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What is I-BEST?

Based on the Tipping Point research, the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) has developed the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) initiative to help underserved populations achieve a livable wage.

With integrated programming, basic skills students get the benefit of support from basic skills instructors while earning credit toward a certificate or degree.  The SBCTC is giving 1.75 FTE for approved I-BEST models to encourage these programs.

Basic skills (ABE/GED/ESL) students entering academic and professional programs are often at a disadvantage.  Not only do they lack certain academic skills, but they’ve often been sheltered in the basic skills classroom, where instruction is paced to the students' needs rather than to curriculum goals.  These students often go into the professional/technical classroom with less vocabulary, struggle to follow lectures, lack familiarity with U.S. academic culture, and often feel isolated from their peers. 

How does I-BEST work?

The first step (after a program is chosen) is collaboration between the technical and ESL instructors to work on curricula that integrates basic skills competencies with those of the technical program.  In order for the program to qualify for the 1.75 FTE, the state requires a 50% overlap in instructional time. This means that both content and basic skills instructors must be present in the classroom for at least half of the total time of instruction.  At other times the content instructor or the basic skills instructor would be teaching solo.

How it works specifically in the overlap time depends on how it’s planned. What works for one integrated team may not work for another. Please see the links on the left for information and advice on I-BEST instruction.

How do the students feel about I-BEST?

Take a look at this video to find out!  (Quick Time Player required)


I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills Training)

Students can earn a short term certificates for each of these programs. Certificate credits apply to specific AAS degrees.

I-BEST classes are an excellent way to earn college credit while improving reading, writing, and speaking skills or preparing to earn a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. I-BEST classes include five hours of non-credit Adult Basic Education (ABE), English-as-a-Second

IBEST BSTEC Orientation

Day:         Tuesdays
Time:        2 PM
Location:   Building 19, Room 101

I-BEST Instructional Resource Web Site