When looking to send your child to high school, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about with the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
This piece of paper seems to be govern everything about your child’s future and will take up the majority of their formative years in the education system.
But is it actually important for your child to receive their OSSD?
There are many important reasons your child would benefit from completing their secondary education and obtaining their OSSD. Let’s explore the most vital reasons your child should be striving to complete this educational milestone.
The Ontario Secondary School Diploma, or OSSD, is the final certificate given to a high school student upon successful completion of their studies.
To qualify for their OSSD, a student has to have completed 18 credits in subjects such as english, math, science, Canadian history and French as a second language. They must also complete a literacy test with at least a 75% pass mark.
In addition, they must also complete 40 hours of community service in their local area. This can be anything from assisting with charitable events, helping with educational programs, or completing government run initiatives to give back to the community. This is an excellent way to teach students about being a part of the civil discourse and becoming a contributing member of society.
An OSSD is received at the end of Year 12, and is recognised in all other provinces as confirmation of satisfactory secondary school completion.
The main advantage conferred by obtaining the OSSD is access to the best university and college programs in Ontario and the rest of Canada.
Most postsecondary educational institutions will require a valid and complete OSSD to consider application into their programs. This acts as a screening mechanism of sorts, as education tasks in university and college go even further than what was required in high school. Only those that were able to successfully complete the OSSD are typically considered ready for further education.
The OSSD itself is a simple matter of pass or fail. However, universities will look at your child’s academic performance in their top six courses to gauge whether they will be accepted into their desired programs. That is why striving to get a high academic average overall is preferable compared to simply meeting the bare minimum requirements for the OSSD.
One of the general alternatives to continuing into postsecondary education is the pursual of a skilled trade.
Skilled trades include professions like electricians, carpenters, plumbers, certain types of construction work, and more. As Ontario is one of the industrial capitals of Canada, becoming a skilled tradesperson is a perfectly valid option for many secondary school students.
However, many skilled trade apprenticeships still require a completion of the OSSD to continue into the profession. There are programs in place for students who haven’t yet completed the OSSD, such as the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, but they still have requirements for intention to complete Year 12 responsibilities.
With over 150 skilled trades requiring apprenticeship programs, and the majority of those programs requiring a completed OSSD, getting this qualification is vital to continuing into the workforce following secondary school.
Achieving the OSSD is important not only for entering postsecondary education, but also for landing a job after high school.
Most high school students do not have a lot of previous work experience to include on their resumes when they leave school. Thus, the majority of the page real estate on their resumes will likely be taken up by community involvement and education. Having the OSSD qualification present on the resume is a good sign to any potential employer that the student has taken the time and effort to complete this level of education.
The community service requirements of the OSSD program also help to flesh out a resume. High school students are required to complete 40 hours of community service in order to obtain their OSSD, which gives them the opportunity to demonstrate a range of desirable employee traits.
Completing the OSSD can be daunting for many students that struggle in traditional large classrooms with limited one-on-one interaction with their teachers.
Private schools in Toronto can help your child achieve their best OSSD performance by providing them with a tailored and more focused learning environment. Cestar High School specializes in small class size education, where students are given ample time with their teachers to ensure they fully understand key concepts and materials.
If you are looking to give your child the best possible future, contact us today and see how we can help your child reach for the future.