NAFTrack Certification, designed by education and business leaders, is an employability credential that serves as NAF’s seal of college and career readiness. NAF assesses student performance through the completion of career-focused courses, internship assessments, and high school graduation.

For more information and to learn about the changes to NAFTrack, click here for FAQs.

NAFTrack Certification empowers academy students to:

  • Make the connection between career-focused content and future careers
  • Reflect on their learning to set goals for college and careers
  • Develop collaboration and presentation skills through project-based learning
  • Achieve career-specific technical skills and essential college and career readiness competencies
  • Experience internships that represent the culmination of the academy work-based learning experiences
  • Stand out in a pool of job candidates

NAFTrack Certification Benefits


  • Cultivate students’ interest in designated careers/industries by hosting internships and other work-based learning opportunities.
  • Build talent pipelines to ensure America’s future workforce has the technical skills required to succeed in selected careers/industries.
  • Access to academy data to evaluate students’ college and career readiness.
  • NAF’s premier system for measuring college and career readiness uses a multimethod approach that requires academy students to complete:

NAFTrack Certification Components

NAF’s premier system for measuring college and career readiness uses a multimethod approach that requires academy students to complete:

1. Career-Focused Courses

Four-semesters of NAFTrack approved career-cluster courses and a required performance-based assessment.

2. Qualifying Internship

A paid, compensated, or volunteer experience of 80+ hours (or two 40-hour sessions) under the direct supervision of an accountable adult who completes an internship assessment.

3. High School Graduation

Students must complete all school and district requirements for high school graduation.

Pathways to NAFTrack Certification

NAF’s Program of Study provides multiple career pathways and curricular options for students to achieve NAFTrack Certification. In addition to NAF’s five career pathways, the NAF Program of Study embraces the US Department of Education’s 16 career clusters.

Program of Study Requirements

Complete at least four (4) semesters of NAFTrack Certification approved courses with a designated NAF career pathway or other approved career cluster. Students must achieve a passing course grade of C or better for NAFTrack Certification credit.

Program of Study Course Options

Any combination of NAF semester courses and NAFTrack Certification approved career-cluster course equivalents with a required performance-based assessment.

1. NAF Curriculum

NAF offers curricula for programs of study in five career pathways, including Engineering, Finance, Health Sciences, Hospitality & Tourism, and Information Technology. Academies design career pathways by combining NAF’s one-semester courses in a variety of ways with other course selections within a career cluster. Curricular materials contain lesson plans with the teacher and student resources, including PowerPoint presentations and assessments.

2. Third-Party Curriculum

NAF approves third-party curricula that meet NAF’s curricular and performance-based assessment standards. Current NAFTrack approved curriculum providers include: Cisco, Intelitek, Odysseyware, Paxton-Patterson, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), and STEM 101

3. Additional Third-Party Courses

NAF accepts selected courses that align with designated career-cluster content from Cambridge, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Academies create programs of study by combining these NAFTrack approved courses with other curricula to meet the four-semester course requirement for NAFTrack Certification.

4. Dual Enrollment and State-Approved Courses

NAF academies apply for NAFTrack Certification approval of dual enrollment/early college and state-approved, career-cluster courses to meet the NAFTrack Certification requirement of four-semester courses. Dual enrollment/early college courses may be offered directly by the college and its faculty or by high school teachers approved by the college.

NAF’s network of over 600 academies has access to the following benefits:

  • Academy development support that focuses on the four elements of NAF’s educational design: Academy Development & Structure, Curriculum & Instruction, Advisory Board, and Work-Based Learning
  • NAF’s Program of Study initiative promotes nationally recognized career clusters and their associated career pathways to maximize students’ opportunities for achieving NAFTrack Certification
  • Industry-validated and career-focused curricula that incorporate current industry standards and practices, project-based and work-based learning, and STEM integration
  • Data-driven support to track student outcomes, academy goals, and strategic action steps for continuous improvement
  • NAF sponsored professional learning experiences to support academy development
  • Virtual and in-person support from NAF academy portfolio managers to ensure the development of high-quality NAF academies
  • Marketing and communications support and resources for publicity, branding, and marketing of the academy
  • National scholarships opportunities
  • National awards and recognition

Corporate Partners

NAF’s Corporate Partners are top American companies that invest in their future workforce by providing career development opportunities to NAF alumni.

NAF, through collaboration with corporate partners, crafted NAFTrack Certification to demonstrate that academy students completed all of NAF’s college and career readiness requirements. This rigorous and comprehensive assessment system evaluates students on academic proficiency, project execution, and internship performance.

NAF’s Corporate Partners offer NAF alumni career-development opportunities as a way to strengthen their future workforce and support academy graduates. With millions of unfilled jobs in the US, particularly in STEM fields, this partnership between education and business is crucial to closing the skills gap and improving the preparation and training of America’s workforce.

Partner Benefits:

  • Gaining visibility to NAFTrack Certified graduates who represent a diverse pool of talent equipped with technical knowledge and skills
  • Strengthening their future workforce by building brand-name recognition and loyalty

Alumni Benefits:

  • Paid college internship opportunities
  • Receive NAF’s Career Insider, a bi-monthly, email publication that shares exciting opportunities from NAF Corporate Partners and other leading national companies.
  • Insider connections to corporate recruiters to answer personal questions about job and internship opportunities
  • Invitations from corporate partners to apply for exclusive programs for young talent
  • Celebrate alumni month with local events in major NAF cities and access invaluable opportunities through an expansive network of business professionals

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