Job-Training Programs Make Remediation Relevant

Job-Training Programs Make Remediation Relevant 1

Jennifer Whitney for The Chronicle

Sheila Ortega, at work in a retail market in San Antonio, hopes to earn a degree after completing courses 
in the I-BEST program at the Alamo Colleges, which combines job training with remedial instruction.

A few years ago, Sheila Ortega was scrubbing floors at a local grocery store, a high-school dropout with no clear path out of poverty. Today Ms. Ortega, 23, has four certificates in manufacturing skills and big plans for the future.

What turned her around, she says, was a program here at the Alamo Colleges that caught her up on fundamentals while she worked toward her credentials. It combines developmental, or remedial, education with job training and intensive advising, so that even