In 2004, educational leaders in Washington State, recognizing the necessity of rapidly equipping adults with career skills, developed the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program to meet workforce needs. I-BEST is now operational in all 34 of the State’s community colleges. I-BEST is an instructional method which provides basic skills support to ABE and ESL students while they receive career training. I-BEST uniquely pairs a basic skills instructor with a vocational instructor in the classroom at the same time. Previous research on the I-BEST program has been positive, but it has ignored the pivotal role instructors and administrators play in the program’s success. This study explores the perceptions of the instructors and administrators regarding the I-BEST program.
The study investigates whether there were differences in the perceptions of the instructors, program managers, and the managers’ immediate supervisors. The group differences were compared using t tests. Statistical differences were observed in areas such as the adequacy of instructor release time, adequacy of student support services, and using employment outcomes to modify instruction. Recommendations include limiting the number of data collection items being tracked, and increasing the number of minority instructors involved in the I-BEST program. Implications of the findings may assist the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and community college presidents in enhancing the program.