to distinguish course characteristics and specialized programs. e.g.

1: Regular Course/1 Credit

D: Double Cooperative Education

M: Male

F: Female

Types of Courses

You may choose a variety of course types, based on your interests, strengths and goals.

Grade 9 and 10


Focus on the essential concepts of the discipline and explore related concepts.

  • Develop students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing theoretical, abstract applications of the essential concepts and incorporating practical applications.


Focus on the essential concepts of the discipline.

  • Develop students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing practical, concrete applications of the concepts and incorporating theoretical applications


Focus on the essentials.

  • Use relevant and practical activities that provide opportunities for students to develop their literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, decision-making and communication skills.
  • Prepare students for future studies in Grade 11 and 12 workplace preparation courses.

OPEN (O) GRADES 9 to 12

Offered in all subjects other than those offered listed as academic, applied or locally developed compulsory. 

  • Are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to meet entrance requirements for university programs.
  • Emphasize theoretical aspects of the course content, but also include concrete applications.
Grades 11 and 12

In Grades 11 and 12, courses offered to prepare students for post-secondary destinations include:


Developed with universities.

  • Are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to meet entrance requirements for university programs.
  • Emphasize theoretical aspects of the course content, but also include concrete applications.


Developed with both colleges and universities.

  • Are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to meet the entrance requirements for specific university and college programs.
  • Emphasize both theoretical aspects and related concrete applications of the course content.

Developed with colleges to emphasize the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  • Are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to meet entrance requirements for college and apprenticeship programs
  • Emphasize concrete applications of the theoretical material covered in the course


Developed with representatives from a variety of workplaces. 

  • Are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed for direct entry into the workplace or for admission to apprenticeship programs and other training programs offered in the community
  • Allow students to prepare for a variety of jobs, and training programs

OPEN (O) GRADES 9 to 12

What do you need to graduate?

  • 30 credits in total (18 compulsory and 12 elective)
  • 40 hours of community involvement
  • Completion of the literacy requirement

Go to Graduation Requirements

In the Know... Pathway Steps for All

Your education offers multiple pathways to many different destinations. Find the one that is right for you, and focus on the journey.

High School and Beyond: Apprenticeship, College, University and the World of Work 

The Ontario Ministry of Education’s Creating Pathways to Success document grounds our belief that: all students can be successful, success comes in many forms and there are many pathways to success.

A chart showing pathways for high school education. Description below image.

Grade 9 and 10 Courses of Study: Locally Developed, Applied, Academic
Grades 11 and 12 Courses of Study: Workplace, College, College/University
Post-Secondary Destinations: Apprenticeship/College/World of Work, Apprenticeship/College/World of Work, Apprenticeship/College/University/World of Work

Stay Informed

myBlueprint Education Planner

myBlueprint is an online tool available to all TVDSB students (Grades 7-12), teachers and parent/guardian to: investigate and research educational options for all pathways (apprenticeship, work, college and university), discover learning styles, explore career interest surveys, plan secondary school courses, set short-term and long-term goals, build resumes and much more. 

Go to myBlueprint

French Immersion

Students are taught French as a subject, and French serves as the language of instruction in two or more other subjects. At the secondary level, there are academic and applied courses in French Immersion in Grades 9 and 10, and university preparation and open courses in Grades 11 and 12. In the French Immersion program, students accumulate ten credits in French: four are for FSL courses; six are for other subjects in which French is the language of instruction. Schools may grant a certificate in French Immersion if the student fulfills these requirements. 

Generally, the program a student selects at the secondary school level is determined by the total number of hours of French instruction accumulated by the end of Grade 8 (a minimum of 600 for Core French, a minimum of 1260 for Extended French, and a minimum of 3800 for French Immersion).

One FSL credit (110 hours) from any of the three programs is compulsory for secondary school graduation. 

For subjects other than FSL that are taught in French in an Extended French or French Immersion program, the expectations in each course are those outlined in the English-language curriculum policy documents. It is recognized that expectations in these subjects may need to be adapted to meet the needs of students who are studying the subjects in French instead of in English. (Excerpt from: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12:  French as a Second Language -- Core, Extended, and Immersion, 2014.)

Go to French Immersion

Special Education

Our primary goal is to meet students’ needs in their own classrooms in their home school. Occasionally, some students need the support of specialized programs and services which are offered at another location. Information for parents, such as the Parent’s Guide to the Identification Placement and Review Process and the Individual Education Plan can be obtained at the school, or by calling the Special Education Department or on our website.

