Teachers College, Columbia University

Educational Outcomes of I-BEST, Washington State Community and Technical College System's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program: Findings from a Multivariate Analysis

By Davis Jenkins, Matthew Zeidenberg & Gregory S. Kienzl

This paper examines the outcomes of Washington State's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program, in which basic skills instructors and college-level career-technical faculty jointly design and teach college-level occupational courses for basic skills students. Basic skills instruction occurs concomitantly with instruction in college-level career-technical skills, offering students an accelerated track into college programs. 

The study used a multivariate analysis to compare the educational outcomes over a two-year tracking period of I-BEST students with those of other basic skills students, including non-I-BEST students who enrolled in at least one workforce course in academic year 2006–07. Students participating in I-BEST achieved better educational outcomes than did other basic skills students. I-BEST students were more likely to continue into credit-bearing coursework, earn college credits, attain occupational certificates, and make point gains on basic skills tests.

A brief of this paper, Building Bridges to Postsecondary Training for Low-Skill Adults: Outcomes of Washington State’s I-BEST Program, is available for download.