Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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Montana Information

1.    MAACE at MEA:  Dr. Susan Pimentel on October 17 from 8 to 4

Planning to attend MAACE in Belgrade?  Have you registered?  The deadline for on-line pre- registration for the MAACE-MEA-MFT Educators’ Conference is midnight, Oct. 8.  The registration web site is shut down after midnight.  The only way to register after Oct. 8 is at the conference in Belgrade.  The cost of registration after October 8 is $50.


So don’t delay! Go to the Ed. Conf. webpage,  and get registered!





Please bring the following resources if you have them.  Otherwise, please bring three resources that you use most.  Dr. Pimentel will use these resources for a session on text complexity and text-dependent questions. 


·       Resource #1:  Steck-Vaughn Reading for Today Intro - 6

·       Resource #2:  Cambridge Adult Education, Threshold 9 Literature and Arts, Science, and Social Studies

·       Resource #3:  Contemporary Pre GED Reading, Science, and Social Studies




There is still time to register!  Preregistration ends 10/8/2013


Click here for registration information. 




·       MAACE’s reimbursement will be up to $150, offsetting registration and mileage costs.

·       OPI’s registration will cover lodging and meals not provided.

·       Paperwork for reimbursement will be available at the conference.

·       Save all receipts for reimbursement.


OPI Reimbursement


·       Lodging for two nights only if the travel distance exceeds 200 miles one way

·       Meals while in travel status that are not provided at conference or hotel

If you have any questions, please contact Kathie Daviau .


Dr. Susan Pimentel is the reading/literacy expert for the Adult Ed Common Core Standards. This interactive session is targeted to examine the major shifts in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and how they could be valuable for preparing adult students for college and careers. Susan will lead you through evidence based activities to help you create a framework in which you participate in a self-guided, standards-setting process.   

2.    HiSET Blast:  October Update

ETS Assurance:  HiSET Meets Federal Education Requirements


Click here to read about ETS assurance that HiSET will be “recognized for purposes of meeting federal education requirements, such as to qualify for federal student aid (grants, loans and work-study funds).”


New Options Change Landscape for High School Equivalency Testing


Click here to read about how the testing landscape is changing:  the “shift from ‘earning a GED®’ to earning a high school equivalency credential.”


Seven States Now Move to the HiSET Exam in 2014!

1.     Montana

2.     New Hampshire

3.     Tennessee

4.     Missouri

5.     Iowa

6.     Maine

7.     Louisiana

Phone toll-free:





Important Dates


November 1, 2013


·       Online HiSET store opens for ordering materials


·       Test-taker registration opens


January 2, 2014


·       HiSET testing begins


Click here to access HiSET Resources.

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

3.    Montana Educational Quality (EQ) 2013 Resources

Click here to access Montana Educational Quality 2013 Resources.

4.    Research Snippets Continuation

Last year MTLINCS provided (for your “viewing and PD pleasure”) snippets from the research documents:  Adult College Completion Toolkit, U.S. Department of Education OVAE and Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, National Academy of Sciences, 2012 As was promised, this year MTLINCS will complete the snippet review from Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research

However, before beginning, here are a few postings from last year.  Many of these relate to the professional development that Montana ABLE is continuing to provide in the areas of reading, math, and technology.  Skim through a few of these postings here or even click here to review last year’s snippets.  

And then get ready, for more snippets will be coming your way soon!

Social, Contextual, and Systemic Mediators of Persistence

So we “build it” and offer choices, but still guide and facilitate learning.  Ours is not an easy task.  Do we individualize instruction or provide group instruction?

Research also suggests that ability grouping and other related practices may have negative side effects on resilience and self-regulation (Blumenfeld, Mergendoller, and Swarthout, 1987; Guthrie et al., 1996; Urdan, Midgley, and Anderman, 1998; Wilkinson and Fung, 2002). 

OK, while filling in the learning gaps some individuals have, we engage our learners in meaningful instruction and have them collaborate in order to achieve some community support.  Yet we still must be aware that our students will many times have to prioritize their actions.

… it is unlikely that adolescents and adults with pressing social, familial, and economic demands on their lives will make the time and effort necessary to persist unless strategies are in place to help them cope in significant and sustained ways with these demands. Adult literacy programs can offer significant and sustained means of supporting persistence …

Motivation, Engagement, and Persistence 


Montana ABLE programs have been implementing various strategies to retain students so that they may achieve success.  However, reality does set in, and students are not able to stay with a program for as long as it takes to fully develop literacy skills.    

Adults lead complex lives with many responsibilities and constraints on their availability to engage in formal learning. This reality, combined with the amount of effort and practice needed to develop one’s literacy skills, makes supporting persistence one of the most challenging aspects of designing effective adult literacy programs. 

If students achieve some skill success in a short period of time, their time spent in a program has been positive.  Completing one short term goal is a step in the mastery process.   

Mastery is also easier to link to successful behavior in life: people do well if they can comprehend instructions on the job and write reports that colleagues value, not because they got an A in a course. 

