TAA Gulf IT Grant



Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST)


Meridian Community College’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (I-BEST) is a nationally recognized model that quickly boosts students’ literacy and work skills so that students can earn credentials, get living wage jobs, and put their talents to work for employers.

I-BEST pairs two instructors in the classroom – one to teach professional and technical content and the other to teach basic skills in reading, math, writing or English language – so students can move through school and into jobs faster. As students progress through the program, they learn basic skills in real-world scenarios offered by the job-training part of the curriculum.

I-BEST challenges the traditional notion that students must complete all basic education before they can even start a job-training program. This approach often discourages students because it takes more time, and the stand-alone basic skills classes do not qualify for college credit. I-BEST students start earning college credits immediately.

Who should enroll?

  • Adult Basic Education Student
  • TAA (Trade Adjustment Act) eligible
  • Dislocated
  • Unemployed
  • Underemployed
  • Incumbent Workers
  • Veterans

The Gulf Coast IT Consortium is made possible by a $14.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employ­ment and Training Administration’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative.