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ERIC Number: ED505331
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 33
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
Educational Outcomes of I-BEST, Washington State Community and Technical College System's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program: Findings from a Multivariate Analysis. CCRC Working Paper No. 16
Jenkins, Davis; Zeidenberg, Matthew; Kienzl, Gregory
Community College Research Center, Columbia University
This paper presents findings from a study conducted by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University, on the outcomes of the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training program (I-BEST), developed by the community and technical colleges in Washington State to increase the rate at which adult basic skills students enter and succeed in postsecondary occupational education and training. Under the I-BEST model, basic skills instructors and college-level career-technical faculty jointly design and teach college-level occupational courses for adult basic skills students. Instruction in basic skills is integrated with instruction in college-level career-technical skills, offering the potential to accelerate the transition of adult basic skills students to college programs. The study used multivariate analysis to compare the educational outcomes over a two-year tracking period of I-BEST students with those of other basic skills students during academic year 2006-2007. Researchers examined data on more than 31,000 basic skills students in Washington State, including nearly 900 I-BEST participants. The analyses controlled for observed differences in background characteristics of students in the sample. The study found that students participating in I-BEST achieved better educational outcomes than did other basic skills students. I-BEST students were more likely than others to: (1) Continue into credit-bearing coursework; (2) Earn credits that count toward a college credential; (3) Earn occupational certificates; and (4) Make point gains on basic skills tests. The study also compared I-BEST students to a group of non-participants with similar characteristics who were matched with the I-BEST students using a statistical technique called propensity score matching (PSM). Using the PSM analysis, the study also estimated significantly enhanced results for I-BEST students over the comparison group over the two-year tracking period. Although results of this analysis indicate that participation in I-BEST is correlated with better educational outcomes over the two-year tracking period, authors note that they do not provide definitive evidence that the I-BEST program caused the superior outcomes. Because of the way students are selected into the program, those who participate have higher motivation or other characteristics not measured in this study that make them more likely to succeed. Selection bias could also operate in the other direction if I-BEST students are more disadvantaged in ways not measured by the study. A Brief Description of Propensity Score Matching is appended. (Contains 9 footnotes and 14 tables.)
Community College Research Center. Available from: CCRC Publications. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Community College Research Center
Identifiers - Location: New York; Washington