NEW!!! Academic IBEST Option

Call 360-383-3080 to schedule an appointment with Yusuke Okazaki.

The Academic IBEST program combines ENGL&101 and PSYC&100 with a support class.  This program is designed to support students who are new to college or would benefit from additional academic and advising support. 

Students register for ENGL&101 and PSYC&100 sections that have been aligned to optimize student success in both courses.  Students also register for a support class where they will get additional support for both ENGL&101 and PSYC&100.  All three instructors collaborate and work together to support student success.


Whatcom Community College (WCC) offers excellent options to prepare students to fill immediate and long-term demand in medical assistant and nursing assistant occupations. Medical assistants work as a member of a health care team, performing a broad range of clinical and administrative tasks under the supervision of a doctor or nurse practitioner. The average wage for medical assistants in Whatcom County is $16.07 per hour.* Nursing assistants help patients or residents with activities of daily living, including personal hygiene, eating, and mobility. Nursing assistants work under the direction of nurses and doctors. The average wage for nursing assistants in Whatcom County is $12.94 per hour.* *Source: Washington State Employment Security Department, 2014


Resources available to help you succeed

Whatcom offers Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) classes in these two healthcare fields of study for anyone who wants to start career training while continuing to work on basic math and English skills at the same time. In I-BEST classes, students have two instructors in the classroom: one to teach the career content and one to support the development of their basic skills. I-BEST helps students:

  • Develop skills for high demand jobs
  • Improve English and math skills
  • Start a career pathway
  • Earn credits toward a certificate or degree


Apply now!

Medical Assisting I-BEST classes start in fall quarter and continue through to the following summer quarter. For best consideration apply by August 2016. Students who successfully complete the program may apply for priority enrollment into Whatcom’s accredited Medical Assisting program, which prepares graduates to take the National Board exam to become certified medical assistants.

Nursing Assistant Certified I-BEST classes have not been scheduled yet. If you are interested please contact Transitional Learning Programs at 360.383.3060.


What is IBEST?

Integrated Basic Education & Skills Training (IBEST) pairs two instructors in the classroom: one to teach professional and technical content and the other to teach basic skills in reading, math, or English language.


What IBEST programs are at WCC?

  • Medical Assisting
  • NAC (Nursing Assistant Certified)


What kind of support will IBEST provide?

  • An IBEST instructor will be in most of your credit classes. This instructor will co-teach with your content instructor to make sure that you understand all of the information and assignments in the class.
  • The IBEST instructor will teach a separate support class where you will work on the difficult concepts that came up in your class, study skills and homework assignments.
  • You will be participating in IBEST as a cohort, a group of students that take all of the classes together. You will form study groups from your cohort where you can work together on assignments and studying for class.


What kind of financial aid is available?

You are strongly encouraged to fill out a FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid) if you are considering this program. Completing a FAFSA can make you eligible for several grants and scholarships, including the Opportunity Grant.

How do I apply?

  • Students must meet with Yusuke Okazaki, IBEST Advisor. You may schedule an appointment by calling 360.383.3080.
  • Students do NOT need to have taken the college assessment to be eligible for IBEST.