Montana LIN­­­CS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1.     HiSET Blast

HiSET® eUpdate | June 2014

State-authorized Examination Letter Issued by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education

Acting Assistant Secretary of Postsecondary Education Brenda Dann-Messier recently issued guidance to higher education institutions on the acceptance of the HiSET® exam for Federal student financial aid purposes. The letter (see link below) explains that the HiSET exam is a new high school equivalency assessment launched in 2014, and outlines how an applicant should respond to the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if they have a HiSET credential.

HiSET Test Preparation — Official Computer-Based Test Preparation Curriculum from Aztec Software

For more than 35 years, Aztec Software® has been in the business of improving the lives of adults and young adults through computerized academic skills remediation. With the release of its newest suite of high-tech educational solutions, the ETS/Aztec partnership reinvents the student-teacher relationship by creating the most student-centric learning environment ever. In conjunction with their release of the computer-based official HiSET Practice Tests, Aztec is now recognized by the ETS HiSET program as an official provider of HiSET test preparation, with lessons targeted to meet individual student needs.

Test Center Reminders

Please make sure you choose the appropriate status (Checked In/Could Not Test/No Show) for test takers by 11:59 p.m. each day.

A few helpful examples on appropriate status:

·        If a test taker shows up with invalid ID and is turned away from testing, they should be considered a "No Show" in the system, as they did not show up prepared.

·        If a test taker is unable to test due to a facilities issue, their status should be "Could Not Test," as the situation was out of the test taker's control and would not impact their eligibility to schedule a new appointment.

Test Administration Services

For CBT Centers:

·        Please double check to make sure you are launching a live exam to a candidate's workstation and not a demo exam.

·        Demo exams cannot be scored, and will result in a test taker needing to reschedule and come back to test again.

For PBT Centers:

·        Remember to return answer sheets promptly, and ensure their completeness prior to sending to ETS. Improperly completed or delayed answer sheets will result in a delay to scoring.

·        Also remember that answer sheets should be completed in pencil.

Save the Date — 2014 HiSET Conference

The first HiSET conference will include valuable information and resources for state administrators, educators, test center staff and corrections staff.



December 1–4, 2014


The Venetian
3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

More information will be available soon.

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:

General Information



Check out the 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.  Montana Career Pathways:  Moving Pathways Forward

Career Pathways was a hot topic at the National LINCS meeting.  More information will be coming regarding Montana’s role as one of the 14 states selected to receive a Moving Pathways Forward “grant”.  In the meantime, check out Posting #7 below regarding the Career Pathways webinar on June 24.

State Benefits and Outcomes from Participation in Intensive Technical Assistance for Moving Pathways Forward

State teams that participate will receive:

§  Customized technical assistance to enhance and/or expand existing career pathways system activities;

§  Subject matter expertise to assist in addressing state-specific challenges;  

§  Access to resources, tools, and guidance based on their state’s individual needs;

§  Opportunities to share with and learn from other states in similar or more advanced stages of career pathways systems development; and

§  Heightened public awareness of their state’s efforts from participating in a national career pathways initiative.

By the end of the project, states that participate in intensive technical assistance can expect to:

§  Have all essential components of a state career pathways system in place;

§  Align adult education career pathways with at least one other state agency’s career pathways activities,

§  Increase the number of local programs providing career pathways services; and

§  Strengthen the breadth and depth of career pathways services available to students.

3.  Montana PEP Talk:  Skills Cards – The Best Method for Identifying Transferable Skills

Use the Skills Worksheet and Cards in the classroom!

The SKILLS assessment is one of the most used assessments in MCIS, however, many career practitioners put their students or customers in front of the computer to do the online portion of SKILLS and then wonder why the scores are low and the occupational matches are all over the board. To provide the best results, it is important to use two other tools that are included with the assessment, the SKILLS worksheet and cards.  The worksheet asks users to carefully consider multiple activities and accomplishments that use transferable skills. Using the worksheet to identify between 3 to 7 accomplishments, which helps the individual see patterns in skills that are used over and over again. These patterns cannot be discerned by just doing the online portion of the assessment.

The SKILLS cards take the results from the worksheet and make it easier to prioritize the skills that are the most satisfying. It is after using the cards that one should go to the online assessment to finish the process.
We recommend that you test this out yourself. Take the online SKILLS assessment without using the worksheet and cards and save your results to your portfolio. Then, go through the process again, this time using the worksheet and cards. Take the results and go back online and enter your skills into the assessment. Save the results to your portfolio. Compare your two lists. Which one has the highest scores?  Which one has occupations listed that make the most sense? If the results are better with using the worksheet and cards, consider changing the way you use SKILLS in the classroom or with your customers.
The PEP Talk workbook contains the worksheet and cards along with instructions, and makes it very easy to assign homework to be done outside of the classroom or office. By using the SKILLS assessment in this way, your students and customers will get the best results possible and will find it easier to determine which occupations to pursue.

