A NAF academy is built upon three essential components that engage students:
- Career-themed curriculum
- Paid internships
- Local business and industry Advisory Boards supporting academies
NAF academies are small learning communities comprised of students, local business partners, and educators. These stakeholders form intensive learning groups structured around a career theme featuring the NAF Curriculum. Learning communities must be equipped with the resources, leadership, peer support, and training in NAF curriculum implementation necessary to sustain the academy.
Community partnerships help to support the local academies and include collaboration between the school and business and civic communities. Business leaders form the local Advisory Board actively engage with one another and schools to provide worthwhile opportunities for students and teachers. They help teachers make classroom learning relevant and offer students meaningful workplace exposure and experience.
Professional development provided to NAF academies helps to enhance leadership skills and education competencies of those charged with sustaining a NAF academy. NAF conferences, leadership institutes, year-round technical assistance, online resources, and national and regional representatives ensure that academy stakeholders share knowledge gained in schools and draw on industry expertise and guidance from NAF.
The NAF Academy Development Model provides an overview of NAF’s process, from the time local stakeholders assemble, through planning, implementation, launch, and sustainability.