Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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Montana Information

1.     HiSET Blast


Directors’ Meeting:  ETS PowerPoint with Questions and Answers

The ETS team presented at the Montana ABLE Directors’ Meeting on April 7.

Click here to access the ETS PowerPoint with questions and answers to participants’ discussion items.

ETS HiSET Math Standards Summary

The HiSET  math standards setting was completed the second week of April, and Montana was very fortunate to have Melinda Lynnes (Miles City) and Sarah Ghicadus (Bozeman) serve on this multi-state team. This was an intense two-day process that brought  high school, adult, and correctional education teachers together to recommend a passing score for the test. This study was conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Click here  for a brief summary of this process that Melinda and Sarah have written. Please share this summary with your staff, students, and community members. It confirms the validity of HiSET and the ETS commitment to an exemplary high school equivalency test.

On behalf of the entire adult education community, I thank Sarah and Melinda for sharing their time and expertise. I am grateful for the Montana representation.

Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

Montana HiSET Guidance:

Click here to access Montana HiSET Guidance.  

Writing Test Update: 

ETS is reviewing the packaging and delivery mode. In the meantime, Montana will align test administration with other HiSET states. Breaks are not allowed during the paper-based writing test.


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.

Share your HiSET success and graduation stories!

Do you have any graduation or celebration information and/or photos you would like to share?  If so, please send them to Margaret Bowles at mbowles@mt.govShe, in turn, with share these with ETS so that others may learn about Montana success!  Time to share!  Your successes will also be posted at

 2.  PEP Talk Updated:  Save the Date!

May 6 PEP Talk Webinar

11 to 12

Click here to preview updated PEPTalk.  All material is linked from Career Resources Network at .

Registration for PEP Talk

Here is the registration for the ABE webinar on May 6th from 11-12. Please have all Montana ABLE staff who will be using the new PEP Talk with their students register for the webinar! Proper administration of MCIS activity will provide data that confirms your efforts to assist students with their career and postsecondary plans. It also links your students into the statewide career information system! I hope you and your staff have had time to look at the redesigned curriculum. My partners at the Department of Labor and Industry and I are excited! 

Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

Note from Pam Boggs:

We will record the webinar, so those that register will be sent a link to the recorded webinar so they can view at any time, but they must register in order to have the link sent to them!!


MT ABE MCIS Site Administration Tools


Join us for a Webinar on May 6

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Learn how to use the site administration tools in MCIS to track your students progress.

Information about PEP Talk from April 2014 Montana Career Newsletter

We are happy to announce that PEP Talk has been updated. After collecting feedback from PEP Talk power users, we discovered that the majority of our PEP Talk users are working in a classroom or case-management setting. We are thrilled that it is being used this way because career development is more effective when delivered by a counselor or teacher. With that in mind, we have redesigned the PEP Talk workbook with all the necessary instructions on how to use it in conjunction with MCIS. Previously, the instructions in the workbook were minimal because most of the specific MCIS information was included in the training videos. We have found that the training videos aren’t necessary once the instructors are comfortable using MCIS.
We have also added a new component into the workbook, a soft skills checklist. The checklist provides insight into possible areas for additional soft skills training. The Research & Analysis Bureau of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry conducted a survey asking employers about new hires and their skills. The results were published in a series of articles, including this article on short job duration: that shows the data on skills shortages of new hires. The results show that a lack of soft skills is an important issue for employers.
Later this year, our PEP Talk users group will be preparing an instructor’s guide for PEP Talk. We think the additional information provided through this guide will help instructors get the most out of PEP Talk and will incorporate best practices from the field. We will be offer training and webinars on the new PEP Talk in the near future.
Once the updated PEP Talk is approved for release, in the next few weeks, it can be found in the same location as before:

3.  Montana ABLE Distance Learning Curriculum Update

Click here to access new curriculum information.

4.  Montana ABLE Meetings

Montana ABLE will be hosting a variety of meetings within the next two months.  Click here on the calendar to view dates.

5.  Eastern Wyoming College Offering ESL/EFL Certification Program

In fall 2013, the College launched an ESL/EFL Teaching Certification program aimed at providing current ESL or EFL professionals with the opportunity to earn a teaching credential in this field. The program is fully accredited by the Wyoming Community College Commission and is designed so that participants can earn this teaching credential in only three terms.

Today, there is a large demand for trained instructors in the field of ESL/EFL. One website, Higher Education Jobs (,2&Keyword=English%20as%20a%20Second%20Language&PosType=1,2&InstType=1,2,3&JobCat=83&Region=0&SubRegions=&Metros=&OnlyTitle=0&NumJobs=100) currently lists over 75 positions in this field at various locations throughout the United States. Overseas, the demand for qualified EFL instructors is even higher and without the benefit of a valid credential in this field, it could be difficult to secure these positions. It is for these reasons, that Eastern Wyoming College is confident that our ESL/EFL certification program will provide future ESL/EFL instructors with the credential they need to effectively teach in this field.

