What is the Academy of Finance?
The Academy of Finance is designed to prepare students with skills needed for the highly competitive financial services industry in the 21st century. The program has been developed under the sponsorship of the National Academy Foundation (New York) to encourage and support partnerships between business and education with the hope of strengthening the preparedness of those entering the workforce. This partnership, in conjunction with the Foundation is designed to bring together leaders in business, education, government, and labor to provide the necessary guidance and resources to improve education and career preparation.
The Academy of Finance program offers a special plan of study in finance at the high school level, which also fulfills both required and elective credits. Classroom instruction supplemented by mentoring from industry specialists, college-level class work, field trips, and a required summer paid internship comprise the important components of this program. Together academy students work on projects in order to develop "real-world" personal, financial, and technical skills that will make them business leaders of tomorrow. Upon completion of the Academy of Finance, the student will receive a "Certificate of Financial Studies."
The National Academy Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1989 that provides industry specific curriculum and technical support for each of its courses offered on the high school level.
The Academy of Finance is a part of the National Diffusion Network, a program of the United States Department of Education which recognizes educational programs deemed worthy of replication.
The Manasquan High School Academy of Finance
The MHS Academy of Finance began in 1999 and had its first graduating class of two students in 2001. In the past twelve years the program has graduated two hundred and twenty four. These students have attended such prestigious schools as Duke, U-Penn, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Villanova, Steven’s Institute of Technology, Fairfield, Wake Forest, Manhattan, Fordham, University of Miami, and Rutgers University.
In addition to the course work, the MHS AOF has also taken field trips to some of the most well known financial institutions in the world including Goldman Sachs, the New York Mercantile Exchange, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, the Philadelphia Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
In order to raise funds for scholarships and activities, the students conduct an annual fashion show in March. The show is run entirely by the students and includes a gift auction and dessert following the show. Models include both Academy students and MHS faculty members. It has proven to be a success every year. For more information on what you can do to help next year’s show, please email John Driscoll at JDriscoll@manasquanboe.org.
Beginning in 2007, the students of the Academy have run a Toy Drive for underprivileged kids. The drive is run each year during the first two weeks in December. In the five years they have run the drive, the AOF students have been able to collect a total of about 1,300 toys to be donated to local charities and families. In addition to this, many students have donated their time and efforts to many charitable efforts both locally and nationally.
As of June, 2013 the program has one hundred thirty three students. Applications are available on the AOF website, which is found through the school’s website. The time to apply is usually during the student’s freshmen or sophomore year and applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. There is no application deadline, but the sooner you apply, the better. The future of the AOF at Manasquan is obviously a bright one and the MHS Academy would like to thank all advisory board members, volunteers, parents and students for their support throughout the year.
The Academy of Finance will prepare students for the "real-world" environment and features
Mr. John Driscoll
Director, Academy of Finance