National Academy Foundation
About 70,000 students, mostly from low-income households, attend NAF academies in 565 schools across 36 states. Ninety-six percent of NAF seniors graduated in 2013, and more than half of NAF graduates earn bachelor’s degrees in 4-years—compared with less than a third of high school graduates overall. Evaluations show that NAF graduates earn significantly more than similar students who graduate from other high schools. NAF aims to reach 100,000 students by 2020.
- Need Accomplished
- Evaluation Accomplished
- Sustainability Accomplished
- Replication & Scalability Accomplished
- Partnerships Accomplished
- Capacity Developing
- Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
- STEM Practices Accomplished
- Inspiration Accomplished
- Under-Represented Groups Accomplished
Through our support for the NAF Academies, we’re trying to help schools bring more relevance and rigor to the teaching of math and technology so students get excited about these subjects and so they get the preparation they need to succeed.”
Director of Education Initiatives, SAS
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy. Programs must be Accomplished () across all Design Principles, or be Developing () in a maximum of three areas.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Replication & Scalability Accomplished
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships.
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience.
STEM Practices Accomplished
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Under-Represented Groups Accomplished
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.
Leveraging 30 years of success, NAF academy programs are predominately based in comprehensive urban public high schools, where they prepare high school students for college and career success. NAF’s sustainable and replicable model provides rigorous curricula, a continuum of work-based learning activities including compensated internships, and local advisory boards made up of business professionals in STEM and other fields. The mission of the National Academy Foundation (NAF) is to sustain a national network of career academies to support the development of America’s youth. NAF was started in 1982 in response to the need for skilled, entry-level workers in the financial services industry. The results for the original 35 Academy of Finance (AOF) students suggested that a career-based, small learning community model located inside a comprehensive public high school was a powerful strategy to improve high school student performance and results. Over the years, NAF added four additional industry themes; Hospitality & Tourism (1986), IT (1999), Engineering (2007) and most recently, Health Sciences (2011). Each industry theme addresses a growing national concern over high school graduation rates, particularly in America’s urban centers, the country’s worldwide position in science and math, and the dearth of qualified entry level workers in STEM fields.