Areas of Study

Areas of Study

IBEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills Training) for Office Clerk/Customer Service Certificate

IBEST is a program that supports students who qualify for basic skills classes (ABE and ESL) and are working toward the Office Clerk/Customer Service Specialist Certificate. Most students complete this certificate in 3 quarters.

  • Students go to college classes that have two instructors: a content instructor, and a basic skills instructor.
  • Students also go to an Adult Basic Education (ABE) class where they build their skills in reading and writing using assignments from their college courses.  At the end of the quarter, students have the opportunity to take the English 090 final assessment.  If students pass, they can waive the English 090 level class requirement.

Office Clerk/Customer Service Specialist Certificate
This certificate shows that the individual has mastered technology skills and are prepared for Customer Service and Office Clerk positions. At the end of the three-quarter program, students are prepared to enter the workforce or continue their education toward an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Upon successful completion

1. Earn an Office Clerk or Customer Service Specialist Certificate (34 credits) and enter the workforce (starting salary in Thurston County ranges up to 14.90 per hour)

2. Eligible for entrance into the Office Assistant Certificate program (64 credits) or the Associate in Applied Science degree program for Administrative Assistant, Legal Administrative Assistant, or Medical Administrative Assistant.

Career Opportunities
Students will be prepared for various positions in industries where office support skills are in demand or are part of the expected job requirements. The certificate is designed to prepare students for the expected job skill required for General Office Clerk or Customer Service Specialist positions as defined by the Washington State Department of Personnel.

Eligibility requirements

  • Eligible for ABE or ESL level classes.
  • For CASAS ABE levels 4-6 in Reading, or ESL levels 5-6 in Reading and Listening. 
  • Interest in office skills training

For more information contact Angela Holley, Adult Leaner Transition Specialist, by email or phone: (360) 754-7711 ext. 3366

Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office can work with you to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) form. Federal funding is available to elegible students based on economic need. South Puget Sound Community College also has the Opportunity Grant for eligible IBEST students that can offer funding a little more quickly than federal funds and get you started sooner.

Procedure for entrance into the program

Contact Angela Holley to get more information and set up an interview.

Curriculum Course Requirements Credits
1st Quarter
CIS 101, 102 Keyboarding 1 and 2 4
CIS 100 Introduction to Computer Concepts and Applications 5
CIS 109 Human Dimensions in the Work Place 3
ABE 054 Contextualized Language Arts 5*
2nd Quarter
CIS 103, 104 Keyboarding 3 and 4 4
CIS 136 Word Processing I 4
CIS 110 Internet 2
CIS 105 Filling 2
ABE 054 Contextualized Language Arts 5*
3rd Quarter
CIS 115 Outlook  2
CIS 150 Formatting I 4
CIS 171 Office Procedures 3
Math ABE Math* or Math 90 5
Total College Credits =  34

*not college credit courses


Resident (per quarter average for 12 credits) $1,174.38
Non-Resident (per quarter average for 12 credits) $1,305.76

Other Costs

Adult Basic Education fee (per quarter) $25.00
Books & Supplies (per quarter average) $350.00


Angela Holley
Adult Learner Transition Specialist
Phone: (360) 754-7711 ext. 3366