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Course Types

Course Types

Grades 9-10

As a high school student, you will have important choices to make that will open doors to your future.  One of the most important will be which course type to choose.  In grade 9 there are four course types: Academic, Applied, Locally Developed and Open courses.  Choosing course types in grade 9 and 10 will help your pathway planning in grade 11 and 12 and towards a post-secondary destination.  If you are unsure of which course option is best for you and want to keep your future post-secondary options open, choosing an Academic program is recommended.  Understanding yourself, your skills, abilities and interest will be the key to your success. 

Regardless of the course type that you choose, changes can be made if you find a course too difficult, not challenging enough or if you change your mind about your initial post-secondary destination.   With the exception of Mathematics, where a transfer course must be successfully completed,  students can change course types between grade 9 and 10 – speak your school Guidance Counsellor and subject teacher to make these changes.

Remember to choose the courses and course types that you will be most successful in. It’s the first step in the right direction to a positive future.

Applied (Grades 9 and 10)

  • Cover the core content and have an emphasis on concrete and practical learning 

Academic (Grades 9 and 10)

  • Cover the core content and have an emphasis on theoretical and conceptual learning

Locally Developed Compulsory Credit (Grades 9 and 10)

  • Focuses on the essential concepts within a subject area using relevant and practical activities to develop skills
  • Students who require two or more Locally Developed Compulsory Credit Courses or who require significant modification to their program will be assisted in investigating programs/schools that provide a full array of supports and services to meet their needs
  • Available in Math, Science, Canadian History and English

Transfer (Grade 9)

  • Enables students to achieve the expectations not covered in one course type, but required for entry into a course in the next grade
  • Currently, the only transfer course available is in Mathematics which is required to change from Grade 9 Applied Mathematics to Grade 10 Academic
  • Can be taken as a summer school course 

Grades 9-12

Open (Grades 9-12)

  • Learning expectations are the same for all students
  • Designed to prepare students for further study and to enrich general education in a subject
  • Can be counted as compulsory or elective credits

Alternative (No Credit, Grades 9-12)

  • ‘K’ courses focus on specific skill development which may be taken in preparation for credit courses or in place of
  • Designed to meet students education needs not met by existing credit courses

Locally Developed Courses (Grades 9-12)

  • Courses developed by the school board in any subject
  • Schools with specialized programs often include these courses

Grades 11-12

College Preparation Courses (Grades 11 and 12), C in the 5th position

  • Provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to meet entrance requirements for most college programs
  • Emphasis is on concrete applications of the theoretical material covered in the course and development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Focus on the development of independent research skills and independent learning skills

University Preparation Courses (Grades 11 and 12), U in the 5th position

  • Provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to meet entrance requirements for university study
  • Emphasis on theoretical aspects of the course content, with supporting applications
  • Courses will focus on the development of both independent research skills and independent learning skills

University/College Preparation Courses (Grades 11 and 12), M in the 5th position

  • Include content that is relevant for both university and college programs
  • Provide students with knowledge and skills needed to meet entrance requirements for specific university and college programs
  • Emphasis on both theoretical aspects and related concrete applications of the course content

Workplace Preparation Courses (Grades 11 and 12), E in the 5th position

  • Prepare students to move directly into the workplace or to be admitted to apprenticeship or other training programs in the community
  • Emphasis on practical workplace skills

Dual Credit Programs

  • Designed to help students finish Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and move on successfully to college and apprenticeship programs
  • Focus is on students facing challenges in graduating 
  • A maximum of four optional credits may count toward the OSSD for approved college courses or Level 1 Apprenticeship college-delivered Dual Credit programs

Credit Recovery Courses

  • Designed for a group of students if one is offered at his/her school through referral from the Student Success Team
  • Provide opportunity to get a credit without repeating the entire course
  • Provide support to students by way of intervention to support successful completion of the credit before the student fails. See Guidance Counsellor for details