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Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) Program: Six-Year Impact Report

Karin Martinson, Abt Associates; and Asaph Glosser, MEF Associates

Report

March 31, 2022

This report documents the impacts six years after random assignment for Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program. Part of the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) project, I-BEST’s goal is to increase low-skilled adults’ access to and completion of college-level occupational training in a range of in-demand occupational areas.  The program’s signature feature is a team-teaching approach where students receive instruction from two instructors in the same course: one provides job training and the other teaches basic skills in reading, math, or English. The I-BEST programs in this evaluation also included dedicated student advisors and “fill-the-gap” financial assistance.

This report finds that after six years I-BEST:

  • Had no impact on receipt of credentials requiring a year or more of college study, the confirmatory outcome in the education domain.
  • Had no detectable impact on average quarterly earnings in follow-up quarters 23 and 24, the confirmatory outcome in the employment domain.
  • Had no detectable impacts on several measures of positive employment and career progress (secondary outcomes), including currently employed in a job that was full-time or offered health insurance or other benefits. I-BEST did increase the likelihood of  working in an occupation related to training.
  • Had no detectable impact on measures of financial wellbeing.

The report discusses the implications of these results. PACE receives funding from the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.