Michiganís Successful Initiatives

Michigan Model Curriculum: Michigan has a history of developing model curricula that are consistent with not only the law, but also studentsí needs, community norms, as well as research and best practice. The Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education, our state's model health curriculum, was developed in 1983, and continues to be supported and updated through statewide collaboration.  talk early talk often logo Providing a research-based approach to health education, the Michigan Model is the primary curriculum used in kindergarten through high school. The Michigan Model includes approximately 40 lessons per grade, kindergarten through sixth grade, and topical modules for use in middle and high school. The Lessons address vital health topics, such as healthy eating, physical activity, personal health practices, social and emotional health, violence prevention, HIV/STD prevention, and alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention skills and strategies. Michigan has also built a statewide infrastructure of Comprehensive School Health Coordinators in every corner of the state to help ensure dissemination of curricula, training for teachers, and ongoing technical assistance for school districts.

Michigan Model Parent Surveys, returned by more than 5,000 families, indicated a high satisfaction with the program and the opinion of parents, in the non-representative sample, that the school health program is having a very positive impact on their children's behaviors. The Parent Survey, last conducted in 1992, has been updated and was reintroduced in 1999.

Family Planning: The Michigan Family Planning Program makes available general reproductive health assessment, comprehensive contraceptive services, related health education and counseling, and referrals as needed to every citizen of the state. The programís strong educational and counseling component helps to reduce health risks and promote healthy behaviors. While services are available to anyone, the primary target population is low-income women and men. Individuals with income levels at or below poverty can receive the full array of program services at no cost. Through contracts with 52 agencies, a network of 150 local clinics assures availability of the services statewide. On-site clinical services are delivered through local health departments, Planned Parenthood affiliates, hospitals, and private nonprofit agencies.

Michigan Abstinence Program: The Michigan Abstinence Program (MAP) began in 1993. MAP aims to positively impact adolescent health problems by promoting abstinence from sexual activity and related risky behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. There are 12 community agencies currently funded at funding levels between $85,000 to $170,000 annually for a five-year cycle (FY 03-07).

A comprehensive approach targeting 9-17 year-old youth (up to 21 years of age for special education populations) and their parents is utilized. Programming is implemented through the community empowerment model. Community coalitions, representative of the local community plan, implement and evaluate program activities. Each community develops a community action plan detailing coalition-based activities uniquely targeted to the youth and families in their area. Coalitions also develop and implement community awareness activities designed to create a community environment supportive of an abstinent lifestyle for teens.

MAP programming includes in school and after school abstinence education activities, drama, mentoring, peer-mentoring, essay contests, service learning, youth events and summer programming. Interventions for youth must provide at least 14 hours of direct educational contact per participant and must be medically accurate and skills building. All abstinence education activities funded through MAP must meet the definition of abstinence education outlined in Section 510 of Title V of the Social Security Act and the MDCH appropriation boilerplate.

In addition to funding, each community is provided technical assistance, evaluation support, annual trainings, educational materials, and statewide media messages. Educational materials that promote the abstinence message are distributed through MDCHís Health Promotions Clearinghouse. A media campaign targets youth and their parents through television, radio, and posters.

The Michigan Teen Outreach Program: The Michigan Teen Outreach Program (MTOP) strives to increase the number of adolescents in Michigan who are making positive choices to abstain from risky behaviors, including sexual activity and the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs through participation in service learning and abstinence education intervention. Five community organizations are funded through MTOP.

In order to assure that programming provided meets the needs of the community an advisory steering committee is in place in each funded community. Each community is expected to reach a minimum of 300 youth (with the exception of Shiawassee County) with 55-70 hours of intervention per participant. The Cornerstone Consulting Groupís Teen Outreach Program is the service-learning curriculum utilized at all sites. The abstinence-plus portion of this curriculum is replaced with a community selected abstinence-only curriculum in order to meet the definition of abstinence education as outlined in Section 510 of Title V of the Social Security Act and the MDCH appropriation boilerplate. Parent education is also implemented in order to encourage parents to talk openly with their children about sexuality and the benefits of abstinence.

A Community Health and Evaluation Consultant works directly with the funded communities to provide technical assistance with programming, evaluation, and coordination of an annual training. [Funding for the Michigan Teen Outreach Program has not been renewed.]

School-Based/Linked Health Centers: School-Based/Linked Health Centers provide primary care services aimed at achieving the best possible physical, intellectual, and emotional status of adolescents by providing services that are high quality, accessible, and acceptable to youth. To this end, the program administers 22 clinical teen health centers and nine non-clinical teen health centers throughout Michigan.

The adolescent health center model provides on-site primary health care, psychosocial, health promotion/disease prevention education, and referral services through either school-based/school-linked health centers. The non-clinical teen health centers focus on case finding, screening, referral for primary care, and providing health education services (no primary care services are provided).

Agencies involved in delivering these services include local health departments, hospitals, and community organizations. The centers are located in 16 counties across the state. Staffing patterns vary from center to center. It is most important that clinics are comprised of staff that is culturally sensitive and trusted by adolescents. The required staffing pattern is a combination of full and/or part-time positions (a minimum of 30 hours per week is required of medical providers).

Michigan HIV/STD and Pregnancy Curriculum: In the arena of HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention, Michigan has model curricula at the elementary and middle/junior high school level that are medically accurate, consistent with research and best practice, and reflect statewide needs. Grades K-4 include one lesson per grade level and grades 5-6 include two lessons per grade level. The eight-lesson curriculum for students in grades 7-8 is abstinence-centered (i.e., focuses exclusively on helping young people gain the knowledge and skills needed to practice abstinence).

Michigan also developed an abstinence-based model high school HIV/STD prevention curriculum that needs to be updated, expanded to include pregnancy prevention, and disseminated statewide. The 17 lesson skills-based curriculum was piloted and rigorously evaluated in the mid 1990s using an experimental design that included 30 matched teachers and more than 3500 students. The evaluation demonstrated positive impact on student knowledge and behavioral intentions.