Principles of Learning for Instructional Design

We know that many of our students lack knowledge, skills, and meta-awareness needed to comprehend text.  Have you had a chance to look at the new College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education?  The first Key Shift in instruction is the following:  Complexity:  Regular practice with complex text and its academic language.  In fact, the standards document states  

This important shift finds explicit expression in CCSS Reading Standard 10, which includes a staircase of increasing text complexity for students to read independently and proficiently. Rather than focusing solely on how students read, the focus also is on the complexity of texts read by students. Closely related to text complexity and inextricably related to reading comprehension is a focus on frequently encountered academic vocabulary—language common to complex texts across the disciplines of literature, science, history, and the arts. 


National Information

4.  Career Pathways:  Online Course:  Integrating Career Counseling and Planning into Adult Education

Taken from LINCS Community:  Career Pathways

Integrating Career Counseling and Planning into Adult Education is intended for adult educators, administrators, coaches, case managers, transition specialists, career counselors, and others working with adult learners seeking to transition to the next step along a career pathway.  The course is self-paced and features three modules: (1) Career Counseling and Planning Programs; (2) Individual Career Development Plan Process; and (3) Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education. The modules link to this discussion thread (Title: Online Course: Integrating Career Counseling and Planning into Adult Education) within the LINCS Community Career Pathways group to provide opportunities for you to discuss how to apply the course information in your teaching with your colleagues from around the country.


Use this discussion thread to post your responses to the questions below from the online course, Integrating Career Counseling and Planning into Adult Education. Please share your comments on any of the following questions, or post a general comment or feedback on the course?

·        Introduce yourself.

·        Which self-reflection activities are you able to incorporate into your classroom?

·        What are some activities and resources you have used successfully to help your adult learners develop good time management skills?

·        In what ways does your program collaborate with your local Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I provider? With local employers? Are you and your colleagues kept informed of the hot jobs in your area or the skills learners need to secure these jobs? What is working well in your collaboration with local employers? What could be improved?

·        Share your thoughts on your newly acquired knowledge and how you might integrate it in ACP programs.

This online course was developed under the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative under Contract No. ED-CFO-10-A-0072/0001, which developed and delivered trainings and online courses to adult education providers in order to increase the quality and quantity of adult career pathways programs.

The new LINCS Learning Portal offers adult educators free online professional development courses from a variety of OVAE initiatives. Join today at:

5.    Corrections -  Race and Beyond:  Why Economic Disadvantage Becomes Educational Disadvantage

Taken from LINCS Community:  Correctional Education

Click here to read the following article: 

Race and Beyond:  Why Economic Disadvantage Becomes Educational Disadvantage

While this article focuses on issues of race and poverty, these issues are very much related to the population of students correctional educators come into contact with every day.  Sam Fulwood calls attention to the fact that poor high school students don't receive the information they need in order to navigate the financial aid and scholarship applications that would allow them to attend prestigious universities.  Correctional Education student are  usually exponentially hindered by issues of poverty and race as well as their criminal background.

Heather Erwin

6.  ESL:  Reaching for Sociolinguistic Competence

Taken from LINCS Community:  Adult English Language Learners

Students with high levels of grammatical competence in the second language do not always have high levels of sociocultural ability (Felix-Brasfeder, 2003). Li (2009) found that Mandarin Chinese learners of English tend to transfer their first language pragmatic skills and habits into the second language environment; in other words, they assume that communicative patterns from their first language also apply for the second language communicative context. While predominant American rhetoric patterns might value directness in answering and asking questions, Chinese rhetoric patterns favor individual responses that are circular rather than direct, which can be interpreted as imprecise and vague by the American standards.


In fact, East Asian cultures are generally known for avoiding direct refusals. Looking at the use of refusal strategies by native and non-native speakers of Mandarin Chinese, Hong (2011) found that L1 speakers of Chinese were likely to use a wider range of refusal strategies than L1 speakers of English. Logically, if these strategies are transferred into second language context, L1 speakers of Chinese are more likely to use circular, indirect patterns when using English than native speakers are.


So what’s the problem?


Cultural and linguistic differences may result in workplace misunderstandings and affect performance.. For instance, a second language speaker of English may be relatively quiet during staff meetings thus demonstrating respect for supervisors following the native cultural values system. However, if such behavior is interpreted through the lens of American direct communicative style, the employee may be seen as lacking initiative and motivation (Thompson, 2006). In other words, what is intended as show of respect can be interpreted as passive attitude to work. In order to prevent such problems, second language learners of English should be made aware of differences in communicative styles and be explicitly taught the characteristics of American conversational patterns occurring in various contexts. – And it’s good to do so from the beginning.

Miriam Burt

7.  LINCS Community User Training:  October 16

Taken from LINCS Notice

In honor of the upcoming Connected Educator Month, Kratos Learning will host a live LINCS Community User Training on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 2-3 PM ET. This webinar will be a great opportunity to talk directly to the LINCS Community team and ask any questions you may have about the community’s purpose and features!

