Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

Molly H. Duggan


Basic skills instruction has had poor success in equipping adults with the training needed in today's global economy. The educational leaders in Washington State realized the necessity of rapidly equipping adults with career skills and developed the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program to meet workforce needs. In 2004, Washington State piloted the I-BEST program in ten institutions, but it has since expanded to all 34 of the State's community colleges. I-BEST is an instructional method which provides basic skills support to ABE and ESL students while they receive career training. I-BEST uniquely pairs a basic skills instructor with a vocational instructor in the classroom at the same time. Previous research has looked at the positive impact the program has had on the retention and academic success of students. Unfortunately, the pivotal role instructors and administrators play in the program's success has been largely ignored. This study explored the perceptions of the instructors, program managers, and the managers' immediate supervisors regarding the I-BEST program.

The Administrators and Instructors I-BEST Perception Survey (AIIPS) was developed and tested to explore the perceptions of the program's implementers. A panel of experts familiar with the program helped to establish the content validity of the instrument. A pilot group of I-BEST implementers helped to establish the reliability of the instrument. All of the current I-BEST implementers were contacted via electronic mail and sent a link to the instrument on SurveyMonkey. The data collection took place at the end of the fall 2009 academic term.

The study explored whether there were differences in the perceptions of the instructors, program managers, and the managers' immediate supervisors. The group differences were compared using t tests. Statistically significant differences were observed in areas such as the adequacy of instructor release time, adequacy of student support services, and using employment outcomes to modify instruction. Recommendations to decision-makers include limiting the number of data collection items being tracked, and increasing the number of minority instructors involved in the I-BEST program Implications of the findings may assist the State Board and community college presidents in enhancing the program.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).