The Case for Academies

The Case for Academies
The Case for Academies 2018-01-17T08:18:46+00:00

Research and evaluation confirms the effectiveness of NAF academies and the career-academy model:

  • 90% of NAF students graduate high school- compared to 50% in urban areas where most NAF Academies are located.
  • 4 out of 5 NAF students go on to college or other post-secondary education.
  • 52% of NAF graduates earn bachelor’s degrees in four years—compared with 32% nationally.
  • Of those who go on to post-secondary education, more than 50% are the first in their families to go to college.
  • 90% of students report that the Academies helped them to develop career plans.
  • 85% of 5 and 10 year alumni are working in a professional field.
  • Career-academy graduates sustained $16,704 more in total earnings over the 8 years following high school than non-Academy group members who were also studied—11% more per year.
  • Young men from career-academies experienced increased earnings over 8 years totaling $30,000 – 17% more per year than non-academy group members studied – thanks to a combination of increased wages, hours worked, and employment stability.
  • An increased percentage of career-academy graduates live independently with children and a spouse or partner eight years following high school—young men, specifically, reported positive effects on marriage and parenting.


Margaret Terry Orr, Thomas Bailey, Katherine L. Hughes, Melinda Mechur Karp, and Gregory S. Kienzl. 2004. The National Academy Foundation’s Career Academie’s: Shaping Postsecondary Transitions. Institute on Education and the Economy, Teachers College, Columbia University.

James J. Kemple with Cynthia Willner. 2008. Career Academies: Long-Term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment, and Transitions to Adulthood. MDRC.

View the MDRC news release regarding the study: