Fact Sheet: Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool

The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) is an assessment tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with heath education experts from state and local education agencies, schools, colleges and universities, and national organizations.

The HECAT is aligned with the National Health Education Standards and is based on the Characteristics of Effective Health Education.

Why the HECAT was created

Health education is a fundamental part of an overall school health program; it provides young people with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful learners and healthy adults.

Choosing or developing the best possible health education curriculum is an important step towards ensuring quality health education. The HECAT provides a structured process to improve curriculum selection and development.

What the HECAT can help you do

  • Assemble a team of qualified individuals to conduct a curriculum review.
  • Identify a curriculum, locally or commercially developed for elementary, middle, or high school, that best meets your school district’s health education course of study.
  • Assess accuracy and acceptability of curriculum content, feasibility of curriculum implementation, and affordability or the curriculum materials—including cost of implementation.
  • Analyze fundamental characteristics including learning objectives, inclusive characteristics, teacher materials, curriculum design, instructional strategies and materials, and promotion of norms that value positive health behaviors.
  • Analyze supplemental curriculum resources such as teacher materials, instructional strategies, and student assessments.
  • Identify curriculum strengths and weaknesses to inform decisions about selection and guide revision.
  • Accommodate local revision to address priorities, interests, and needs; allow community review; and accommodate local school board review and approval.
  • Develop a scope and sequencepdf icon for health education focused on the most relevant health outcomes for youth in your community.

Who the HECAT can help

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Curriculum committees or educators in school districts, schools, or community-based organizations that work with schools.

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State or local education agency staff.

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Other curriculum developers.

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Faculty and students in institutions of higher education teacher preparation programs.

To conduct an analysis using HECAT, choose one of the following options:

  • Create an account in HECAT Online
  • Download the tool and related materials from the HECAT web page