NAF Program Evaluation

Students with educational models

Photo credit: NAF 

NAF, a national education nonprofit, has more than 40 years of proven outcomes in supporting educators, schools, and districts in implementing its career academy design to prepare high school students for college, career, and future success. 

Research has shown that career academies generally, and NAF academies specifically, positively impact students’ school and labor market outcomes.

NAF collaborates with communities to improve outcomes for students, especially where institutional and social barriers are most prevalent. Its high school career academies are small learning communities that engage students in academics through career themes and include work-based learning and strong employer partnerships.

AIR's Partnership with NAF

From its inception, NAF has been an influential presence in career and technical education, supporting schools and districts in implementing a highly regarded career academy program. I am excited about our partnership with NAF that is helping them better access and use data to improve their program.

- Katherine Hughes, Principal Investigator

AIR is partnering with NAF to execute a five-year evaluation plan to drive and assess multiple new strategic initiatives, as well as to create a system for longitudinal student outcomes research.

AIR is supporting internal NAF teams by:

  • Creating metrics to measure improvement and effectiveness of each strategic initiative; and
  • Developing processes for collecting data on the outcomes of NAF academy graduates.

The longitudinal research includes collecting student alumni surveys and state and national administrative data to understand:

  • Alumni experiences during college and career launch;
  • Alumni college enrollment and completion rates, and;
  • Labor market outcomes based on chosen career fields and their corresponding wages.

NAF and AIR will collaboratively share findings from this work with NAF stakeholders and with the field of career and technical education.