Post-Secondary Education

What is I-BEST?

The Washington State Board for 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.  Basic skills (Adult Basic Education/General Equivalency Diploma/English Second Language) students entering academic and professional programs are at a disadvantage.  Not only do they lack certain academic skills, but they have 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 selected) is collaboration between the technical and English basic skills instructors to work on curricula that integrates basic skills competencies with those of the technical program.  In order for the program to qualify as an I-BEST, there must be 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.

I-BEST in Agriculture and Natural Resource Programs?

There are currently four approved agriculture and natural resource I-BEST programs:

Community Forestry  ~ Green River Community College (Currently Unavailable)
This certificate program prepares graduates to work in vocations requiring skills and knowledge to protect and manage green spaces, parks, recreation areas, riparian zones, wetlands, wildlife management areas, and forest reserves in urban and suburban environments.

Best Practices

Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) developed and implemented an innovative outreach program to meet industry needs, the Hispanic Orchard Employee Education Program (HOEEP).  The HOEEP program provides Latino workers the opportunity to acquire technical agricultural education in Spanish, as well as increase their management and communication skills.  The Agriculture Worker Outreach Model was built upon WVC’s successful HOEEP training program.  There are three critical elements to this Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language outreach program:  flexibility in delivery, instructor compatibility, and curricula integration.  The model promotes recruitment of underserved populations, an increase in skilled workers, and unique integration of degree programs.

Plant Science Career Pathways

- Plant Science Manual
- Soils Science Manual

What are Career Clusters and Career Pathways?

Career clusters identify the knowledge and skills students need as they follow a pathway toward their career goal. The Agriculture & Natural Resource Career Cluster is divided into seven career pathways. Pathways are grouped by common knowledge and skills required of occupations in the agriculture and natural resource career fields.