Taken from June 2014 Career Newsletter

4.  Montana Economy at a Glance

"Predicting Future Employment:  Montana Job Projections and the Science of Better Planning"
by Barb Wagner, Chief Economist

Every year, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry produces employment forecasts for job growth in upcoming years. These employment forecasts are used by educational and workforce training institutions to guide decisions on programs and curricula, and to ensure that Montana's workforce can meet the demands of tomorrow's jobs. These forecasts are also used by workers, parents, and students who are making career decisions.
Click here to view full EAG.

Taken from June 2014 Career Newsletter

5.  National News Impacting Montana:  WIOA (formerly WIA)

Information from Art Ellison 

It is a go!   Will keep you posted.

Also, … many people have seen that the Senate has reached an agreement to move WIOA. In case you haven’t, though, it’s posted on the Senate leadership website, It allows a managers amendment plus amendments offered by Senators Flake and Lee … don’t have any additional information right now beyond what’s in the agreement. The agreement doesn’t set a date for when the bill will be brought to the floor. It does significantly limit debate, though, so whenever the bill is brought to the floor it should go very fast.

National Information

6.  Assessment Resource

Taken from LINCS Assessment

On Terry Heick's blog at this link, you will find 10 formative assessment techniques that can quickly inform teachers of which students understand what has been taught and which students may need more guidance. I'm highlighting one of those techniques below. 

Terry calls this one "Dos & Don’ts."

"List 3 Dos and 3 Don’ts when using, applying, relating to the content (e.g., 3 Dos and Don’ts for solving an equation).

Example of Student Response: When adding fractions, DO find a common denominator, DO add the numerators once you’ve found a common denominators, DON’T simply add the denominators."

It's clear that "Dos and Don'ts" can readily be used with math …

Susan Finnmiller

7.  Career Pathways Webinar:  Informational Webinar Supporting CP Initiative

Taken from OCTAE Connection

Please join OCTAE’s new three-year Career Pathways project for the informational webinar, “Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration,” about the project and OCTAE’s services for the field. The webinar will provide an overview of the Career Pathways initiative, describe the technical assistance available to enable states to build and advance their career pathways systems, and share more about the project’s virtual technical assistance benefits and offerings. State-level adult education staff and interested career pathways stakeholders are invited to join project staff at the webinar for a Q & A session and to participate in a follow-up discussion online to learn more about the project and its services.

Fourteen states have now been selected to participate in the initiative: Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. These states will receive customized, intensive technical assistance through direct coaching, as well as access to the resources, tools, and guidance that will help them identify and address their specific career pathways needs. 

According to Johan Uvin, acting assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education, “We are very excited about the launch of this new technical assistance initiative. It will be an integral part of the ongoing interagency effort to expand career pathways state systems development, and support efforts to better align education and workforce development services with job-driven demand principles.” 

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT.  To register, please click on or copy and paste this link into your browser: If you are having trouble accessing the link, please try a different browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

8.  Career Pathways Webinar for Public Housing Resident Archived

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Click here to access the archived video. 

This webinar provided a wealth of information and participants learned about:

·        The federal grants provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and services provided through the funds

·        The professional development resources provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (through LINCS)

·        Promising practices emerging from partnerships between public housing authorities and adult education programs at the local level.

Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, opened the webinar and emphasized the importance of forming collaborations and partnerships at federal, regional, state, and local levels.  Presenters and topics included:

·        Brianna Benner, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:   HUD - Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program

·        Dina Lehmann-Kim, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:  HUD – Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Program

·        Gail Cope, LINCS Community, Program Management Group, Subject Matter Expert/Moderator:  Overview of LINCS System and Professional Development

·        HUD Grant FSS/ROSS Service Coordinators – Provided information on public housing programming, how to connect with your local public housing authority, how eligible individuals can gain access to self-sufficiency programs and services, and recommendations for establishing and strengthening community and education partnerships.

o   Jenny Grimsley - Santa Barbara, CA - Housing Authority, County of Santa Barbara

o   Stephen Peacock – Seattle, WA - King County Housing Authority

o   Donna Piper – Wichita Falls, TX - Wichita Falls Housing Authority

9.  CSAL Resources

Taken from CSAL

… news from the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy. For those of you unfamiliar with our Center, we are a federally funded national research center charged with focusing on adults who read between the 3.0-7.9 grade levels. We are specifically looking at their reading related strengths and weaknesses, and developing/modifying a hybrid 100-hour reading curriculum (see for more information). 

