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I-Best, Bridge Programs, and Contextualized Curricula

♦ 2014 WDI Slides - PDF
♦ 2014 WDI Slides - Power Point

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

The study reported on here represents the final phase of a multi-year evaluation of the I-BEST model that began in 2009, conducted by CCRC in collaboration with the Washington SBCTC. Based on fieldwork undertaken in spring 2011 on 16 I-BEST programs at eight colleges, this report builds on CCRC’s earlier qualitative and quantitative research by seeking to understand those aspects of I-BEST that best support student learning, progression, and completion. In addition, the report considers the I-BEST student experience and evaluates the costs of I-BEST program delivery. The findings and recommendations highlighted below may be useful for funders, policymakers, and practitioners in other states who are considering transition interventions similar to the I-BEST model.

Community College Research Center (2012)
John Wachen, Davis Jenkins, Clive Belfield, and Michelle Van Noy

Building Integrated Pathways to Sustainable Careers

The Accelerating Opportunity Initiative focuses on three things: jobs; the economy; and improving opportunities for adults. This initiative aims to drive economic recovery for individuals and communities by fundamentally changing the way Adult Basic Education is delivered and to ensure that state policies encourage dramatically improved results for students in terms of completing credentials of value in the labor market. By addressing policy-based, systemic, and programmatic barriers to student success, Accelerating Opportunity will enable many more adults to succeed in their quest for postsecondary credentials.

Jobs for the Future (2011)
Rachel Pleasants

What Works: Bridge Connect Stories from the Field

Bridge programs have emerged as an effective strategy for preparing low-wealth, low-skilled individuals for jobs that require more education. By providing the necessary academic, employability, and technical skills, these programs help participants enter and succeed in postsecondary education and training and, ultimately, the labor market. This report is aimed at bridge program practitioners whom we hope will learn from the promising practices highlighted.

Workforce Strategy Center (2011)
Julian L. Alssid, Melissa Goldberg, and Sarah M. Klerk

Farther, Faster

CLASP's new issue brief highlights six promising programs that show how a new instructional and delivery model, known as "career pathway bridges" can help lower skilled students move more quickly and successfully along college and career paths through dual enrollment in linked basic skills and occupational certificate courses. Because creating such bridges requires collaboration across college silos, this innovative model can also help transform the way colleges operate.

Center for Law and Social Policy (2011)
Julie Strawn

How I-BEST Works: Findings from a Field Study of Washington State's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) is an innovative program and strategy developed by the Washington (WA) State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) in conjunction with the state's 29 community colleges and five technical colleges. Its goal is to increase the rate at which adult basic education and English-as-a-second-language students advance to college-level occupational programs and complete postsecondary credentials in fields offering good wages and career advancement.

The promising results from preliminary analyses of I-BEST have generated interest in replication of the I-BEST model. Nationally, over 2.5 million students take adult basic skills courses at community colleges, high schools, and community organizations; only a fraction of these go on to pursue and earn college credentials.

Community College Research Center (2010)
John Wachen, Davis Jenkins & Michelle Van Noy

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

Community College Research Center (2009)
Davis Jenkins, Matthew Zeidenberg and Gregory Kienzl

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