What is the advantage of the IBEST program?
There are three big benefits of joining the IBEST program. 1) IBEST is a great way for ABE or ESL-level students to start earning college credits now, instead of waiting until their reading, writing or math skills are college level, 2) Students get extra and individual support because there are two teachers in the college-level classes, and 3) students can exit the program into higher paying jobs right away.
Can I start the Office Clerk/Customer Service Certificate or Beginning Automotive Technician Certificate if I haven’t finished my GED?
Yes! Because the IBEST program includes both ABE classes and extra support in the college classes, students can continue to prepare for their GED exams. However, students are not eligible for most financial aid, and students are expected to complete their GED exams by the end of the certificate program.
If I have a felony conviction can I still enroll?
Yes! There are no restrictions to enter the program based on felony convictions. However, there may be restrictions getting federal student loans or obtaining employment in particular fields.
Do I still have to pay tuition if I am an ABE student?
Yes, because you are taking college-level classes. Students pay the regular tuition costs that other college students pay.
What if I can’t afford the tuition?
The Financial Aid Office can work with you to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) form. Federal funding is available to 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.
Can I access financial aid if I haven’t finished my GED?
Yes! You can access financial aid through the Opportunity Grant program. However, you cannot get federal financial aid (FAFSA) until you finish your GED.
Can I just take some of the classes?
No and Yes. If you are an IBEST student, you are part of a program. IBEST is designed to give students extra support in college-level classes with two teachers and a support class. With this support, students enroll in classes that have college level reading and writing expectations. If you are not an IBEST student, you can still enroll in these classes, but you will not receive the extra support provided in through the IBEST program.
How can I enroll in IBEST?
You need to review the Application Checklist and find out if this program is a good match for you. Then, you have a meeting with the Adult LearnerTransition Specialist to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. She will help you figure out financial aid, enroll you in the classes, and work with you throughout the program.
Angela Holley: (360) 754-7711 ext. 3366