Alamo Colleges I-BEST Program Featured in National Publications
Earlier this year the Alamo Colleges' Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program was cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the nation's model programs for students who require basic skills development in order to succeed in technical training. The program also was recently featured in a new American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) publication. ASTD is the world's largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field. The article featured the Alamo Colleges' collaboration with University Health System (UHS) in training incumbent UHS workers who were limited in English proficiency to be certified nursing assistants.
In further recognition of the I-BEST program's success, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board last fall awarded the Alamo Colleges $550,000 to assist the Alamo Colleges in developing new I-BEST programs in health services, advanced manufacturing, construction and information technology. The grant also allowed the Alamo Colleges to continue to deploy a variety of educational interventions designed to provide developmental education and adult basic education students with access to credit-bearing technical training.
I-BEST provides training and employment assistance to students who require basic skills development in order to succeed in technical training.
â€œIt allows students to access full college credit training programs immediately. rather than build English skills over six months or a year through a traditional ESL class,â€ said Anson Green, director of work-based English solutions at Alamo Colleges. â€œFor example, in a medical assistant I-BEST program, the workers will learn the trade, but they will also learn the language needed to be successful in the training, trade and employment all at the same time."
Alamo Colleges implements I-BEST in 11 occupations, with options in both college credit and continuing education. After comprehensive assessment, students enter a short-term, industry-specific Career Exploratory and Skill Enhancement (Career EASE) course. This provides industry-specific basic skills and/or English language development as well as information related to the industry, training and employer expectations and the work environment.