Be Future Ready.

    The Lancaster Academy of Finance is part of NAF (www.naf.org),  a national organization that has been preparing students for college and career for over 30 years.  Lancaster’s choice of finance as the theme allows for students with a broad range of career interests to gain the benefits of a NAF academy due to finance’s universal need.

    NAF solves some of the biggest challenges facing education and the economy by brining education, business and community leaders together to transform the high school experience.  Students enrolled in NAF academies will earn 11-17% more than their non-academy peers 8 years after high-school graduation. (2008 MDRC)

    NAF academies are small learning communities within larger schools. As of 2017, there are nearly 700 academies serving 100,000 students throughout the United States. Lancaster’s Academy of Finance leads the nation as a distinguished academy (top 2% every year since 2011) due to our superior work-based-learning program, rigorous curriculum and highly engaged local business community.

    LHS AOF students earn NAFTrack Certification which is recognized by several of America’s top companies.  These companies in-turn promise to give special consideration NAFTrack certified students guaranteed interviews, faster advancement through the interview process, potential for higher starting salaries and paid high-school and college internship opportunities. As of 2017 NAFTrack companies include: American Express, Verizon, Capital One, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Juniper Networks, AT&T, Travelers, KPMG, Moody’s, Promontory, JPMorgan Chase, SAP, Skadden, and Xerox.

    More information may be found at www.lancasterschools.org/finance OR www.naf.org

    Major Benefits of a NAF academy and the Academy of Finance:

    • Rigorous and relevant curriculum which fosters personalization and teamwork
    • Support of over 100 local, regional and national partners; many serve on our local advisory board.
    • SUNY college credit courses* (transferrable to all SUNY and most private institutions)
    • PAID INTERNSHIP (Junior-Senior summer)
    • Microsoft Office Certification
    • Opportunity to work in the Student Branch of the Lancaster-Depew Federal Credit Union
    • Certified volunteer tax preparer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

     Project Based Learning

    NAF courses are focused on the learner using a variety of instructional methods.  An emphasis on succeeding at real-world tasks through hands-on activities, project based learning requires students to use communication, time-management and career skills to succeed in the workplace.  Literacy components, STEM focus and linking core subjects help students to make connections in their learning.

    Work Based Learning

    LHS AOF students have the advantage of completing one of our nation’s top work-based-learning programs. A stepped approach prepares students for a career of their choice based on the following sequence.

    • Awareness: Guest speakers, workplace tours, career fair, career coaches
    • Exploration: Mock interview, informational interviews, job shadows
    • Preparation: High Quality Internship in field of choice


    *Please note: Students enrolled in an Academy of Finance course that offers SUNY credit through ECC Advanced Studies are not required to apply for the credit nor attend ECC, it is offered as an option.  All information is subject to change at any time and SUNY credit is issued at the sole discretion of Erie Community College.



    Students entering Grade 9 are recommended (not required) to take one of the following ½ credit courses:  Financial Literacy, Career Skills, Keyboarding, Google Apps or any Microsoft Office course.



    Academy of Finance students must complete a minimum of ½ credit career focused elective course or participate in a school based enterprise (no credit) prior to high school graduation. Courses below may be taken at any grade level.  Courses taken in grade 9 prior to Academy acceptance are acceptable.

    Career focused electives are offered in Business, Leadership, Technology, Music, Art, Family-Consumer Science, etc

    School Based Enterprises include: Lancaster-Depew FCU, School Store, The Daily Grind Coffee Shop, LHS Techsperts.  You may not choose this option if serving as an intern. 


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    9075         Grade 10 Fall or Spring         1/2 credit        

