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Montana Information

1. HiSET Blast

HiSET® Program eUpdate | February 2015  

Test Center Reminders

2014 Returns:

Please return your 2014 HiSET® testing materials to ETS, if you have not yet done so. All 2014 test books and answer sheets, used or unused, must be returned to ETS along with the Test Book Return Notice. You may not keep these materials for any reason. The 2014 materials cannot be administered in 2015, and scores will not be reported on 2014 materials. Continued use of these materials may result in the closure of your center.

2015 Returns:

You may return any overages or extras of the 2015 HiSET Battery Bundles as well. Please send them to the address below, and clearly mark "2015 Materials" on the box.

HiSET Program
Attention: Pam Cato
Mail Stop 18-P
660 Rosedale Road
Princeton, NJ 08541

Official Practice Test

The Official Practice Tests are available for ordering. Please continue to allow 4–6 weeks for processing and shipping. An updated order form is available on the HiSET Download Library. Please complete this form and send it to Order Services with every order.

HiSET Success – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

After getting involved in gang life at an early age, Ethan Ayers found himself incarcerated at the age of 19. To build self-esteem and better his life for his family, Ayers registered to take the HiSET exam at the Iowa Medical Classification Center (IMCC). Due to Ayers' motivation, determination and encouragement from the IMCC staff and educators, he successfully passed the exam. Read more about Ayers' story.

Does your state or jurisdiction have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Sheri Mayo with details and include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:



Montana HSE Update: January 2015­­­

HiSET Age Waivers:  New Protocol 1/22/15

ETS has implemented a block to underage (16-18) clients when they try to schedule.  The state didn’t have input to the system, but retained the right to override the block. State policy is that ONLY the state can override the underage block. If an underage tester comes into your center already scheduled to test, contact us immediately.

The procedure below is based on our current system and some input from other states.

The process puts 17-18 year old approval in the hands of the local facility and that remains the case with one extra step. You will need to contact OPI for a systems override. The state is only going to permit testing at your request. Please remember to include the test taker’s ETS ID in your email or phone message.

The process for 16 year-old test takers is basically the same, except after the OPI approves the waiver, we will need to override in the system. Please remember to include the test takers ETS ID on the form. A new form will be created, but in the meantime, just write the ETS ID on the top of the waiver.

Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

Montana HiSET PSA Template 1/14/15

The PSA templates that were requested of HiSET have arrived.

Click here for HiSET PSA template.  This is offered as examples that can  be rewritten, or edited, at your discretion. 


Montana HiSET Resources

Note:  HiSET Webinars

Webinars on content tests are not active.  ETS is updating the webinars. 

Check out the shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

HiSET Success:  Montana

Do you have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Margaret Bowles with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

2. Montana ABLE Shoptalk

Click here to access Shoptalk Summary.

·        Moving Pathways Forward Work Plan

·        Big Sky Pathway Coordinator Meeting

·        BEST Literacy Adoption and BEST Plus

·        E-Grant

·        April Meeting Agenda

·        Resources

o   Career Pathways:  Approaches for the Delivery of Education, Training, Employment, and Human Services - Summary of Responses to a Request for Information

o   Making Skills Everyone's Buisiness:  A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States

o   The Biden Report:  Ready to Work - Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity

·        TANF Grant

·        Transitioning to WIOA

·        Transition Plan

3. Montana and National News Information

Since so much related information is coming regarding HSEs, Pathways, Standards, and WIOA, keeping track of it is not always easy.

Click here  to access a site that will take you to the most current information without your having to search.  More resources posted on 3/19/15.

4. Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out #6, #9, and #13.

5. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

6. WIOA Update:  WIOA Timeline

WIOA National Update 3/18/15 from Career Pathways Exchange:

WIOA Vision and System Update

U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services presented a webinar on March 3, 2015, offering an update on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Agency leadership shared the federal vision for the workforce system under WIOA, discussed actions states and local workforce areas can take to support implementation, and fielded questions from the audience. A complete recording of the webinar as well its transcript and presentation slides are available through the Department of Labor's Workforce3One website.

