The National Academy Foundation’s (NAF) education model to build school-based “learning communities” that empower high school students to successfully go on to higher education, professions of their choosing and active community participation is aligned to Kentucky’s Unified Strategy for College and Career Readiness.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) believes “career academies” will help to ensure the preparation of students for postsecondary education while providing them with skills and experience necessary to attain entry-level jobs.

Students in career academies take a blend of career and academic classes linked to academic and industry standards promoting high achievement. These academies focus on one of five career themes: finance; hospitality and tourism; information technology; health science; and engineering. Beyond the 2012-13 Year-Of-Planning, KDE and NAF will explore other career academy themes pertaining to specific area and industry needs.

NAF career academies exist as schools-within-schools, stand-alone schools or small learning communities and provide opportunities to all students. NAF is a collaborative partnership with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), the STEM Academy (STEM 101) and ConnectED. If a district now uses the PLTW curriculum, or has a small learning community grant, NAF could provide additional support and resources to enhance these experiences for students.

In the next few weeks, interested districts and schools will be invited to a NAF/KDE webinar providing further information how districts and schools can participate in this exciting opportunity. A few of the targets or questions that the upcoming webinar will address are:

  • What documents are required before the end of this school year?
  • What are the “non-negotiables” for participating in the initiative?
  • Will the initiative require adding additional staff?
  • How will professional development be addressed?
  • Where are NAF academies being implemented?

For more information about this college/career-readiness strategy or to express interest in participating, please contact Carole Frakes ( by February 27.

For immediate information, please visit