Secondary Pathway Planning

As students choose courses throughout high school, they must ensure they have a good understanding of the types of courses available and which are required for their post-secondary pathway. To ensure they make informed choices, students are encouraged to:

  • consider their strengths and interests
  • consider the recommendations of their teachers
  • consider their pathway
  • seek help from their Guidance Counsellor

The 2019-2020 Pathways to Student Success book can help with the planning process. 


Use myBlueprint for Course Selection

A wide selection of courses at many different levels are offered at Notre Dame.
Students and parents can access the ND Course Calendar and complete their course selections for next year online using myBlueprint and the step-by-step guide.

The following courses require supplemental applications to be handed in WITH the course selection:

 Applications can be downloaded by clicking the links above and are available in Guidance.


Course Levels

The selection of course level should be subject-specific; students may choose a combination of levels and still have access to all possible post-secondary pathways depending on prerequisite.  For example, a student may choose academic/university English and applied/college Math.

The level of course selected depends on many factors, including: attitude/motivation, organizational skills, homework skills, independence/ initiative, and provincial standard (Level 3 or 4).  Students who have learning styles suited to theoretical, abstract thinking, who are self-motivated and require less teacher direction should choose academic/university courses.  Students who benefit from additional time spent on individual topics, with learning styles suited to hands-on, practical learning should choose applied/college courses. 

 Open (O) Courses

All students at all levels of academic abilities and learning needs and strengths can take an open level course. Expectations are designed to be appropriate for all students.

Locally Developed (L) and Workplace (E) Courses 
  • learn the most essential concepts of a subject;
  • require teacher direction and instruction to accommodate learning needs and to complete activities;
  • improve basic literacy and numeracy skills;
  • learning skills need improvement or require consistent practice and reinforcement; and
  • students best suited for Locally Developed Courses have previously worked in the Level 1 range.
Applied (P) and College (C) Courses 
  • learn the essential concepts of a subject;
  • emphasis is on practical and hands-on application of concepts;
  • students are more dependent learners, preferring discussions, teacher-directed or teacher-guided learning
        and real-life applications;
  • students who do well in Grade 9 applied have generally performed in the Level 2-3 range;
  • equips students with the knowledge and skills required for college programs.
 University/College (M) Courses
  • Includes content that is relevant for both university and college program;
  • equips students with the knowledge and skills required for specific university and college programs.
Academic (D) and University (U) Courses
  • students learn the essential concepts of a subject and explore related materials;
  • emphasis is on theory and abstract thinking as a basis for future learning;
  • students are creative and like to research and problem solve;
  • students are independent learners with good to excellent learning skills; and
  • students who do well in Grade 9 academic have generally performed in the Level 3-4 range;
  • equips students with the knowledge and skills required for university programs.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses 
  • students meet or exceed a high level of academic achievement (Level 4 or 80%) in a broad array of subjects;
  • are independent, self-directed learners;
  • process information quickly;
  • display intellectual curiosity; and
  • assume responsibility for their own learning.


Understanding Course Codes

All secondary school courses are identified with a six character code. The first five characters are consistent throughout the province of Ontario.  The diagram below explains the what the codes mean.


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