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Work-Based Learning Academies

Work-based learning (WBL) is an instructional strategy designed to help students connect what they learn in the classroom with what is expected in the workplace by integrating learning with real-world applications in partnership with industry professionals. NAF academies act as a solution to addressing these workforce needs by providing high school students with industry-focused courses and hands-on, work-based learning experiences with professionals. 

There are two sources of funding available to districts to access support from NAF in planning for a work-based learning academy.

  • Section 251 of PA 9 of 2022 provides $250,000 for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to allocate as grants to school districts and intermediate school districts that offer pupils in grades 9 through 12 expanded opportunities for work-based learning health services academies in partnership with NAF. Programs funded under this subsection are intended to increase the number of pupils who are college and career-ready after high school graduation in the critical-needs occupations in health care services
  • Section 99cc of the 2022-2023 School Aid Act provides $253,000 from the state school aid fund for local districts to partner with NAF to implement work-based learning programs for students in grades 9-12. Applicants can select a career-connected program of study within NAF's five career pathways: Engineering, Finance, Health Sciences, Hospitality & Tourism, or Information Technology. NAF also approves programs of study that align with the 16 career clusters as defined by the U.S. Department of Education's National Career Clusters Framework.

Funds must be used for one of two NAF options for entry into NAF’s academy network:

  • Year of Planning Program ($12,000)

The Year of Planning (YOP) program is the developmental process for implementing a NAF academy.

  • Fast Track Program ($3,500)

The Fast Track program allows an existing career academy that implements most of NAF’s standards of practice to enter NAF’s network as an open academy with full membership.

Grant Resources and Application Materials

The materials and application below apply to all academies. Funding sources and assurances will vary depending on which NAF Academy a district chooses. All applications must be submitted by June 30, 2024, and funds must be expended by September 30, 2024.