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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Jesse Crete, North Orange County Regional Consortium for AE

NOCRC launches Project Asparagus: I-BEST in Action

The Challenge

Often times ESL and/or Basic Skills students become frustrated with CTE programs because it would take so long for them to get through their ESL or Basic Skills program before they felt they were able to begin a CTE program or they attempted to struggle through the CTE program without the needed language or basic skills needed to be successful in the program, which often led to dropouts and/or failing the course. The goal became to find a way to accelerate students' academic progress while ensuring they gain the requisite language and or other skills needed to successfully earn a CTE certificate and ultimately gain employment in their field of study.

The Solution

The NOCRC began an I-BEST action research project in Spring 2015 that added an ESL instructor with a CTE Intro to Pharmacy Tech course. That first cohort gave valuable information that informed how NOCRC would design future I-BEST courses. In Fall 2015 I-BEST expanded to pair the Intro Administrative Assistant course with a Basic Skills instructor and an Early Childhood Education courses with a DSS instructor to offer an I-BEST course specifically designed to support DSS students. Winter 2016 added an Intro Medical Assistant course paired with a Basic Skills Instructor. The next phase will be to work with credit colleagues and incorporate I-BEST into the non-credit Funeral Services program and credit pre-requisites such as English.


Students were incredibly receptive to idea of having two instructors in the classroom at the same time. They shared that it made them feel like the school was investing in their success. The number of students that successfully completed each intro course increased. This was especially true for our disabled students (DSS) in the Early Childhood course. For the first time every single DSS student in the class passed and they all signed up for the next course in the certificate. The Intro to Administrative Assistant course also saw a record increase in students registering for the the second intro course in the series, which also became an I-BEST course.

The Data

Data is still being collected, but surveys were completed at the beginning and end of the term to determine students' thoughts about the I-BEST model. Assessments were initiated at the beginning of the term, which was new to the CTE program. One of the most telling data markers was the course completion rates as well as the registration increase for the next course in each series.

Supporting Information

View Project Asparagus I-BEST presentation

Watch a video about I-BEST

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