WWC review of this study

Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) Program in three colleges: Implementation and early impact report

Glosser, A., Martinson, K., Cho, S.W., & Gardiner, K. (2018). (OPRE Report No. 2018-87). Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    455
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: August 2020

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Industry-recognized credential, certificate, or license completion outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Earned Credential - Any Source

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

18 Months

Full sample;
424 students

33.50

18.20

Yes

 
 
19
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Received credentials from a college

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

18 Months

Full sample;
409 students

17.20

4.90

Yes

 
 
30

Earned Credential - A Licensing/Certification Body

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

18 Months

Full sample;
409 students

32.00

16.70

Yes

 
 
20

Earned Credential - Another education and training institution

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

18 Months

Full sample;
409 students

0.90

4.20

No

--
Short-Term Earnings outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Working in a job paying $12/hour or more

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

18 Months

Full sample;
455 students

23.00

23.80

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 58%
    Male: 43%
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Washington
  • Race
    White
    55%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    26%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    74%

Setting

The study took place at three public community colleges in Washington state: Bellingham Technical College, Everett Community College, and Whatcom Community College.

Study sample

Thirty-one percent of students had less than a high school diploma or equivalent, and 58 percent of students were female. Approximately 10 percent reported having attended one or more years of college. Study participants also had low income and were older than traditional college students: almost two-thirds of students (63 percent) were age 25 or older. Slightly more than half (55 percent) were non-Hispanic White, and about one quarter (26 percent) identified as Latino or Hispanic. Two-thirds (67 percent) of study participants were not working at the time of random assignment, with only 13 percent working 35 hours or more.

Intervention Group

The I-BEST program includes courses that are part of a structured pathway. Integrated team-teaching of basic skills and occupational skills was done in most courses on the pathway. Team teaching took several forms. In some courses, the basic skills instructor sat in class with students and stopped the occupational instructor to ask clarifying questions or to explain a concept further. In other courses, the basic skills instructor would either deliver a designated portion of the instruction, or would jointly deliver instruction with the occupational instructor. I-BEST students had access to dedicated advisors, called navigators, who provided guidance on academic issues, helped students navigate the college’s procedures, and helped with career planning. I-BEST also provided “fill the gap” funds for books, tools, other course materials, or transportation. This funding ensured that all members of the intervention group would pay no tuition.

Comparison Group

Comparison group members could not access I-BEST programs and courses at the three colleges; however, they could access other education and training opportunities available to them, including non-I-BEST courses and I-BEST programs at other colleges. Both intervention and comparison group members could access general college advising, tutoring, and financial aid services that were available to all students at the colleges. Both intervention and comparison group members could potentially access financial support through Pell grants, Washington State’s Opportunity Grants, Washington’s Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program, veteran’s benefits, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), depending on eligibility. Both intervention and comparison group members could access their college’s employment and job placement services designed to help program completers find jobs. Whether they enrolled in college classes or not, they also could access other employment assistance in the community, such as the job search and job readiness services at local American Job Centers.

Support for implementation

I-BEST was designed by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and operates at all 34 public community and technical colleges in the state. The three colleges included in this study received additional funding for program enhancements from the Open Society Foundations.

Reviewed: October 2019

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Credit accumulation outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Academic and Workforce Credits Earned

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

24 Months

Full sample;
631 students

24.30

11.20

Yes

 
 
18
 
Industry-recognized credential, certificate, or license completion outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Certificate or Degree Completion

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

24 Months

Full sample;
631 students

44.20

12.00

Yes

 
 
28
 
Postsecondary degree attainment outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Associate Degree or Higher

Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training (I-BEST) vs. Business as usual

24 Months

Full sample;
631 students

0.30

0.30

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Washington
  • Race
    White
    55%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    26%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    74%

Setting

The study took place at three public community colleges in Washington state.

Study sample

Sample members had low levels of education, with 31 percent reporting less than a high school diploma or equivalent. Less than 10 percent reported having attended one or more years of college. They also had low income and were older than traditional college students. Over 70 percent were over age 25. Slightly more than half (55 percent) were non-Hispanic white, and about one quarter (26 percent) identified as Latino or Hispanic. Two-thirds (67 percent) were not working at the time of random assignment, with only 13 percent working 35 hours or more.

Intervention Group

The I-BEST program includes courses that are part of a structured pathway, team-teaching between basic skills instructors and occupational instructors, and reimbursement to the college for 1.75 FTE per student. This intervention also included dedicated advisors (“navigators”) to provide students with guidance on academic issues, navigating the college’s procedures, and career planning; and funds for books, tools, other course materials, or transportation to 'fill the gap'.

Comparison Group

Comparison group members could not access I-BEST programs and courses at the three colleges; however, they could access other education and training opportunities available to them, including non-I-BEST courses and I-BEST programs at other colleges. Both treatment and comparison group members could access general college advising, tutoring, and financial aid services that were available to all students at the colleges. Both treatment and comparison group members could potentially access financial support through Pell grants, Washington State’s Opportunity Grants, its Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program, veteran’s benefits, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), depending on eligibility. Both treatment and comparison group members could access their college’s employment and job placement services designed to help program completers find jobs. Whether they enrolled in college classes or not, they also could access other employment assistance in the community, such as the job search and job readiness services at local American Job Centers.

Support for implementation

I-BEST was designed by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and operates at all 34 public community and technical colleges in the state. The three colleges included in this study received additional funding for program enhancements from the Open Society Foundations.

 

Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

loading
back to top