Changes Coming to NAFTrack

This year marks the 6th anniversary of NAFTrack, and it feels like the perfect time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. We recognize that each student’s journey is as unique as the 100,000+ students NAF currently serves, and the many more NAF alumni impacted over the last 40 years.

A Student-Centered Approach

And that’s why we think now is the time to rethink our approach to NAFTrack. The original NAFTrack program was designed as school centered, with certification requirements tied to course completion and internship hours. After years of implementation, and with input from many district leaders, NAF is evolving NAFTrack Certification to represent the varied and rich journey NAF students undertake to arrive at the door of their future career and gain access to opportunities, where they graduate having attained the skills and competencies, they need to meet their aspirations. NAF will no longer require academies to put square pegs into round holes by requiring all students complete the same set of activities. The previous approach to measuring NAFTrack Certification by the completion of a fixed set of school-centered activities did not sufficiently account for the multiple ways in which districts, academies, businesses, and community partners work together to prepare students to be future ready.

Simplifying and Focusing

As NAF continues to evolve and innovate, we are simplifying and focusing. We are simplifying by sunsetting the multiple variations of NAFTrack branding including myNAFTrack and NAFTrack Certified Hiring.

We will be phasing out the myNAFTrack platform later this month. We are reimagining our technology to enhance the user experience and based on your feedback, we have decided to move on from our current myNAFTrack platform.  After February 28, you will no longer be able to login to myNAFTrack.  If you’d like to export any of your myNAFTrack data, please do so before this date. You can find instructions on how to do this in our FAQs.

Although our technology platform is changing, the vision remains the same: to connect NAF students and employers around exciting career development opportunities. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at naftracksupport@naf.org for more information.

Rethinking Internships

Internships continue to be an integral component and defining milestone for bridging NAF students from high school to college and/or career. However, we recognize the challenges with securing enough internships to serve all eligible students. To ensure students could still qualify for Certification during the pandemic, NAF offered flexible options to meet the internship requirement of NAFTrack Certification for students in the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022. We will extend this policy through August 2022, for the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023. Students in these classes will receive credit for the internship component if the experience meets the requirements detailed below.

Internship Options

  • Virtual Internship (1-to-1 or group-based)
  • Clinical Experience

Alternative Experience Options

  • Service-learning experience
  • Volunteerism experience in a non-profit
  • Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) or Business Focused Project with business partner(s) assisting as project mentor/supervisor
  • Career Readiness Experience (CRE) a paid virtual experience which provides opportunities to build work-based learning competencies, career skills with mentoring by industry professional

Requirements

  • 80+ hours (or two 40-hour experiences)
  • Paid, compensated, or volunteer
  • Direct supervision by an accountable adult who is not the student’s teacher or school administrator
  • Completion of the NAFTrack Internship Assessment by the student’s mentor/supervisor (not a teacher, parent, or guardian) at the end of the internship

The Road Ahead

In 2021, we will:

  • Continue a culturally responsive and flexible approach to supporting district and academy needs during this pandemic, investigating and increasing availability of virtual learning for our learners and educators.
  • Identify the skills and competencies we know uniquely contribute to our young peoples’ success and supporting the capture and sharing of those skills to all stakeholders, starting with students themselves.
  • Develop much needed program enhancements such as curriculum and professional development designed to reinforce critical college and career ready skills and work-based learning skills and practices that support student growth, address blended learning, mentorship opportunities and an internship preparation course.
  • Support data-driven growth for your district, NAF aims to make every dataset gathered by your academy into a key tool for transformation of practice and impact. Academy work-based learning data fulfills district-wide Perkins reporting and new tools like NAF’s academy-specific youth feedback helps academies plan programmatic delivery that maximizes engagement and impact.
  • Share career development opportunities with alumni via the Career Insider.

If you have any questions, please contact your Portfolio Manager. We look forward to sharing more as NAFTrack evolves.