Go to Special Education

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

By regulation, each school board has a Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), whose mandate it is to provide advice and recommendations on all issues related to Special Education. The list of members and the agencies they represent can be found on our website.

Go to Special Education Advisory Committee

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) 

Students enrolled in Ontario secondary schools may have their skills and knowledge outside the classroom evaluated against provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits towards the secondary school diploma. PLAR procedures are carried out by the system and the school under the direction of the school principal.


Students have the option to obtain a variety of credits online through the Virtual Academy.

Go to eLearning

Ontario Student Record (OSR)

Each student’s record (OSR) is kept at the student’s home school and follows the student when that student changes schools. The OSR contains the Ontario Student Transcript (OST) and other notes, assessment, evaluations and records made while the student attends elementary and secondary school. The OSR is available for adult students, parent/guardian of minor students, teaching staff and administration.

Full Disclosure

If a student withdraws from a Grade 11 or 12 course after 5 instructional days following the issue of the first provincial report card (mid-term), the withdrawal and percentage grade must be recorded on the OST.

Course Outline
Course outlines are provided to students during the first week of classes. Copies of course outlines are available through the main office at each school.
Curriculum Policy Documents
All curriculum policy documents are available at the Ontario Ministry of Education website or through the school principal.
A prerequisite is a course that students must complete prior to attempting a course of the next year level.  A corequisite is a course that must be taken at the same time as another course.

Substitution of Compulsory Credits 

In unique circumstances, the principal of a school may replace up to three of the compulsory credit requirements in order to meet an individual student’s need.

English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD) 

These programs meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs) whose first language is not English, or is a form of English significantly different from the English taught in Ontario schools. 

Go to English Language Learners

Experiential Learning

Specialist High Skills Major Program (SHSM)
The SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific sector while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The SHSM enables students to customize their secondary school experience to suit their interests and talents, and  prepare for a successful post-secondary transition to apprenticeship, college, university or the workforce, while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Why Pursue A Specialist High Skills Major?

Through the SHSM, Ontario secondary school students are given more opportunities to earn industry recognized certifications, participate in reach ahead activities and cooperative education to match their individual goals and interests. Students are recognized as having achieved a SHSM in a specific area with a RED seal on their OSSD and a special transcript listing certifications and skills to which they have been exposed.

Go to see which schools offer SHSM.

To learn more about these exciting opportunities see your Guidance department.

School College to Work Programs/Dual Credits

What is it?

Students can participate in post-secondary courses and/or apprenticeship training, earning dual credits that count towards both their high school diploma and their post-secondary diploma, degree or apprenticeship certification.

Who’s it for?

Students who need learning opportunities outside of high school and who would benefit from a college or apprenticeship experience.

How it helps

Students have the opportunity to:

  • Earn high school credits while studying at a local college or taking apprenticeship training
  • Gain experience that will help them with their post-secondary education or apprenticeship
  • Get a head start on learning and training for their future careers
Day Away Dual Credits

Day Away Dual Credits allow students to attend college one day a week to earn college credits in addition to high school credits. Each successfully completed college credit also results in the awarding of a high school credit which can be used toward completion of the OSSD. Currently, TVDSB has day away programs at Fanshawe, Lambton and Conestoga colleges.

Go to Dual Credits Day Away Programs

School Within a College (SWAC)

The School Within A College program allows students to complete high school by attending school on campus at college. These students also enroll in college dual credits. Each successfully completed college credit also results in the awarding of a high school credit which can be used toward completion of the OSSD. Currently, TVDSB has a SWAC program at Fanshawe College, London, St. Thomas, and Woodstock, as well as Lambton College.

*First Nations, Métis, Inuit SWAC programs also available.

Go to School Within A College

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

What is the Ontario Youth ApprenticeshipProgram (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.

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
  • Enable students to make the school to work transition by direct entry into apprenticeship training
  • Provide employers with the opportunity to train the skilled workers they require
  • Provide a viable solution to address the problem of skilled tradespeople shortages in general, and specifically the lack of young people joining the trades

Why Apply? 

Applying for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program could be the first step in beginning a rewarding career in the skilled trades.

  • OYAP is both a demanding and smart choice if you wish to jump-start your career. Jobs in the skilled trades pay well and challenge your intellect and creativity.
  • Apprenticeships are often the first step in a career path that can lead to supervisory, administrative or management positions, or to a self-employed business career.
  • Students who participate in OYAP will be trained in a specific set of skills leading to a registered apprenticeship program and will be able to obtain apprenticeship hours and high school credits at the same time.