WIOA Montana Updates:

3/17/15:  Using "Measurable Skill Gains" to Best Serve Low-Income, Lower-Skilled Individuals

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is very pleased that Congress, in passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), included an interim measure of progress as one of the six “primary indicators of performance.” The legislative description of this indicator reads as follows:

The percentage of program participants who, during a program year, are in an education or training program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential or employment and who are achieving measureable skill gains toward such a credential or employment. (WIOA, Section 116(b)(2)(A)(V)).

This common measure offers an opportunity to ensure WIOA funds are used to provide services for participants with initially low basic skills, including English language learners. Recognizing that these individuals will require additional services and a longer timeframe to succeed in postsecondary education and the labor market, this measure helps programs demonstrate success through interim outcomes achieved by this population …

2/20/15:  Vision for the Workforce System and Initial Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014

Our first official guidance for the new law. Please click on the link below to read the vision for implementation; it is only seven pages.  You will be very glad we are working on the pathways partner project and that the integrated data team has already been meeting. 


Dear State Director,

On February 19, 2015, the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, in collaboration with its federal partners, released the following Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL No. 19-14,  The TEGL, entitled Vision for the Workforce System and Initial Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, lays out the vision for a revitalized workforce system under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and highlights a number of actions State and local workforce system leaders can take to begin planning and implementing WIOA prior to the release of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and publication of the final rule.

In the coming weeks, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education will be releasing a companion piece highlighting the vision and role of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act program as a workforce system partner and adult education activities that support opportunities for adult learners. 

Thank you,

Cheryl L. Keenan

Director, Adult Education and Literacy

Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

U. S. Department of Education

Click here  to access the following:

Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

7. Career Pathways:  Approaches for the Delivery of Education, Training, Employment, and Human Services: Summary of Responses to a Request for Information

Taken from U.S. Department of Education

The Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Labor (DOL) continue our exciting work together around career pathways – both systems building and programs. In April 2014, we issued a joint Request for Information (RFI) to get information and recommendations about career pathways from stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

We are thrilled that a diverse group of 141 respondents from across the nation commented. We got information about existing career pathways systems, roles and responsibilities of career pathways partners, connections to economic development strategies, how pathways systems are funded, how participant outcomes are measured, and how providers ensure that pathways stay current with labor market trends.

The interagency team has been reviewing and analyzing the responses and are happy to share this summary report with overarching themes from the RFI. The report includes facilitators and barriers to career pathway(s) development and implementation. It also includes promising practices and recommendations for what federal, state, tribal, and local agencies can do to support the successful development of career pathways systems. The report concludes with an overview of key opportunities to advance some of the major recommendations in light of recent developments such as the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Did you know that career pathways are referenced no fewer than 21 times in the new law? That’s an exciting opportunity for our work in this area!

Please know that the information you shared with us will be used to inform technical assistance efforts, funding opportunities, policy discussions, and other activities to support the development of career pathways systems.   So, stay tuned by visiting the following link!

8. Career Pathways:  Certificates – A Fast Track to Careers

Taken from OCTAE Connection

In this column, we continue our discussion from OCTAE Connection issue 225 on the value of earning a certificate in obtaining employment.  This week’s focus is on occupational fields in which certificates often provide paths to entry.  Different occupations are featured, as illustrated in the report Certificates: A Fast Track to Careers. It is recommended that guidance counselors, teachers, parents, and students read the entire report for further information on occupational certificates. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 33 occupations have been identified as requiring a certificate or other postsecondary nondegree award as the typical point of entry. In 2010–11, the NCES identified the most popular disciplines for certificate programs as healthcare, personal and culinary services, and mechanic and repair technologies and technicians. 

