NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career, and future ready. NAF’s educational design ignites students’ passion for learning and gives businesses the opportunity to shape America’s future workforce by transforming the learning environment to include STEM infused industry-specific curricula and work-based learning experiences, including internships. Since 1982, NAF has been partnering with existing high schools to enhance school systems at a low cost by implementing NAF academies.
NAF has grown from one NAF Academy of Finance in New York City to hundreds of academies across the country focusing on growing industries including: finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. During the 2015-16 school year nearly 89,000 students attended 716 NAF academies across 36 states, including DC and the US Virgin Islands. In 2015, NAF academies reported 98% of seniors graduated with 92% of graduates planning to go to college. Go to http://naf.org for more information.
Mission & Vision
NAF solves some of the biggest challenges facing education and the economy by bringing education, business, and community leaders together to transform the high school experience.
NAF envisions a world in which all young people have equal opportunity for successful futures.
NAF in Western New York
Western NY has 14 NAF academies in 13 high schools preparing students for their futures. Our NAF academy themes include: Academies of Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, and Health Sciences. To locate WNY Academies please go to http://naf.org/map.
NAF’s Educational Design
The NAF educational design is made up of four essential elements of practice: academy development & structure, curriculum & instruction, advisory board, and work-based learning.
Academy Development & Structure – NAF academies are structured as small, focused learning communities that fit within and enhance high school systems, allowing NAF to become an integral part of a plan for higher achievement at low cost.
Curriculum & Instruction -NAF provides a rigorous, industry-validated career-themed curriculum that incorporates current industry standards and practices, literacy strategies, and STEM integration. NAF’s instructional practices foster cross-curriculum collaboration so students can make connections across subject areas. The NAF curricula is created in partnership with industry professionals and designed around projects that help students acquire valuable workplace skills and see their education as a step toward long-term career options.
Advisory Boards – Through local advisory boards, NAF enables businesspeople and community leaders to play an active role in developing their future workforce by shaping talent in high school. Our advisory board is comprised of leaders inWNY business and the community. They meet regularly to provide guidance on industry-relevant curriculum and organize work-based learning activities.
Work-Based Learning – Work-based learning brings the classroom to the workplace and the workplace to the classroom. This instructional strategy provides students with a well-rounded skill set that goes beyond academics and includes the soft skills needed to succeed in college and the working world. NAF’s approach to work-based learning is centered on a continuum of work-based learning experiences beginning with career awareness activities, progressing to career exploration activities, and culminating in career preparation activities, including internships. Businesspeople guest speak in classrooms, host college and career skills workshops, and take part in mock interviews. Students have the opportunity to tour worksites, network with, and shadow business professionals. Work-based learning culminates in an internship that allows students to apply their classroom skills and learn more about what it takes to succeed.
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