Go to Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program 

Cooperative Education (COOP)
  • Cooperative Education is a planned learning experience through which students can earn credits.
  • Classroom theory and workplace experiences allow students to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related course.
  • The classroom component is comprised of preplacement and integration activities.
  • The personalized placement component takes place in the workplace where students get hands-on experience exploring an occupation.
  • Cooperative Education is appropriate for all students who are heading to university, college, apprenticeship or the workplace. It is offered in all subject areas and course types.
Other Forms of Experiential Learning
  • Job Shadowing — a one-on-one observation of a worker at a place of employment for up to three days
  • Job Twinning — a one-on-one observation of a cooperative education student at a place of employment for up to three days
  • Work Experience — a planned learning opportunity within a course which allows students a relatively short-term work experience, usually of one or two weeks at a time, for a total of up to four weeks
  • Work Internship — combines workplace training with a school-based program to prepare students for direct entry into the workforce. Ask about the Thames Valley District School Board Destinations programs.
School Within A University (SWAU) 

The School Within A University program allows students experiencing changes and challenges in life to complete secondary school by attending school on campus at Western University in London, Ontario. These students also enroll tuition free in one first year university course.

Go to School Within A University

Student Success: Reaching Every Student

Each teenager has their own unique interests, goals and strengths. Every student should have the same opportunity to succeed and graduate from secondary school. TVDSB schools are working with you to improve the learning experience for all students.

We share a common goal to help all students build a promising future for themselves. We are responding by focusing on:

  • Quality course options and programs inside and outside of the classroom, leading to all destinations (apprenticeship, college, community, employment, and university)
  • Literacy and numeracy skills in all subject areas
  • One-on-one support when students need extra help
  • Building community, diversity, culture, safety, and caring in all schools

There is a Student Success Team in every secondary school. Members of this team include the Principal, the Head of Guidance, the Head of Special Education, the Student Success Teacher, and other staff members as appropriate to the school (e.g. Cooperative Education Teacher, Credit Recovery Teacher, etc.). The Student Success Teams ensure a smooth and successful transition from Grade 8 to Grade 9 for all students.

The Grade 8/9 Transition Program may include:

  • Assigning a teacher or other educator to provide support during the transition years
  • Creating a student profile that highlights the student’s strengths, needs and interests
  • Developing customized Grade 9 timetables
  • Tailoring strategies and interventions based on each school’s unique advantages

Student Success Teams continue to monitor the progress of students throughout their time at secondary school, setting and revisiting career life goals with students and providing support as needed to maximize student opportunities and achievement.

Tips for Planning Post-Secondary Pathways

  1. Start Early. It is never too soon to start talking to children about their goals for secondary school and beyond.
    • Use the TVDSB pathway planning resources together
    • Start planning for high school and post-secondary with myBlueprint
  2. Help Your Teens Know Their Goals and Interests. Encourage them to understand who they are and connect their interests and abilities to careers.
    • Choose courses wisely and explore a variety of courses and experiences
    • Do the self-assessments with myBlueprint
  3. Understand the New Realities of Work. Remember your child will likely have 6-10 occupations and some of those jobs do not exist yet.
    • Transferable skills are the key to success
  4. Encourage Your Teen to Explore All Pathways. Talk equally about all possibilities.
  5. Investigate the Specifics of Career Choices. Attend information sessions about all five destinations available in your school.
    • Encourage experiential learning such as Coop, Dual Credits, SHSM and Volunteer Opportunities
  6. Community Involvement (40 hours).
    It is important to start early, and you can begin in the summer before grade 9.
  7. Research Financial Responsibilities. 

All About Me

Who am I?

  • How would I describe myself right now (strengths, interests, values)?
  • How can I connect who I am to the choices I make?

What are my opportunities?

  • What opportunities should I try while I’m in school?

Who do I want to become?

  • What are my goals now and for the near future?
  • Where can I find information about my initial post-secondary destination?

What is my plan for achieving my goals?

  • How do I develop and review my plan?
  • Who can support me in achieving my goals?
Is apprenticeship for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the apprenticeship pathway.

Is college for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the college pathway.


Is community training for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the community training pathway.

> Programs

> Special Education


Is on-the-job training for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the on-the-job training and employment pathway.


Is university for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the university pathway.


Specialty Programs:

Other Opportunities:

Contact Us