Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


Problems with the links in the email?

Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at


Do what you love; love what you do! 


1.  MTLINCS Search Function


Need something on MTLINCS and cannot find it?  The easiest solution is to use the Search button located on the homepage.


Click here to access the Search tool.  

Don’t forget to select the following:  Search - MT LINCS. 


Still cannot find what you need?  Just click here and email MTLINCS a question.


2.  MTLINCS Research 2012 - 2013


Have you been so busy that you have not had time to look at the research snippets that MTLINCS has been sending?  Just a reminder – you can access all of the snippets with just a couple of clicks.


Compilation of Research

Click here  to access a compilation of all of the MTLINCS research for 2012 – 2013.   


Click below to access specific areas.                              

·       Adult College Completion Toolkit, U.S. Department of Education OVAE  

·       Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, National Academy of Sciences, 2012


3.  Research Snippet:  Adult College Completion Toolkit, U.S. Department of Education OVAE


So far we have taken a look at what both state administrators and local practitioners can do to help promote college access for adult learners and improve program performance and teacher quality


However, what can these entities do to encourage completion of postsecondary education?


Although increasing numbers of adults are enrolling in postsecondary education, many do not persist in these programs long enough to earn a credential (Camille and Siebens 2012). This is particularly true among low-skill adults (Patterson et al. 2010; Prince and Jenkins 2005). Low-skill adults face many barriers that make it difficult for them to persist and complete postsecondary education …

Many low-skill adults also lack transition support, access to financial aid, and the academic and college-readiness skills needed to enter postsecondary education without taking developmental education classes (Reder 2007). Other barriers include a lack of alignment between adult education and college-level programs (Jenkins 2008; Mazzeo et al. 2006).

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.21 at

The Toolkit suggests that state administrators can support students by using the following four strategies:  

1.     Encourage persistence and completion through career pathways linking course work to students’ college and career goals.


2.     Support local programs in addressing student barriers to persistence and completion by providing education and career counseling and establishing student learning communities.


3.     Form strategic partnerships to overcome barriers to college persistence and completion.


4.     Explore technological approaches to facilitate college transition for adult learners.


Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.21 at

How has Montana ABLE addressed these four strategies?

1. Career Pathways

Last year Montana ABLE collaborated with Suzette Fletcher and Michelle Gasek to produce documents that provided links to local, state and national resources for the continued development of Career Pathways.

Click here to access the following documents.

·        Career Pathways Initiative Model 2012 (docx)

·        Career Pathways Initiative Model 2012 (pdf)

·        Montana Adult Education: Building Bridges 2012 (pdf)

·        Montana Adult Education: Building Bridges 2012 (pptx)

2. Student Barriers to Persistence and Career Counseling

1.     At DQ 2012, research information was presented about Helping Adults Persist:  Four Supports.  Click here and scroll to page 6 to access information about positive and negative forces, self-efficacy, setting goals, and making measurable progress.

2.     Montana ABLE programs submitted work plans this year to OPI which framed how programs were addressing student persistence.  Some programs have revamped their mission statements and objectives while other programs have keyed into curriculum by using iPads and Kindles and engaging students in collaborative classes.  And some programs are even providing a more comfortable atmosphere by offering coffee to students and free lunches on posttest days.  (Who said there is *no* free lunch?) 

What is your program doing?  Have you discovered something that is working for you?

3.     Montana ABLE programs have also implemented PEPTalk, a Personalized Employment Plan.  Click here to access PEPTalk.

As is stated in the Toolkit,

Education and career counseling can help students set realistic goals …

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.23 at

3. Partnerships

Montana programs cannot exist without partnerships.  For example, PEPTalk was a joint creation among the following entities:  Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Office of the commissioner of Higher Education and Office of Public Instruction.  Other partners have provided Montana ABLE programs with TANF and College!Now grants.  Yes, progress cannot be made in a vacuum.

Adult learners often need considerable academic and nonacademic support to help them persist and complete postsecondary education. Strategic partnerships with community organizations, state and local agencies, business and industry, and postsecondary education institutions can help meet their diverse needs.

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.23 at

4. Technological Approaches to Facilitate College Transition

As noted in OVAE’s Emerging Technologies in Adult Literacy and Language Education report, technologies are increasingly available that offer state administrators and local practitioners additional tools to meet students’ diverse needs and aid their transition to postsecondary education. These range from mobile devices to blogs and wikis. The report notes, however, that more research is needed to determine the cost, challenges, and potential benefits of many of these technologies.

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.24 at

Have you checked out the ABLE Toolbox at or the ESL Wiki at  ? 

Also do not forget the Computer Literacy information that was shared at DQ 2012.  Click here to access all of the materials.

OPI has provided access and training to/for many resources.  Have you been using them?  What could be done differently so that you do use them?  Time?  Ah, yes, don’t we all want the gift of time. 

Give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift:  take a look at the resources available.  You will love them!

Coming Next:  Completion Strategies for Local Practitioners

National Information

4.  College Resources for Adults:  Taken from the Toolkit

Taken from LINCS Community:  Financial Literacy

College Affordability and Transparency Center

… two great resources that are highlighted in the Toolkit and that also need to be introduced to our adult students.


1. College Affordability and Transparency Center ( - You can research the colleges and their tuition rates, and the best part is that search results are integrated to CollegeNavigator so that you can get detailed information on the college that your students are interested in.

2. FAFSA4Caster ( - This website is a great resource for students to understand their options for paying for college. It also gives them a clear sense of how much aid is available and familiarizes them with the Pell grant and Stafford loan options. All of this information is available even before they are ready to enroll.

5.  College Financial Aid:  Webinar on February 12, 2:00 to 3:30 (ET)

Taken from LINCS Community

Webinar: Perspectives on Changing Federal Student Aid

Location: Online webinar, register here:

6.  Science Resources

Taken from LINCS Community:  Science

You will find a short collection of health and science web sites, that have been recommended and used by adult educators, including a link to the New England Literacy Resource Center Health and Literacy Compendium, and the (perhaps now a little out of date) LINCS Special Collection on Science and numeracy, in my publication, the Literacy List, at

7.  Technology:  Communicating by Text

Taken from LINCS Community:  Technology

Looking for a safe way to communicate with students via texting?  Check this out.  The limitation is that it just is one-way communication.

I am currently enrolled in a class about teaching online in adult education and did an interview with an online adult basic education teacher. She shared information about a free online tool she uses to communicate with her students (who choose to opt-in). She sets up all the deadlines and messages for the entire class prior to the start and it automatically sends the messages to her students at the appointed time. Here is the link to the website . It's a safe way to text message students and stay in touch and it’s free.

Michelle Carson


Remind 101

Yes, we use it in our ABE/GED program. We have a log in for learners to sign up for text alerts. We post things like orientation dates, testing dates, reminders about upcoming events, cancellations due to weather or illness, it is a great way to stay connect to the learners and the best part is that they choose to do it. Learners use it to ask questions about math assignments or to find out when I will be in my office to assist them. I also use it with my on-line math learners. They like being reminded of upcoming due dates. As adults, we forget things...this is a quit 160 character little reminder and I can set it to alert them months in advance. I could technically set-up my alerts for an entire year. Oh one cool feature, if you text too early on in the will receive a cute message that says..."isn't it a little too early to be sending a text". So it reminds me the instructor that not everyone is awake when I am.

Brooke Istas



P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!


Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101