Certificates:  A Fast Track to Careers contains several tables about occupations within selected broad career areas, citing data from a survey by the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) in 2010–11. The survey asked workers or occupational experts what the required level of education was for specific jobs.  Each table lists the percentage of workers who reported needing a postsecondary certificate to become employed in their fields.  They also list the percentage in each field of those surveyed who said they needed a high school diploma or its equivalent, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree.  

Under each broad occupational heading, there is a discussion of BLS data on job outlook, employment, and median annual wages for select occupations.   Wages for workers varied significantly within most of the broad categories.  An occupation is high wage if it is above the May 2011 median annual wage of $34,460 for all wage and salary workers, and low wage if it falls below the May 2011 median annual wage.

This information is summarized, by broad occupational category, below.

Healthcare:  About 463,000 certificates—or almost half of all certificates earned—were in healthcare and related professions and programs.  Jobs like surgical technologists, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, pharmacy technicians, radiologic technologists, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, massage therapists, dental assistants, medical transcriptionists, veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers, and medical assistants are represented in this category.  The May 2011 median annual wages within these selected healthcare occupations ranged from $22,830 for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers to $55,120 for radiologic technologists and technicians. 

Personal and culinary services: About 131,000 certificates were awarded in these fields.  Some of the largest occupations within this category are personal care aides, hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists.  In May 2011, median annual wages for these workers ranged from $19,430 for childcare workers to $31,030 for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors. 

Homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting:  About 32,000 certificates were awarded for such jobs as police and sheriff’s patrol officers, correctional officers and jailers, and firefighters (the largest occupations in this category).  As of May 2011, median annual wages ranged from $38,990 for correctional officers and jailers to $71,770 for detectives and criminal investigators. 

Mechanic and repair technologies:  About 89,000 certificates were granted in such occupations as general maintenance and repair workers, automotive service technicians and mechanics, and heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers, all of which are among the largest occupations in these fields.  Median annual wages ranged from $35,030 for general maintenance and repair workers to $53,960 for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line repairers.

Precision production:  Within the precision production fields, some occupations require a certificate while others require more advanced education or training.  Approximately 29,000 certificates were awarded.  Median annual wages in these occupations (as of May 2011) ranged from $31,730, with 53 percent of workers reporting needing a high school diploma or its equivalent, to $46,650, with 68 percent of workers reporting needing a postsecondary certificate. 

Business, management, marketing, and support services:  About 66,000 certificates were awarded in these fields.  Median annual salaries ranged from $37,640 for procurement clerks, with 33 percent of workers reporting the need for a high school diploma or its equivalent, to $88,190 for industrial production managers, with 29 percent of workers reporting needing a bachelor’s degree. 

Computer and information sciences and support services:  About 28,000 certificates were earned in this category.  Some of the most popular occupations in this field are computer support specialists, computer programmers, information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects.  In May 2011, computer support specialists earned an average wage of $47,660, while higher-end salaries averaged $79,930. 

Construction trades:  About 30,000 certificates were earned in construction trades. Many of these occupations require only a high school diploma or its equivalent, or a postsecondary certificate.  As of May 2011, median annual wages ranged from $27,010 for helpers of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters to $37,750 for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. 

Transportation and material moving:  Certificates awarded in transportation and material moving fields numbered about 24,000.  The most common of these occupations are heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers and industrial truck and tractor operators.  As of May 2011, median annual salaries ranged from $19,930 for automotive and watercraft service attendants to $52,950 for first-line supervisors of transportation and material moving machine and vehicle operators.

9. Career Pathways:  Making Skills Everyone’s Business

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The full report, Making Skills Everyone's Business, is now available.  This report is based on:

Making Skills Everyone’s Business, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) describes how the convergence of activity around adult education and workforce fields has the potential to spark a coordinated national effort to address the lack of foundational skills among U.S. adults.  The NSC Leadership Council had the opportunity to weigh in at a special listening session hosted in conjunction with the 2014 Skills Summit. