Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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Montana Information


1.     HiSET Blast

 Resources:  New Resources Posted!

1.           Montana Library Information:  Postings on Homework MT

        HiSET practice tests:  Free practice tests from ETS website

 (Also posted at .  Click on Practice Tests.)

        Content videos:  Videos from Homework MT

Click here . 

2.           Persuasive Writing Resources

Click here and click on Writing.

       Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay Guidelines

       Sample Persuasive Essay

Check out the newly shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at 

Remember:  The resources below are teacher-designed resources that may be changed as teachers learn more by experience with HiSET and more vendor HiSET materials become available.

Have you created or found any resources that you are willing to share?  Please email them to MTLINCS.

2.    MT ABLE Shoptalk

Click here to access ShopTalk Summary and topics. 

       MABLE Update

       May Meeting Week

       NRS Distance Learning Course

       MCAN Conference


       PIACC:  Time to Reskill

3.  Montana Technology Community of Practice (COP)                   

COP participants have been introduced to several websites by Tim Ponder that cover the following areas:



       Computer Skills

Click here and click on the weekly posts.

4.  MTLINCS Research 2013-2014:  Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research


On November 12, 2012, MTLINCS began providing snippets of research from Improving Adult Literacy Instruction:  Options for Practice and Research.  Have you had a chance to skim through the snippets as they have been presented?  If not, you may want to click here to view the possible topics reviewed.

This final portion of the review now provides the recommendations presented from the research.

A sustained and systematic research effort is needed that begins with well-designed pilot studies of instructional practices and other interventions. Funds will be needed first to adopt and evaluate promising approaches at initial test sites. In the same time frame, advances in measurement and assessment must be made, which will require the collaboration of programs.

Recommendation 1: Federal and state policy makers should move quickly to build on and expand the existing infrastructure of adult literacy education to support the use of instructional approaches, curricula, materials, tools, and assessments of learners consistent with (a) research on reading, writing, learning, language, and adult development; (b) research on the effectiveness of instructional approaches; and (c) knowledge of sound assessment practices.

Recommendation 2: Federal and state policy makers should ensure that professional development and technical assistance for instructors are widely accessible and consistent with the best research on reading, writing, learning, language, and adult development.

The variability in instructor preparation is a clear impediment to both ensuring instructional effectiveness on a broad scale and conducting the needed research. There is a critical need to ensure that instructors possess knowledge and skills that are consistent with the most reliable research on literacy development and learning … it is worth noting that instructors experience many of the same constraints on their professional development (lack of funding, inflexible locations, work and other life demands) as those who participate in literacy programs … There is also a need for data to identify the characteristics of teachers associated with effective implementation of literacy instruction across the four general types of literacy education pro- grams (basic education, secondary education, English as a second language, and developmental education in colleges).

Recommendation 3: Policy makers, providers of literacy programs, and researchers should collaborate to systematically implement and evaluate options (instructional components, technology components, social service components, incentives) aimed at maximizing persistence with literacy learning.

Achieving literacy requires thousands of hours of practice. The problem of high attrition from instructional programs (as well as the relatively brief length of those programs altogether) must be resolved if adults are to receive sufficient amounts of practice and instruction and if reliable evidence is to accumulate on the instructional methods that are effective when adults engage with learning. Although research documents the challenges that adults experience with persistence and engagement, it does not provide clear evidence about specific practices and policies that address these challenges for particular groups of adults. Systematic implementation and evaluation of various approaches is required to identify the mix of strategies that will engage learners of different backgrounds for the large amounts of time required for instruction and practice to be effective. The interventions should be developed with consideration of the factors that are likely to cause attrition and lack of perseverance. Programs can then select strategies that are most appropriate with an understanding of the specific situations of their students.

Recommendation 4: To inform local, state, and federal decisions aimed at optimizing the progress of adult learners, the committee strongly recommends strategic and sustained investments in a coordinated and systemic approach to program improvement, evaluation, and research about adult literacy learners.

A variety of federal units currently play a role in the education of adult learners and in research to understand and intervene with this population. Key among them are the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, the Institute of Education Sciences and the Office of English Language Acquisition of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Other agencies that might play a role in shaping and monitoring adult literacy education efforts include the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. However the proposed research and programmatic changes are implemented, they will benefit from a coordination infrastructure that ensures continued focus on the primary goal of producing a better educated workforce and citizenry. The five-goal structure used in the Institute of Education Sciences’ approach to research and development is very close to the research strategy needed, although more attention will be required to defining subgroups of learners that require specific variations in instructional approaches to meet their needs. The sequence includes exploration, innovation, efficacy testing, scaling up, and assessment development. Some of the practices of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation that represent focused, long-term strategies might also be helpful, including registries for related research findings and possibly the designation of multidisciplinary centers to pursue synergistic programs of work that are guided by an overarching research plan and regularly reviewed by an advi- sory group of scientists for adherence to the plan.

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 268-272

National Information

5.  Educational Attainment Report - Labor Market Experiences, Earnings, Income Inadequacy Problems, and Civic Behavior of U.S. Adults by Educational Attainment: Consequences for Adult Education Programs

Taken from Career Pathways

Click here  to access Labor Market Experiences, Earnings, Income Inadequacy Problems, and Civic Behavior of U.S. Adults by Educational Attainment: Consequences for Adult Education.

