Welcome to the Washington State I-BEST and Integrative Learning Resource Web Site!
Our intention for this website is to create a resource for Instructors engaged in Integrative Learning throughout the state of Washington. This site grew out of our work with I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) and has become a more comprehensive site where we can share our experiences, ask for or give advice, and exchange ideas about integrative learning practices.
If you are interested in contributing or have questions, please contact us!
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! (Flash Player required)