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LWIT president returns to the White House for discussion on postsecondary education

Dr. Amy Goings - Contributed photo
Dr. Amy Goings
— image credit: Contributed photo

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) President Dr. Amy Goings will return to the White House on Tuesday to be a part of a new national approach to college education. Goings’ first visit to the White House took place in January.

She will join representatives from dozens of colleges across the country as the U.S. Department of Education unveils the new Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness.

The center will use data to design programs to help pre-college students improve basic literacy. Department of Education officials say today’s students must enter the workforce with more than technical skills to succeed. They must also master basic reading, writing and math.

Basic literacy combined with advanced technical skill leads to more productive, more engaged and more successful workers. Washington’s I-BEST program is the poster child for this approach.

Washington pioneered the popular Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program. I-BEST uses a team-teaching approach to combine college-readiness classes with regular, credit- bearing job training or academic classes.

I-BEST challenges the traditional notion that students must move through a set sequence of basic education or pre-college (remedial) courses before they can start working on certificates or degrees. The combined teaching method allows students to work on college-level studies right away, clearing multiple levels with one leap.

LWIT's I-BEST program is one of the best in the state.

“The beauty of the I-BEST program is that it quickly sets students on a path to success. Our philosophy of learning and doing at the same time leads to more graduates, more jobs and higher wages,” Goings said.

National studies have shown the future economy requires a combination of skills and some college education. Vice President Joe Biden describes community colleges as the backbone for this and revitalizing the middle class.

“(LWIT) excels at this new approach,” Goings said. “We welcome students at any phase of life, help them identify and pursue their path and launch them on the road to success.”

LWIT is a publicly funded, state institute of technology with more than 44 programs of study including certificates, associates degrees and bachelor’s degrees. Popular programs include healthcare, transportation logistics, culinary arts and auto repair.

“Our programs gives students a path to a living wage and solid career,” Goings said.

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