NAFTrack Certification helps students
- Make the connection between their high school coursework and their futures
- Reflect on their own learning in order to set goals for continuous improvement
- Gain proficiency in taking online assessments, which are becoming more prevalent in higher education
- Demonstrate the hard and soft skills they develop throughout their academy experience
- Get on track to NAFTrack Certified Hiring, a commitment made by top companies to give special consideration to NAFTrack certified job applicants
The Three Components
1. Culminating Projects
Since NAF courses revolve around a culminating project, students work throughout the semester uploading work samples and answering 5 reflection questions per sample. These work samples illustrate mastery of content, progress of project work, and a variety of skills including collaboration and innovation. Each NAF course has a culminating project, but academies may choose other approved certification pathways that do not include a culminating project.
2. End-of-Course Exams
Students are assessed on a combination of multiple-choice and constructed response questions where students exhibit mastery of not only the content of the course, but also of the following skills: Critical thinking, problem formulation, and problem solving; Teamwork/collaboration; Locating, comprehending, and evaluating information; Listening and observation; Written communication; Quantitative reasoning; Systems thinking.
3. Internship Assessment
Students are assessed by their internship provider. Internship requirements include: No less than federal (or local, if higher) sub-minimum training wage; 120 hours that may consist of two 60+ hour internships; Direct supervision by an adult who is not the student’s teacher; Work produced is of value to the employer; Written individualized learning plan targeted to work-based learning outcomes.
Pathways to NAFTrack Certification
NAF prides itself on a flexible educational design that all schools can benefit from – regardless of district, city, or state. It is vital that NAFTrack Certification also demonstrates a degree of flexibility so that more students have access to the NAFTrack benefits and are ready to fill our nation’s workforce pipeline with highly skilled and diverse talent. Below are the ways schools with NAF academies can get their students on track to becoming NAFTrack certified:
1. NAF Curriculum
NAF offers several one-semester courses in four career themes to its members. These courses may be arranged in a wide variety of pathways and combinations, including cross-theme designs. Students meet the curricular requirements for NAFTrack Certification by completing 4 one-semester NAF courses as evidenced by passing scores on the culminating project and end-of-course exam.
2. Third Party Curriculum
NAF approves third party curriculum when it meets NAF’s curriculum and assessment standards. Students can meet the curricular requirements for NAFTrack by completing 4 semesters of approved third party curriculum courses as evidenced by the provider’s assessment. Current NAFTrack approved curriculum providers include: Project Lead the Way (Stanine 4 or above); Paxton-Patterson, STEM Academy, and Cisco (C or higher).
3. AP & IB Courses
NAF accepts selected courses that lead to college credit and align with career oriented coursework and assessment standards. Students may combine selected Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cisco courses with at least 2 NAF courses or equivalent third party curriculum. Students must attain a C or higher. For the full list of NAF approved AP/IB/Cisco courses go to the Academy Support Hub.
4. Dual Enrollment/Early College
Dual enrollment and early college courses may be offered directly by the college and its faculty or by high school teachers approved by the college. NAF approves up to six college credits in career-related courses toward NAFTrack in addition to at least 2 NAF courses or equivalent third party curriculum. Advance notice of the offered courses is required so NAF can determine if they are career oriented. Students must earn a C or higher in the course.
Download more information on NAFTrack Certified Hiring and NAFTrack Certification.