Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)
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.
To access the HECAT and start examining health education curricula, open HECAT online or download the tool components located at the bottom of the page.
Health education is a fundamental part of an overall school health program; it provides youth with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful learners and healthy adults.
- Guidance on using the HECAT to review curricula and using the results to make health education curriculum decisions
- Customizable templates for recording important descriptive curriculum information for state or local use in the curriculum review process
- Tools to analyze preliminary curriculum considerations, such as accuracy, acceptability, feasibility, and affordability
- Tools to analyze curriculum fundamentals, such as learning objectives, curriculum design, culturally responsive and inclusive characteristics, and instructional strategies and materials
- Specific concept and skills analyses by health topic
- Guidance on using the HECAT for developing a health education scope and sequence
- Guidance on using HECAT Online for conducting curricula analysis and developing a health education scope and sequence
HECAT online is a free, interactive tool that allows you to work collaboratively in teams to complete projects related to curriculum analyses, comparing strengths and weaknesses of multiple curricula, and developing a scope and sequence (S&S) for health education.
Using technology to evaluate health education curricula is important in the digital age. Use these instructional guides to understand the basics about using HECAT Online and how to select, develop or customize appropriate health education curricula to meet the health needs of students.
Download the HECAT: 2021 Edition*
To help education professionals understand how they can use the HECAT to analyze and improve health education curricula and programs, CDC developed this tool and related materials. These resources can help schools select or develop appropriate and effective health education curricula and improve the delivery of health education. The HECAT can be customized to meet local community needs and conform to the curriculum requirements of the state or local school district.
- HECAT Cover [PDF – 519 KB]
- Table of Contents and Acknowledgements [PDF – 105 KB]
- Overview [PDF – 187 KB]
- Chapter 1: General Instructions [PDF – 176 KB]
- Chapter 2: General Curriculum Information [PDF – 189 KB]
- Chapter 3: Overall Summary Forms [PDF – 133 KB]
- Chapter 4: Preliminary Curriculum Considerations [PDF – 368 KB]
- Chapter 5: Curriculum Fundamentals [PDF – 212 KB]
- Chapter 6: Overview of Modules [PDF – 80 KB]
- Print version: Alcohol and Other Drugs [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Food and Nutrition [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Mental and Emotional Health [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Personal Health and Wellness [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Physical Activity [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Safety [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Sexual Health [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Tobacco [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print version: Violence Prevention [PDF – 1 MB]
- Print Version: Comprehensive Health Education [PDF – 7 MB]
- Appendix 1: HECAT Contributors [PDF – 80 KB]
- Appendix 2: Using the HECAT for the Review of Health Education Resource Materials [PDF – 67 KB]
- Appendix 3: HECAT Healthy Behavior Outcomes for Grades Pre-K–12 [PDF – 51 KB]
- Appendix 4: HECAT Skill Expectations for Skill Standards 2-8 [PDF – 124 KB]
- Appendix 5: Using the HECAT to Develop a Scope and Sequence for Health Education [PDF – 188 KB]
- Appendix 6: Using the HECAT to Analyze Curricula for Early Care and Education Programs [PDF – 92 KB]
- Appendix 7: Understanding Health Education Assessment [PDF – 87 KB]
- Appendix 8: Health Education Improvement Plan Template [PDF – 56 KB]
- Glossary [PDF – 92 KB]
The HECAT provides a structured and systematic process to improve curriculum selection and development, and is designed for use by:
- Curriculum committees or educators in school districts, schools, or community-based organizations that work with schools.
- State or local education agency staff.
- Other curriculum developers.
- Faculty and students in institutions of higher education teacher preparation programs.
Choosing or developing the best possible curriculum is an important step towards ensuring quality health education.
*If you are having difficulty viewing any information or files on this web page due to difficulties with adaptive technologies, use the “Contact Us” link to request an alternate format of the web site content. You can also contact CDC-INFO at http://www.cdc.gov/info/ , 800-232-4636 or the TTY number at (888) 232-6348 and they will assist you.