Building Better Programs

Washington State’s I-BEST Program

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) is an innovative program created to move ABE and ESL students to college-level education. Under the I-BEST model, basic skills instructors and career-technical faculty jointly design and teach college-level occupational, or what in Washington State are called “workforce,” courses for adult basic skills students. Instruction in basic skills is thereby integrated with instruction in college-level career-technical skills. I-BEST programs cover a wide range of occupations, with courses in such areas of study as nursing and allied health, computer technology, and automotive technology. Evaluations of I-BEST shows the program has positive impacts on education outcomes.

Contextualized College Transition Strategies for Adult Basic Skills Students: Learning from Washington State’s I-BEST Program Model