homeland security training

A Teaming Approach:
Washington State's Integrated Basic Education Skills Training
(I-BEST)

For additional I-BEST information including program summaries and application: click here.

A program designed to reach students with limited English proficiency seeking the skills that lead to higher wage and higher skills jobs.

The I-BEST approach creates classroom teams of English as a second language (ESL)/adult basic education (ABE) instructors and professional-technical instructors, who co-teach an integrated course of language and vocational skills training at the same time. I-BEST is new, but results from the demonstration projects have been noteworthy. When compared to traditional ESL students at the same proficiency level studying during the same time period, students in the I-BEST program earned five times more college credits and were 15 times more likely to complete workforce training. To learn more see Overview Of I-Best.


Read the I-Best Mission Statement.

I-BEST by Job Type.

I-BEST Homeland Security / Emergency Management Associated Programs.







  • What is Integrated Basic Skills Training? (back to top)

    Integrated Basic Skills pairs English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), and General Education Development (GED) instructors with professional-technical instructors in the same classroom to concurrently provide literacy education and workforce skills training to Basic Education (ABE/GED) and English as a Second Language adult students.

    This integrated approach provides just the right level of education in just the amount for students to succeed in workforce training. In this integrated model, the Basic Skills curriculum is tailored to the skills that are needed to learn and do the job for which the student is training. The basic skills are all taught in the context of the career.

    The State of Washington's economy is highly dependent on the creation of pathways to success in the workforce for English Language Learners and Adult Basic Education students. The Integrated Basic Skills program fully addresses the need to provide work skills and basic education in a timelier manner. This has proven to be an effective approach to teaching and learning, for ESL, ABE and GED students. (back to top)

  • Is this program successful? (back to top)

    Over the past two years 10 Integrated Basic Skills programs were piloted in Washington State and produced the following results:
    Integrated students were 5 times more likely to earn college credits than were traditional Basic Skills students!
    Integrated students earned an average of 10 college–level credits compared to only 3 college–level credits earned by the students in traditional Basic Skills classes!
    Integrated students earned an average of 12 workforce credits as compared to only 2 workforce credits earned by the comparison group!
    Integrated students were 15 times more likely to complete workforce training!
    44% of the integrated students completed workforce–training programs as compared to only 3% of the comparison group! Most of these completions were in short term certificate programs that provide living wage employment opportunities and educational progression. Dropout rates among this segment of the college's student population have also been significantly reduced. (back to top)

  • Integrated Basic Skills is: (back to top)
  • Open to all Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Education Development (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL) adult learners, we are a supportive community that promotes respect for cultural diversity. Our purpose is to provide quality academic and workforce skills training and teaching excellence so that adult learners may:
    Earn a college certificate that prepares them to work in a high demand career;
    Increase their academic skills while earning college–level credits applicable to a college degree;
    Design a career pathway that provides meaningful mileposts and real destinations;
    Increase their abilities and opportunities for advancement in their chosen career;
    Build a bridge to the future through a commitment to life–long learning. (back to top)

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Center of Excellence Homeland Security, Pierce College, 9401 Farwest Drive S.W., Lakewood, WA 98498-1999