Here’s an updated report (February 2014) comparing educational attainment with various social and economic factors that you may find useful in grant writing and speech and report preparation. 

Donna Brian, SME

        The Employment Experiences of the Nation’s 20-64 Year Olds by Educational Attainment, 2009-2012

        The Labor Market Problems of U.S. Adults by Educational Attainment, 2012-2013

        Annual Earnings of U.S. Adults (20-to-64 Years Old) Adults by Educational Attainment in 2009-2012

        Mean Lifetime Earnings of U.S. Adults (20-64) by Their Educational Attainment Levels, 2009-2012

        Poverty/Near Poverty Rates of U.S. Adults (20-64) by Educational Attainment in 2009-2012

        Low Income Status of U.S. Adults (20-64) by Educational Attainment in 2009- 2012

        Receipt of Food Stamps and Medicaid Health Insurance Services by U.S. Adults in 2009-2012 by Their Educational Attainment Level

        The Voting and Volunteering Behavior of US Adults by Their Educational Attainment, 2010-2012 Time Period

6.  National Webinar:  A Time to Reskill

Taken from Program Management

Click here  to access the PowerPoint from the webinar.

Here is a brief summary of the major points.


        PIAAC (Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) data

        OECD’s (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) special report on America’s low-skilled population, Time for the U.S. to Reskill

        Issues facing adult education


        International assessment 2011-2012 in 23 countries

        16-65 ages

        U.S. – 80% via computer


        Categories assessed

o   Literacy

o   Numeracy

o   Problem Solving in Technology-rich environments

General Patterns of U.S.

        Below international average in all levels

        Ranked better in literacy than numeracy and tech

        Higher percentage at low proficiency levels than international average

        Percentage of top performers similar to or slightly lower than international average depending on subject

        Performance gap between younger and older smaller than average gap internationally


        Literacy #13 of 23

        Numeracy #19 of 23

        Technology #15 of 23

Major Findings

        Low “basic” (Below Level 1 and Level 1) skills are more common in U.S. than on average in participating countries.

        Nearly 1 in 3 have weak numeracy skills in the U.S. compared to the international average of 1 in 5.

        About 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. have low literacy skills compared to 1 in 20 in Japan.

        Approximately 36 million U.S. adults have low skills.

        The U.S. has a very large low-skilled population.

        Younger cohorts’ skills are not outpacing older cohorts.

        Adults from low-educated families are 10X more likely to have low skills.

        The U.S. is not integrating immigrants well.

        Learning disabilities play a role for adults with low skills.

        U.S. has high participation rate in education and training.

Refer to PowerPoint for recommendations from OECD

Archived webinar coming soon!

7.  Reading:  Teaching Adults to Read – Study Circle for Comprehension Instruction

Taken from LINCS Notice

This Study Circle series focuses on moving from knowledge about research to the applying evidence-based practices in instruction. In this component, we will explore strategies for teaching Comprehension in reading instruction, share lesson plans, and debrief experiences in using them with different student groups. All participants are also encouraged to join LINCS TAR Community of Practices (COP) for on-going implementation support.

This program emphasizes a comprehensive and ultimately integrated approach to teaching reading. Completion of all 4-component modules is strongly encouraged. Certificates of completion are available when instructors have completed the introduction module, all 4-component modules, and submitted finished professional portfolios. It is a great resource for other full- and part-time instructors and especially to prepare instructors who will become reading resource people for colleagues!

The Study Circle consists of 1 Introduction webinar (or new Study Circle participants) and 4 webinar sessions with implementation tasks to be completed between sessions. The series will begin with the Introduction Session on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.   The four Comprehension Sessions will be on Wednesdays: April 9, 16, 23, 30. All sessions are at the same time, starting at 15 minutes past the hour. That is (by time zone) 2:15-4:00 PM Eastern, 1:15-3:00 PM Central, 12:15-2:00 PM Mountain, and 11:15 AM-1:00 PM Pacific. Registration deadline: 5 pm on Monday, March 31.

The Introduction webinar outlines the goals, research premises, framework, activities, resources and participant expectations of the program for each module. This single session introduction module is a pre-requisite for subsequent component modules – i.e. participants may enroll in any component module, as long as they have at least once been through the introduction module. If you have not taken this session, or have and wish to do so again, please note that when registering.

The study circle is led by Subject Matter Expert, Shash Woods, of Highline Community College and Seattle University who has 17 years of teaching Adult Education, and over 14 years of leading teacher training. Your facilitator will be Kristin Ockert, LINCS staff with 12 years of experience in teaching Adult Education, and over 14 years in creating and supporting professional development programs for ABE instructors and staff.

For registration or questions, please contact:

Paul Heavenridge, Director - LINCS Region 4 Regional Professional Development Center

EMAIL:          CELL: 510-206-9994.

8.  Science Resource:  Your Health – The Science Inside

Taken from LINCS Science

Click here  to access Your Health:  The Science Inside. 

This is a 64 page booklet, written in an easy style with stories and pictures. It explains the science of health from a historical perspective as well as a practical one. It would be a great resource for upper level students. It would also be good for students hoping to go on to health career programs, or for GED prep.

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