Members of the leadership team will present the purpose of the LINCS Community, and highlight the benefits of engaging in the community through a live walk-through of the features as well as a discussion with guest presenter Jackie Taylor (Subject Matter Expert for the Professional Development group). The webinar will culminate in a Q&A session and an overview of next steps that attendees can take in the community’s discussion groups. Attendees also will be able to post their questions for the presenters in a pre-webinar discussion thread.


Register for free at: Upon registering, you will receive instructions on how to access the webinar. If you cannot attend this event, you do not need to register, but you will be able to view an archived version online soon after the event. Stay tuned for an announcement about accessing the archived webinar.

8.  Literacy Quizzes from World Education

Taken from LINCS Community:  Technology and Learning

New to Adult Ed?  In honor of National Adult Education and Family Literacy week, Word Education created some informational quizzes to increase awareness of the various facets of the Adult Education system and services.  Check them out.

Click here  to access the quizzes.

9.  PIACC:  Webinar on First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills – October 8

Taken from LINCS Community:  Technology and Learning

Webinar: Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Time: 2:30 PM Eastern Time

To register, visit:


All LINCS Community members are invited to join a webinar with Andreas Schleicher, Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) Deputy Director for Education and Skills, to learn about the key messages from the first edition of the OECD Skills Outlook, to be released October 8, 2013. This edition, which will present the results from the first round of the Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), will offer readers access to a rich source of data on adult proficiency in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments - the key information-processing skills that are invaluable in 21st century economies - and in various "generic" skills, such as co-operation, communication, and organizing one's time.


To register for this live webinar, visit: 

For assistance, please send a message to

Visit the OECD Forthcoming Events page for more information:

10.  Reading:  Study Circle on Teaching Adults to Read (TAR) Teaching Vocabulary

Taken from LINCS Region IV

Have you taken the Teaching Adults to Read (TAR) online vocabulary course on the Learner Web If so, you may qualify for this professional development opportunity.


Process overview: This interactive, action research based study circle integrates new National Academy of Sciences research with a brief review of the TAR Study Circle series content. The Study Circle consists of 4 webinar sessions with implementation tasks to be completed between sessions. The sessions will be October 30 (Introduction session), November 6, 13, and 20 (Vocabulary sessions) from 2:00-4:00 PM, EST 1:00-3:00 PM CST, 12:00-2:00 PM MST, and 11:00 AM-1:00 PM PST. Registration deadline: by 5 pm on Wednesday, October 16!


For registration or questions, please contact:

Paul Heavenridge, Director

LINCS Region 4 Regional Professional Development Center


11.  Return on Investment:  Stepping Up to ROI in Adult Education:  A Survey of State Activity

Taken from CAAL Newsletter:  Issue #38

Click here  to access Stepping Up to ROI in Adult Education:  A Survey of State Activity.

This 55-page paper, coauthored by James Parker and Gail Spangenberg, reports on the findings of a national survey conducted by CAAL between February and June 2013, in which 49 states and the District of Columbia participated.  The survey asked the states about their current or attempted ROI activities--what they are doing, how, why, and with what provable results.  In addition to an analysis of the findings, Stepping Up to ROI provides an 18-page annotated listing of national and state ROI resources. The report is available from the CAAL website at: (scroll down to item OT15). 

Stepping Up to ROI in Adult Education: A Survey of State Activity, by James Parker and Gail Spangenberg, is a new report just issued by CAAL. The return-on-investment survey was carried out from February to June 2013.  The report is part of a project that will include an invitational Roundtable in November and a related companion paper in February 2014. The Annie Casey and Charles Stewart Mott Foundations are funding the work, with in-kind support provided by McGraw Hill Financial. 

Stepping Up to ROI presents findings, based on input from state adult education directors or their designates, on what state adult education programs are doing on the ROI front, how and why they are doing it, and with what provable/quantifiable results.


The paper probes a number of areas and possible interconnections as a way to get a better current sense of the state of play in ROI. For example, it examines the extent to which programs measure outcomes identified as important to employers and current/future employees, and the extent to which the states are prepared to implement expanded WIA ROI measures if/when the reformed Workforce Investment Act is passed.  It looks at whether states offer college or work-readiness certificate programs and, if so, if there is a connection between those programs and the gathering of ROI evidence.  It considers ABE governance, comprehensive state planning, and other variables to see if there are causative links to ROI activity.  Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia responded to the survey, and many offered suggestions on how the U.S. Department of Education's National Reporting System (NRS) could be improved to better reflect measures of adult education and workforce skills achievement and encourage ROI practice. 


The survey findings reveal a mixed ROI record across the country.  ROI is described by the authors as "in a highly fluid state," but the findings nevertheless offer encouraging evidence of extensive and growing ROI activity, much more than CAAL expected to find. The report offers numerous suggestions and next-step actions that can be taken to further develop state ROI capacity.


Four reviewers provide comments in Stepping Up to ROI about its value to the states and others concerned with developing state ROI capacity.  One notes that "perhaps the greatest value of this report is its honesty in pointing out the real challenges states face, especially in the areas of data collection, data sharing, and communication between programs. ROI isn't just an afterthought. Increasingly, funding for new [adult education] initiatives will require proof of past results. We must begin with the end in mind." 


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