Paxton Patterson vs HealthCenter21: Which Health Science Curriculum Is Right for You? Blog Feature
John Krimmel

By: John Krimmel on April 29th, 2021

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Paxton Patterson vs HealthCenter21: Which Health Science Curriculum Is Right for You?

Digital Curriculum | Health Science

As a health science curriculum provider, we interact with thousands of health science teachers every year. 

These teachers often ask us how HealthCenter21 compares to other digital health science curriculum options, such as Paxton Patterson Online.

Though Paxton Patterson Online and HealthCenter21 are similar, one may be better for your classroom than the other.

To help you decide, we’ll answer the most common questions about Paxton Patterson Online and HealthCenter21:

  1. What topics are covered?
  2. What is the intended audience and age level?
  3. What is the instructional format?

You’ll also have the opportunity to sign up for a free trial of HealthCenter21 to determine if it’s right for you and your students.

1. What Topics are Covered?


When choosing a new health science curriculum, one of the most important considerations is whether it meets your course standards and the topics you need to teach.

In this section, you’ll learn what healthcare concepts and skills you can teach with Paxton Patterson Online and HealthCenter21.

Topics You Can Teach with Paxton Patterson Online

Paxton Patterson Online develops College and Career Ready Labs with project-based activities that give students first-hand experience with authentic medical equipment.

Paxton Patterson provides 180 curriculum hours across 19 health science career labs:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology R&D
  • Clinical Lab Practices
  • Dentistry
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Employability Skills
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Forensics
  • Health Information Management
  • Intro to Health Science Foundations
  • Medical Imaging
  • Mental Health
  • Nursing
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pharmacology
  • Speech Therapy
  • Sports Medicine
  • Therapeutic Services
  • Veterinary Medicine

Each health science career lab includes 10 hours of content to serve as high-level introductions to relevant careers and the skills needed in their respective fields.

If you teach a health science career exploration course, Paxton Patterson’s labs have just the right level of information to introduce your students to a variety of career opportunities.

Topics You Can Teach with HealthCenter21

HealthCenter21 includes more than 850 hours of curriculum you can use to build your customized class curriculum.

You can mix and match the topic modules based on the specific skills and concepts you need to cover, without restrictions.

These include topics under eight overarching areas:

With the wide range of topics available, thousands of teachers across the US use HealthCenter21 to hit their standards and teach their classes.

Additionally, HealthCenter21 can help you prepare students for several industry certifications and assessments, including:

  • NHA CPhT

If you’re looking for a health science curriculum that helps hit your standards and can prepare your students for various certifications, HealthCenter21 is an excellent choice.

2. What Is the Intended Audience and Age Level?


In addition to seeing how each curriculum aligns with your course requirements, it’s essential to understand the materials’ intended grade level.

After all, if a curriculum is too easy or difficult for your students, it won’t help them hit their learning objectives!

Paxton Patterson Online’s Intended Audience and Age Level

Each Paxton Patterson health science careers lab indicates they are designed for grades 9-12.

Because of this designation and how the curriculum is segmented into different careers, Paxton Patterson Online is a good fit for an exploratory high school health science course.

If you teach middle school or advanced high school courses, Paxton Patterson’s materials may not be appropriate for your students.

HealthCenter21’s Intended Audience and Age Level

HealthCenter21 is designed for CTE middle and high school health science courses.

Depending on what grade level you teach and how you want to implement the curriculum, the recommended modules will vary.

If you teach middle school courses, introductory topics such as health career exploration, wellness and nutrition, communications, and client status will work best.

If you teach a high school course, you’d include more advanced topics such as bloodborne pathogens, emergency care, and behavioral health.

When implementing HealthCenter21, the AES team can help you determine which modules best align with your needs based on the classes you teach and your students’ age.

Related Resources:

3. What Is the Instructional Format?


While both Paxton Patterson Online and HealthCenter21 are digital curriculum, the way the curriculum is developed and presented vastly differs.

Depending on your teaching preferences and how your students learn best, you may find one works better than the other in your classroom.

The Paxton Patterson Online Instructional Format

The Paxton Patterson Online curriculum is a turn-key program, meaning that you receive everything you need to facilitate your exploratory high school health science courses. 

Your school purchases the curriculum access and medical equipment, then you set up stations in your classroom. During class, your students complete work according to the daily schedules provided by Paxton Patterson Online.

Students can work individually or in 2-person teams at a station to learn about various healthcare careers and the related medical equipment provided with the system purchase. 

Along with the hands-on skills, students use the online system to do other work that the instructor can track in the system.

Because of the equipment included, Paxton Patterson Online is a one-stop-shop for exploratory health science courses that have no curriculum or materials.

The HealthCenter21 Instructional Format

Each module within HealthCenter21 follows our four-phase learning plan.

aes-course-framework-four-phase-curriculumThis four-phase curriculum framework helps teachers maximize student understanding and information retention while saving you time with planning.

The four phases of the AES curriculum are:

  1. Explore: Teacher-led activities to hook students’ interest
  2. Learn & Practice: Student-directed eLearning within the system to learn new concepts and skills
  3. Reflect: Teacher-led activities to review and discuss key ideas
  4. Reinforce: Student-directed projects to enhance understanding of concepts and skills

These phases are our way of presenting learning content in a structure any teacher can follow to help students retain information for the long term.

Within the curriculum, you’ll find a combination of lecture materials, hands-on activities, projects, eLearning lessons, and various assessments.

Overall, HealthCenter21’s instructional format helps you easily implement a blended learning environment that leads to better understanding and retention of information.

If you’re looking for a resource that balances teacher-led and student-directed learning, HealthCenter21 is a good fit.

Related Resource: The HealthCenter21 Student Experience

Which Health Science Curriculum Is Best for You?

Deciding between Paxton Patterson Online and HealthCenter21 ultimately depends on your needs and goals.

Paxton Patterson Online is a turn-key curriculum for a new exploratory high school health science course where students can gain exposure to a wide variety of healthcare careers.

If you need a health science curriculum that meets a variety of course standards while providing flexibility with your teaching preferences, HealthCenter21 may be the better fit.

Does HealthCenter21 sound like it could be a good fit for you and your students? If so, sign up for a free trial to decide for yourself:

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