I thought that many of you would be interested in knowing about our library of web-based texts that we have collected for adult learners. This library includes over 1,500 different materials for learners to read. You can access the library and find out more about it at:  

Daphne Greenberg

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

·    Video     

Video Review:

PIACC Education GPS

Have you checked out the PIAAC Education GPS?  This tool can be found at:

Education GPS is the OECD source for internationally comparable data on education policies and practices, opportunities and outcomes. Accessible any time, in real time, the Education GPS provides you with the latest information on how countries are working to develop high-quality and equitable education systems.

You can draw from a wide variety of education indicators and data to construct your own, customized country reports, highlighting the facts, developments and outcomes of your choice.  You are also able to search for specific education indicators by country, theme or level of education and compare the results using interactive charts and tables.  With this site you are able to examine the OECD's extensive research and analysis of education policy around the world. Get a quick overview of key insights and policy options for a wide range of topics in education. Or delve deeper into the OECD knowledge base through quick and easy access to related websites and publications.  The OECD Education GPS is under constant development and the available information is continually growing.

Check out this site and let us know how you might use this in your work!

Gail Cope, SME, LINCS Program Management Group

 11.  Teaching:  Science Resources

Taken from LINCS Health Literacy

… I do want to share these resources for teaching about the human body that are appropriate for adult learners. I had a harder time than I thought to find good resources for teaching basic anatomy at the level needed for adult literacy learners and ELLs. Most of the health literacy curricula and lessons I have do not start with basic body parts, so some of these are focused on organs, like the lungs or heart. But I know there are more good resources out there...

Here's what I have so far:

·        Queens Library Health Literacy Curriculum for ESOL Learners

This is the best one I found for teaching about the body overall. This excellent curriculum begins with a lesson on Parts of the Body, followed by Describing Ailments and Symptoms. There are pictures, activities, handouts and audio files. There are Beginner Level and an Intermediate Level versions.

·        KidsHealth: How the Body Works

KidsHealth is a great health information website that has information geared specifically toward kids, teens and parents.

This section has short animations, which explain how the basic body parts and organs work. There are also quizzes, articles and other tools, like word search puzzles. These are geared toward kids, so the language and style reflect that, but it does make it entertaining!

·        Lung Attack!

From Air Info Now. This is a self-paced animation showing how lungs work. It’s interactive and easy to follow and the language is very simple. You can also choose to see what happens with certain pollutants in the air, like ozone or carbon monoxide.

·        Lessons, Videos and Tools about Heart and Lung

From The Science Museum of Minnesota. This site has diagrams, facts and some lessons to help students understand how the heart and lungs work. The lessons can be adapted for adult learners, and would be useful for math and numeracy practice as well.

Julie McKinney

12.  Technology:  More Flipped Learning Ideas

Taken from LINCS Adult Language English Learners

Snippet #1

… As Duren and others have commented, flipping learning can work with more than just video.  That said,  I should share New England College Transition Network's findings from a pilot, Linking Flipped Learning with Mobile Learning

Steve Quann, World Education, Inc.

Snippet #2

Week Long Writing Lesson Plan

Students already have email addresses and we regularly use them for a "dialogue journal" of sorts with very informal writing. I would like to practice more formal writing and begin with using the writing process. We would start small, with paragraphs, not entire essays. This is only a potential lesson plan since class is almost over for the summer.

Before I introduce the idea in class, I'd have the students read over a chart outlining the writing process (such as this one: ) and as their assignment outside of class, email me a summary, or possibly even just something they learned or found interesting about the writing process. Maybe even just did they know any of these steps beforehand and/or already use some of these steps to write.

The next day in class, we would, as a large group, brainstorm and then write a paragraph about a topic. For homework, I would have them look at the paragraph we wrote as a class and write down any ideas for revision they have to share with the rest of the class the next day.

Class day 2, we would work together to revise the paragraph. Students would then write their own paragraphs about a topic using the writing process. If they do not finish in class, they will finish for homework.

Day 3 would be peer editing and then revision of their paragraphs, which will be typed up and emailed to me either by the end of the lesson or that evening for their homework.

Day 4, I would have everyone's paragraphs available to read (either as a handout or on the computer) and students would have small group discussions about how the writing process felt and what they learned from the experience.

Snippet #3

Hi Duren and everyone!  It is so exciting to see this activity around flipped learning.  I wanted to share that the Flipped Learning Network (FLN) has just come out with a document that provides a formal definition of flipped learning, as well as a checklist of 11 indicators that teachers can use to see if they are implementing all the elements that go into a flip:   Check it out!

13.  Technology:  Tweets

Taken from Twitter

·        Steve Quann@squann Jun 19

Tech Tips for Teachers. See new index with huge array of lesson ideas #adulted …

·        Joyce Hinkson, Ed.D.@JoyceHinkson Jun 20

Videos: Survival skills for new educators (Teaching Channel)  #adulted #edtech

·        AIR Education @Education_AIR  ·  Jun 20

.@caldercenter Harry Holzer talks @hamiltonproj proposal 2 help job prospects of disadvantaged students @newyorktimes

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