The NAF Academy Internship Program

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As part of a career-focused educational experience, NAF academy students take part in an ongoing series of work-based learning activities, culminating with a compensated internship completed typically during the summer between 11th and 12th grade. 

The internship experience gives students a chance to gain real world, hands-on experience, make lasting professional connections, and discover more about their interest and proficiency along a specific career path.  Internship experiences are linked to students’ future career goals in order to make learning more engaging and relevant. The business partners who hire NAF academy students as interns benefit from the efforts of enthusiastic, prepared, and highly conscientious workers and get the chance to train and recruit future employees.

This combination of career-focused curriculum and work-based learning  provides a valuable foundation for any career the student pursues.

The National Academy Foundation promotes the Gold Standard for High School Internships.

NAF academy internships:

  • Serve as an extension of the academy instruction and curriculum;
  • Hone workplace skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking, decorum, conflict resolution, time management, ingenuity, problem-solving, and a solid understanding of the importance of written and oral communication; and
  • Expose students to a career in their chosen field and to experiences and situations they can expect if they pursue a career in that field.

Read more in the Gold Standards here.

The process for implementing a NAF academy internship includes:

  • Students applying and interviewing with potential supervisor(s);
  • Students earn a compensated position in which they work for a defined time period, often but not limited to,  full-time for 6-8 weeks the summer after their junior year of high school;
  • Students report directly to their supervisor(s) in the workplace and benefit from periodic supervision and guidance from staff at their academy; and
  • Students and employers hold themselves and one another to a high standard of leadership, professionalism, and accountability.

NAF academy administrators ensure these expectations are met by working closely with business partners before the internship to define limits and goals.  All stakeholders must invest time and resources to ensure that students’ paid internships offer challenges that are appropriate and worthwhile.

For more detailed guides to building your internship program, view our internship toolkits for Students,Teachers, and Internship Providers

Find more resources here.

For more information, or for answers to questions, contact us.