The NAF Educational Design is made up of four essential elements of practice: Academy Development & Structure, Curriculum & Instruction, Advisory Board, and Work-Based Learning.
NAF’s educational design includes four essential elements of practice: academy development & structure, curriculum & instruction, advisory board, and work-based learning. These elements build on each other to ignite students’ passion for learning, support school and district priorities, and give businesses the opportunity to shape America’s future workforce.
The NAF educational design is flexible enough for high schools in all shapes, sizes, and communities to implement and still remain true to the four essential elements that are proven to lead to success. NAF works with high schools and school districts to implement the NAF educational design into their school setting and continues to support academies as they grow.
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. NAF promotes open enrollment for its academies in order to maximize every student’s chance at a successful future. The flexible structure encourages teacher collaboration across subject areas and fosters personalization to meet student, school, district, and state needs and goals.
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. NAF empowers teachers to expand the boundaries of the classroom in non-traditional ways that ensure lessons have real-world application to growing industries.
NAF advisory boards provide an essential bridge between schools and the workplace. Business people and community leaders volunteer on local advisory boards to play an active role in developing their future workforce by shaping talent in high school. Advisory board members collaborate with educators to inform curricula and help organize work-based learning activities. Advisory boards give students the opportunity to build relationships with mentors early and learn from successful adults.
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.