Learning is Hands On at National Network of Career Academies

Last year, nearly 89,000 students attended 716 NAF academies across 36 states, including D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This fall, 81 academies join the NAF network. Academies represent five career themes: Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, Engineering and Health Sciences.
The NAF design is based on four essential elements of practice: academy development & structure, curriculum & instruction, advisory board and work-based learning.
In 2015, NAF academies reported 98% of seniors graduated with 92% of graduates planning to go to college.
Andy Rothstein, SVP Programs, said this fall NAF Academies will deliver several project-based learning opportunities:

  • A continuation of the Nepal 3 Project. NAF students had previously built a solar-powered wind turbine that generated electricity for a rural school and birthing center in Saldang, Nepal and now further research and interviews will be conducted with locals about its impact on the villages.
  • The Lenovo Scholar Network has expanded to include 20 new academies for the 2016-17 academic year and will add an estimated 600 more NAF high school students across the country. Now supporting 50 academies, Lenovo and NAF will expand enablement of the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs through comprehensive STEM education. Students will once again participate in the national mobile app development competition and spend the school year designing, coding and showcasing their apps through the support of Lenovo, NAF and MIT.
  • Academy of Engineering students at Hialeah Gardens High School have been hard at work researching and studying traffic patterns in their Florida community and coming up with solutions for improving congestion. They’ve presented their findings to the Florida Department of Transportation and will continue their work as the school year resumes.

Certifying Work Readiness

The NAFTrack Certification system combines end-of-course exams, culminating projects and internship observations to demonstrate college and career readiness. It covers eight categories:
Collaboration & Teamwork, Communication, Creativity & Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Information Management, Initiative & Self Direction, Professionalism & Ethics and Quantitative Reasoning.

Developed with corporate partners, NAFTrack Certification is a differentiator in the hiring process. NAF recently added Moody’s to the participating companies, bringing the total to 15.
NAF is expanding a digital platform, myNAFTrack, that connects students with employers for NAFTrack.
For more see:

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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