Now is your chance to make a difference
The first step towards starting a new academy is having the vision

Since 1980, NAF has been committed to preparing America’s future workforce, and our continued commitment to innovation and success has led to the growth of our network and a 99% senior graduation rate.

Starting a NAF academy can help to increase the graduation rate of the school and district as well as to enhance academy students’ confidence to take charge of their futures and to succeed in college, career, and beyond. Read more about our membership benefits here. As you start planning for a NAF academy, NAF staff is available to assist with the application process, to facilitate the completion of the Year of Planning (YOP) program, and to provide support after the academy’s YOP graduation.

The Year of Planning (YOP) program is a structured, developmental process in which NAF academy portfolio managers provide guided technical assistance to plan and align resources for the implementation of a NAF academy that takes an average of one year. The YOP program establishes a sustainable foundation that ensures the success of a NAF academy to prepare college and career ready students. For more Year of Planning (YOP) benefits, click here.

Complete the interest survey to find out if your district/school is prepared to meet NAF’s expectations for the implementation of the NAF educational design to create a NAF career academy. Note: While NAF is always interested in establishing new partnerships, acceptance is limited at this time. For 2021-2022 pricing information, click here.

To learn more about entering the NAF network and applying to create a NAF academy, please contact Jennifer Geisler, Director, Emerging Academies at

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

  • Academy development support that focuses on the four elements of the NAF educational design: Academy Development & Structure, Curriculum & Instruction, Advisory Board, and Work-Based Learning
  • NAF’s Program of Study initiative that 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


NAF offers two options for entry to the NAF network:
1. Year of Planning Program: District/schools that wish to start a career academy and have little or no experience in creating a career-focused program.
2. Fast Track Program: District/schools with a functioning career academy that implements most of the NAF standards of practice, are NCAC or Linked Learning Certified, or are advanced in the academy planning process and wish to add new NAF academies should apply through NAF’s Fast Track Program.


The Admissions Center is open for 2021-22. To apply, contact for eligibility requirements.

Critical dates for NAF Next 2022 YOP Academy Attendance

May 27, 2022

Applications must be complete for NAF Next 2022 attendees. This requirement includes a fully
executed agreement, payment, and official acceptance letter. *Date subject to change.

June 10, 2022

Payments are due for NAF Next 2022 attendance. *Date subject to change.

July 11, 2022

July 11-13 | NAF Next 2022 will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX. Academy
Development Team attendance is recommended
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