The following is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about Bishop Ward High School's Academy of Finance.



What makes AOF (the Academy of Finance) different from other programs?

Academy students work side-by-side with community business partners who mentor their high school careers. Business partners provide paid internships, job shadowing, business expertise and a number of other support experiences and activities for students.

Is AOF affiliated with a National organization?

Yes. AOF is an academy of the National Academy Foundation NAF. The Academy of Finance first began in 1982 when Sanford Weill, then Chairman of Citigroup, made a commitment to connect inner-city high school students in New York City with the world of financial services. Weil forged partnerships with leaders in education and business, and their collaboration produced the first Academy of Finance. Those efforts ultimately led to a broader, national education reform initiative – The National Academy Foundation-NAF.

Today the Academy of Finance education reform model is found in 716 schools across the United States impacting nearly 89,000 students in 36 states including Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These “schools within schools” require students to take academically challenging courses in their Academy content area and provide valuable experiences to help bridge the gap between school and business. Bishop Ward is the only NAF Academy of Finance in the state of Kansas and the only NAF Academy in a Catholic school in the U.S.

The local AOF Advisory Board currently consists of members from:


Argus Health

Country Club Bank

Park University


Executive Airshare

Park University

Marriott Hotels

Enterprise Bank & Trust

NAF - National Business Partners include:



American Express


Citi Foundation


Capital One

JP Morgan Chase

Western Union

What are some of the subjects Bishop Ward AOF students will take?

Many classes will be integrated into the existing curriculum. Subject areas include:

  • Accounting

  • Economics

  • Principles of Finance

  • Law I, II, & III

  • Applied Finance

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Digital Video Productions

  • Digital Video Productions

  • Intro to Programming

  • SAS Programming

Is this program strictly for students who want to go directly into finance?

No. Personal Financial literacy and soft skills help ensure that students are college and career ready. These skills are for everyone. Students will take most of the AOF classes in their sophomore, junior and senior years. The curriculum consists of a series of rigorous core and elective courses that include rigorous industry-validated curriculum using work-based learning activities.

Who can enroll?

  • Enrollment is open to all freshmen students in the Spring of their Freshman year. The following criteria will apply.

  • Students must be in good academic standing.

  • Students must attain two teacher recommendations.

  • Students must have no disciplinary issues.

  • Students and parents must sign a commitment contract

Why can’t you enroll after Sophomore year?

Students must pass the AOF curriculum (AOF classes) Soph., Jr., and Senior year. A student must take these classes to be an AOF student.

Is there any extra cost?

No! Opportunities are plentiful and there are no extra costs.

What are some of the unique opportunities AOF students can expect?

  • Interesting courses

  • Hands on projects

  • Practical experience in the business world

  • Field trips

  • Contact with business partners

  • Paid summer internship

  • Business portfolio– (can be used with college applications)

What will be expected from AOF students?

Students will be expected to participate in all Academy activities. In addition, they must be in good academic standing to stay in the program.

How can business people help?

There are many opportunities for alumni and business leaders to get involved. Do you have any resources you aren't using? Would you like to mentor a student? Speak to a class about your own experiences in the business world? Conduct mock job interviews? Evaluate a resume? Allow a student to job-shadow you for a day, or provide a six week internship? We are open to any and all help. Your involvement is limited only by yours and our imagination.

The AOF Mission:

To prepare students through rigorous and engaging curriculum and experiences, that connect students to the business sector, to become engaging adults who are college, career, and future ready.


academy finance