    This one semester course helps orient students to the world of work and school and is the first course offered in the Finance Academy. Success Strategies addresses the need for students to develop good work and study habits, helps students to understand their strengths and weaknesses, effectively manage time, set priorities, and establish the foundation habits of successful people. Students prepare portfolios, learn about school resources, develop career plans, start planning for college and develop solid interpersonal skills as they prepare for the world beyond the classroom.  ECC Advanced Studies option (3 credits) is available for this course.
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    9084               Grade 10               1/2 credit            NAFTrack Certification Course
    This one semester course students introduces students to the financial world. Students develop financial literacy as they learn about the function of finance in society. They study income and wealth; examine financial institutions; learn how businesses raise capital; and study key investment-related terms and concepts. They also research how innovations have changed the financial services field. Finally, students explore careers that exist in finance today.  ECC Advanced Studies option (1 credit toward BU233) is available for this course.
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    9083         Grade 10  Spring             1/2 credit            Microsoft Office Certification Course
    This half-year course focuses on the entire Microsoft Office 2010Suite to include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. Students are introduced to business activities and computer software applications in a real-life approach by integrating the business community with guest speakers; job shadowing and project based learning opportunities. Students earn Microsoft Office certification (MOS) in the program of their choice and potential college credit with successful completion of a certification exam.  Academy of Finance students begin their Career Portfolio in this course.  ECC Advanced Studies option (3 credits DA106) is available for this course.
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    9076      Grade 10  Spring              1/2 credit    (formerly Banking & Credit)        NAFTrack Certification course
    Pre-requisite: AOF Principles of Finance
    This one semester course gives students an overview of banks and other financial services companies. It introduces students to the origins of money and banking and examines the early history of banking in the United States. Students study the financial services industry and the types of companies it includes in depth. They learn about the services offered by such companies and analyze the ways these companies earn profits. Finally, students examine careers in financial services and engage in the University at Buffalo’s “Moneyskill” financial literacy curriculum.  SUNY credit (ECC Advanced Studies) (1 credit toward BU233) is available for this course
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    9077         Grade 11              1 credit               NAFTrack certification course (Principles of Accounting)
    This full year course provides students with an understanding of the accounting process and how it facilitates decision making by providing data and information to internal and external stakeholders. Students learn that accounting is an integral part of all business activities. They learn how to apply technology to accounting by creating formulas and inputting data into spreadsheets. Students learn the use of computerized accounting software and examine career opportunities and the professional certifications and designations earned by individuals in the accounting profession.  Interested students may also participate in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.   SUNY credit (ECC Advanced Studies 3 credits BU120) is available for this course.
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    6241       Grade 11 or 12                1/2 credit              NAF Track certification course
    Scheduled based on availability
    1/4 credit:  Internship Class (10 weeks)
    1/4 credit:  Internship Experience (10 weeks, ~60 hours on the job) 
    Work Based Learning Pre-Requisites: Coaching Program, Job-Shadows
    The internship class is designed to give students hands-on experience in a field of their choice as finance is a universal need across career paths to include financial related careers.  Each requires 30 hours of in-class instruction for 10 weeks to include basic employment skills such as communications, presentations, teamwork, networking, motivation, self-discipline and work-place etiquette.  The culminating project for this course is the preparation of a portfolio to be used in an interview for the paid internship or presented to a panel of advisory board members.
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    9079         Grade 11, 12 or summerSummer            1/2 credit             NAF Track certification
    Prerequisite: AOF Internship class
    An internship is substantive for the student and productive for the employer, linked to curriculum beyond basic career exploration, directed and overseen by the employer and provides outcomes or consequences that impact beyond school. NAFTrack certification and AOF graduation requires the completion of a paid internship.

    Students secure an internship in one of two ways (a) Apply for an advisory board assisted internship (60 training hours + 120 paid hours) or (b) Self-secure an internship in a career field of their choice (120 paid hours only). Internships can be completed anytime during the year but most are completed during the Jr-Sr summer and last approximately 6-8 weeks. To earn credit a student must prove payment for 120 hours, earn a positive supervisor evaluation and submit a digital story reflection.   (Additional details at www.lancasterschools.org/finance)

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    9072            Grade 12 Fall               1/2 credit                NAF Track Certification
    Prerequisites: AOF Principles of Finance, AOF Financial Services, AOF Accounting Honors

    This one semester course provides students with an overview of the job of a financial planner. Students learn to consider how all aspects of financial planning might affect their lives, and learn about the importance of financial planning in helping people reach their life goals. This course includes lessons on saving, borrowing, credit, and all types of insurance, and covers various types of investments, investment strategy and debt-reduction or avoidance. Students also examine careers in financial planning.  SUNY credit (ECC Advanced Studies 3 credits BU233) is available for this course.

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    Grade 11 or 12        1 credit             REQUIRED 

    For up-to-date details visit the AOF College Webpage

    Students must complete at least one college level course prior to graduation. These are ACTUAL college level courses offered at free or reduced tuition with the opportunity to transfer credits to any college or university. Students must choose one OR both options.

    Free or Reduced Tuition Courses: Students take a career oriented college course OUTSIDE of the normal school day and on a college campus taught by a college professor. Most classes are exclusively for high-school students from NAF Academies throughout WNY. Generally, college courses earn transferrable credit. However, students may choose to take a non-credit bearing class, workshop or related camp to satisfy this requirement.

    ECC Advanced Studies:  LHS AOF has partnered with SUNY Erie Community College and offers college courses at our school through the Advanced Studies Program. Students are eligible to earn college credit for many of the AOF classes taken during the normal school day. These classes are SUNY approved transferable courses with a C or better. LHS AOF offers 12 credits through the Advanced Studies program.

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    9028            Grade 11 or 12           1/2 credit            Optional course – by selection only

    Students operate, market and manage a fully operational branch of the Lancaster-Depew Federal Credit Union, located within Lancaster High School under the guidance and supervision of a staff member of the credit union.  Students prepare for operational level positions through on-the-job training and student managers prepare for the banking experience through their summer internship. Students enrolled in this course provide financial and consumer awareness outreach programs to the entire student body throughout the school year (maximum ½ credit).

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Last Modified on September 13, 2018