About the Division of Adolescent and School Health

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Overview

CDC, through its Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), works to promote environments where youth can gain fundamental health knowledge and skills, establish healthy behaviors for a lifetime, connect to health services, and avoid becoming pregnant or infected with HIV or STDs.

DASH is a unique source of support for HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention efforts in the nation’s schools. DASH works to protect youth by:

  • Collecting data that drive action.
  • Translating science into innovative programs and tools that work to protect youth.
  • Supporting a network of leaders in primary prevention by funding education agencies that reach nearly 2 million students.

DASH is committed to preventing HIV, STDs, and pregnancy among all youth. Taking a school-based health promotion and disease prevention approach, the division works to prepare healthy youth for a successful future.

Their Future is Our Future: 30 Years of Investing in Adolescent Health

CDC is a leader in developing and promoting data-driven ways to make students safer and healthier. Since 1988, the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) has worked with education agencies, health agencies, youth-serving organizations, and parents to help teens adopt healthy behaviors and avoid becoming pregnant or infected with HIV or STDs. We look back across three decades of progress in translating the science into programs, policies, and practices that can improve students’ lives.

DASH Strategic Plan Through 2020

DASH’s Strategic Plan articulates the vision, framework, and overarching goals and strategies that guide the division’s programmatic, research and surveillance efforts through 2020.

Download_01Download the DASH strategic plan and related materials:

CDC's Role in School Health

CDC promotes the health and well-being of adolescents through schools, enabling them to become healthy and productive adults. CDC supports school health functions by:

DASH Organization

CDC engages an established network of leaders in school-based HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention. These funded partners:

    • Deliver HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention programs grounded in the latest research
    • Select and implement effective health education curricula that best fit local needs
    • Build local capacity to connect students to school-based and community health services
    • Establish safe environments where students feel connected to school and supportive adults
    • Address the unique needs of sexual and gender minority youth, who not only have higher rates of HIV and STDs, but also are more likely to experience bullying, violence, substance use, and other challenges

DASH also funds organizations that help education agencies with training, technical assistance, and resource development to increase the impact of local programs.

DASH’s research application and evaluation focus provides national leadership in identifying effective practices for school health programs and translates the latest scientific findings into resources for use by education agencies and non-governmental organizations. DASH activities include developing practical tools and research-based guidance, assisting funded partners with evaluation of sexual education programs, studying risk and protective factors as well as interventions associated with adolescent sexual behavior, and determining how best to affect teens’ health care, school and community environments.

DASH’s three school-based surveillance systems provide educators with information they can translate into programs, policies, and practices that reduce health costs and improve students’ lives. DASH works with state and local education and health agencies to implement the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). DASH also manages data collection on school health policies, programs, and practices through School Health Profiles (Profiles) and the School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) and provides technical assistance for the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS).