"Workforce Education at Green River was VERY instrumental in allowing me to go back to school, and I'm grateful for all the assistance I received and continue to receive." - Genie L, Green River Student

"Make sure you talk to Workforce Education...They can help in many ways to make things go smoothly and make sense." - Chris S, Green River Student

"Workforce Education...will embrace you and lend a helping hand with open hearts." Elsie Q, Green River Student

"Workforce Education has been there for me since day one!" - Jenny S, Green River student

Feb 7, 2011

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training

What is I-BEST?

The acronym stands for Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, and it represents a ground-breaking approach to adult education. A program pioneered in Washington State, I-BEST integrates, or blends, basic skill instruction with vocational instruction. 

Why did I-BEST come about?

According to the State Board For Community & Technical Colleges, a new approach to adult education was needed in light of research that found only 13% of English as a Second Language (ESL) and less than 33% of adult basic education (ABE) students continued on to college-level study.  In addition, the influx of non-English speakers as well as the significant number of adults lacking a high school diploma or GED demanded a new paradigm for addressing adult literacy and vocational training.  

How does I-BEST work?

It's a simple formula: Basic Ed + Skills Training.  That is to say, students work on basic reading, writing, and math skills AND earn college-level credits that apply toward a vocational degree or certificate at the same time.  This is accomplished through a dual-instructor delivery method.  I-BEST classes are team-taught by an adult literacy instructor and a vocational instructor who co-develop and co-deliver instruction.  One helps with comprehension, the other specializes in content. This model contextualizes learning and increases the likelihood that students will complete certificates and continue on with their education.

Does I-BEST get results?

Yes! I-BEST improves retention and student success.  According to the SBCTC, I-BEST students are more likely to make point gains on basic skills tests.  They're also more likely to complete a  vocational certificate and persist into the second year of college-level study.     

Wondering if I-BEST is for you?

Almost 3,000 students throughout Washington's 34 community and technical colleges were served by the I-BEST Program in 2009!  And the numbers are only growing.  Need job skills training? Don't have a GED or High School Diploma? Need to improve your English reading and writing skills?  Then you might be a good fit for I-BEST.  To learn about available I-BEST career pathways at Green River Community College, contact Cynthia Gaede in the Language, Academic Skills and Wellness Office at 253-833-9111 ext. 2317.
Funding Tip!  All four Workforce Education funding streams - Worker Retraining, Opportunity Grant, BFET, and WorkFirst - support I-BEST at GRCC.