Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)


In accordance with the Curricular Guidelines of the Ontario Ministry of Education, students must earn a total of 30 credits (one for every 110-hour course successfully completed) to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Eighteen of the credits are compulsory, earned in a specified number of courses from a list of subjects that every student must take at TIC. The remaining 12 credits are optional, earned in courses that the student may select from the full range of courses offered by TIC.

The credits required to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma are as follows:

Compulsory Credits (Total of 18)
  • 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
  • 1 credit in French as a second language
  • 3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits in science
  • 1 credit in Canadian history
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography
  • 1 credit in the arts
  • 1 credit in health and physical education
  • 1/2 credit in civics and 1/2 credit in career studies

In addition to the compulsory credits listed above, all students must complete the following:
  • 1 additional credit in English, or a third language, or a social science and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies
  • 1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies
  • 1 additional credit in science (Grade 11 or 12) or technological education (Grades 9- 12)
Optional Credits (Total of 12)
In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students have to earn 12 optional credits in courses of their choice, selected from a full list of courses available at TIC. Optional credits allow students to build an educational program that suits their individual interests and meets university, college, apprenticeship, or work requirements.
Additional Requirements
All students must also complete 40 hours of community involvement activities at some point in their high school years in order to qualify for graduation. Furthermore, students must pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test prior to admission into Grade 11 and Grade 12, or prior to graduation in the case of international students.
OSSD Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 UP Courses
As an inspected private school accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education, TIC strictly follows the curricular guidelines and policies of the Ontario Ministry of Education in all its course offerings and teaching practice.
In light of the demands and needs of its clientele, TIC currently offers O.S.S.D (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11 and Grade 12 University Preparation courses and ESL (English as a Second Language) which are intended to prepare students for university studies.
40 Hours of Community Involvement Activities
Every student at TIC including all international students who have not yet graduated from a secondary school must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as one of the requirements of an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
The purposes of the community involvement activities are to:
  • to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility
  • to increase awareness of the role they can play and gain satisfaction from the contribution they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities
  • to develop a positive image and a greater sense of identity within the community

Students may complete the requirement at any time before graduation. Students may complete one activity of 40 hours or several activities which add up to a 40 hour time commitment. The requirement must be completed outside of scheduled class time.
Students will identify and document their community involvement on the Community Involvement Activities Form. Students must provide signatures confirming what activities they are participating in, who their supervisors are and verification of completed activities. When completed (with all signatures) the student will present the report to the school. The total number of hours completed each year will be documented on the report card.
The following list represents eligible activities which are defined by the Ontario Ministry of Education as recognized community service activities that are non-paid and out of class time, and not part of a course requirement:
  • Fundraising
  • Sports/Recreation
  • Community Events
  • Environmental Projects
  • Senior's Residence
  • Community Committee Work
  • Community Projects
  • Religious Activities
  • Clubs and Youth Organizations
  • Children/Youth
  • Office/Clerical
  • Arts/Culture
  • School Activities
  • Activities for Individuals Requiring Assistance

Students’ Roles and Responsibilities

Before beginning any Community Involvement activity:
1. The student must complete and submit to the school a Notification of Planned Community Involvement Activities Form.
2. The student will select an activity or activities from TIC's list of approved activities OR, if the activity is not on TIC’s list of approved activities, the student will have to obtain written approval from the principal on the notification form.
3. It is important to select appropriate activities that will provide for the student's safety and well being. Parent/Guardian involvement is crucial in ensuring that activities take into account the following:
  • Health and safety
  • Harassment
  • Hazardous materials or substances
  • Activities that require a police check
  • Location of activity
  • Age appropriateness

4. A student under the age of eighteen must complete the Notification of Planned Community Involvement Form in consultation with his or her parent/guardian, and must also have one parent sign the form. The student will sign the form and submit it to the principal or to another school contact designated by the principal.
5. When the activity is completed the student must fill out the Completion of Community Involvement Activites Form.
6. The student must submit the form to the principal or other school contact upon completion of the 40 hours, or at appropriate interval determined by the principal. This form must be signed by the sponsor of each activity and student's parent(s)/guardian (if student is under 18).
7. When accepting a placement the student should consider the following:
  • Show up ready to work on time
  • Dress correctly for the agreed duties
  • Act professionally
  • Be respectful of others
  • Listen to instructions
  • Do the job to the best of your ability and ask for directions if unsure
  • Call and notify your superior prior to the scheduled activity if your are sick or cannot come to work
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Work Safely
  • It is advised that students aim for completion before their final year
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a compulsory standardized test for high school students in Ontario who wish to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. It was established in 2001 by the Conservative government. It is administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).
The OSSLT is written every year on the last Thursday of March in all catholic, public and eligible inspected private secondary schools in the province of Ontario. It is used to assess the reading and writing skills of Grade 10 students of Ontario secondary schools. International students may complete the test on the specified date prior to their completion of the OSSD Program.
The OSSLT consists of two booklets that must be completed by students in 2.5 hours. The first booklet includes multiple-choice and short answer questions, as well as questions asking the student to compose a newspaper article based on the headline and picture provided. The second booklet also includes multiple-choice and short answer questions, as well as a question asking the student to write an opinion piece on a given topic. The test is out of 400 marks.
For the reading component, students are asked to read a variety of selections and answer questions about each selection. The reading questions are designed to measure student achievement in these areas:
  • understanding of ideas and information that are stated directly in the reading selection
  • understanding of ideas and information that are stated indirectly and that require the reader to make inferences
  • making of connections between personal knowledge and experience and the ideas and information in the reading selections (e.g., interpretation of meaning).

The reading selections reflect the types of reading materials students should encounter every day, including the following:
  • informational materials such as explanations and instructions
  • graphic materials, such as schedules, graphs, and tables
  • literary materials, such as stories, descriptions, and dialogues. The questions on the selections include short-answer questions, multiple-choice questions, and questions that require a brief explanation.

For the writing component, students are asked to produce four pieces of writing. The writing tasks are designed to measure student achievement in these areas:
  • development of a main idea
  • provision of supporting details
  • organization and linking of ideas and information
  • use of an appropriate tone for the purpose and the intended reader
  • use of correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

The kinds of writing include the following:
  • a summary
  • a series of paragraphs expressing an opinion
  • a news report
  • an information paragraph

Marks may be deducted due to a lack of detail. However, the inclusion of too much information can also result in penalties.


Before the OSSLT is written, a teacher of Grade 11 or 12 University Preparation English will be scheduled to assist students in preparation for the test. The OSSLT Prep Course is free and open to all students at TIC who need to take the test in order to fulfill the the provincial literacy requirement for graduation from the OSSD program.
Upon completion of the test, booklets are shipped to the spot designated by the Ontario Ministry of Education for marking. Those who fail must attempt the test the following year or take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) in grade 12 to fulfill the provincial literacy requirement for graduation from the OSSD program.


Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) is a Grade 12 course, offered as full credit and as a make-up, designed for students who must meet the literacy requirements for graduation. Students must have been eligible to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once in order to take this course. The tuition fee for the OSSLC is extra and is equal to the same amount for a regular UP credit. Students who need to take the OSSLC credit course must contact the Dean’s Office to get more information about the course or to register for the course by email at adm@ticedu.ca.

You can find out more by visiting www.eqao.com or by calling 1-888-327-7377.