To register as a college student:

Once this is done, you can register for classes by following the link below.

To register for classes:

Questions?  Contact Diane McQueen, ABE Director, Torrington, Wyoming

Tel: 307-532-8399

6.  PIACC Resources

Check out Posting #10 below to access snapshot PIACC resources.

National Information

7.  Attention:  Internet Explorer Users

Taken from LINCS Notice

As  you may be aware, a major security issue has been discovered with all versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE).  Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 are affected. LINCS users should use alternate browsers (e.g. Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) for as much browsing as possible.

        ZDNet Story Story

        CERT Vulnerabilty Note #222929

        Microsoft Technet Security Advisory #2963983

Microsoft has reported the attack is associated with all current versions of Internet Explorer, and hackers are actively leveraging this security issue to access computers.  Until further notice, please refrain from using Internet Explorer.

If you do not have these browsers installed, you can download them, from the following links:

       Google Chrome

       Mozilla Firefox

       Apple Safari

8.  Career Pathways Webinar:  Advancing System Alignment and Career Pathways Innovations

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

June 4, 2014

2:00 pm ET (1:00 pm/Central, 12:00 pm/Mountain, 11:00 am/Pacific)

Join us for the second installment of the Eye On the Workforce Innovation Fund Stakeholder Engagement Series. This national webinar examines Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grantees' emerging system alignment and career pathways innovations.

Join ETA Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Seleznow, other national policy experts, and several featured WIF grantees: City and County of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Boards, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and Workforce Central of Washington State. 

9.  Career Pathways:  Advancement in Information and Communication Technology Fields

 Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Click here  to read Bridge to Career Success. 

NOVA Workforce Development released Bridge to Career Success: A Study of Career Mobility and Advancement in the Information and Communication Technologies Workforce, a new report that presents important findings about the characteristics developed and activities conducted by successful information and communication technology careerists.

10.  PIACC Resources

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

Need a snapshot of PIACC?  AIR and the National Coalition for Literacy have published new resources on PIAAC.

        PIAAC Overview Brochure

        PIAAC: What the Data Say About the Skills of U.S. Adults

        Adult Education Pays for Safer and Healthier Communities

11.  OER Discussion

Taken from LINCS Notice

You are all invited to participate in and learn from an exciting conversation about Open Educational Resources that will take place from May 12th – May 16th here on LINCS.  The conversation will be facilitated by Dahlia Shaewitz, Delphinia Brown and Amanda Duffy from the American Institutes for Research.  This conversation is a continuation of the work they have been doing on the Open Educational Resources to Increase Teaching and Learning of STEM Subjects in Adult Education Project.  For more information about this project, please visit the project page. 

During this five day discussion we will share important and relevant information about open educational resources (OER) in adult education.  We will begin by defining what an OER is and how it may be valuable to enhance instruction and learning in adult education.  During the week we will discuss incorporating OER in the classroom and how you can search for and select OER for your classroom. Towards the end of the week, you will have opportunities to apply your knowledge of OER in an activity called “Is it an OER or not?”.  We will wrap up the week with a discussion on ways you can begin to move forward with including OER in your instruction.  We welcome all of your questions and comments—please feel free to experiment with OER and bring your thoughts to this discussion.

12.  Teaching:  The Myth of Learning Styles

Taken from LINCS Correctional Education

Peter DeWitt closes his most recent EdWeek Blog by stating, "For many years, educators, including me, were under the false notion that there were learning styles. It's harmful if we box students into one way of learning, because that creates a one-size-fits-all mentality. However, offering different ways of learning is really helpful to students because they need to take in information in a variety of ways."

Click here to read The Myth of Learning Styles.

13.  Technology:  Older Adults and Technology

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Click here to access Older Adults and Technology Use.

Nells Eckersley quotes from the article:

"America’s seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen, according to newly released data from the Pew Research Center. In this report, we take advantage of a particularly large survey to conduct a unique exploration not only of technology use between Americans ages 65 or older and the rest of the population, but within the senior population as well.

Two different groups of older Americans emerge. The first group (which leans toward younger, more highly educated, or more affluent seniors) has relatively substantial technology assets, and also has a positive view toward the benefits of online platforms. The other (which tends to be older and less affluent, often with significant challenges with health or disability) is largely disconnected from the world of digital tools and services, both physically and psychologically.                                                                     

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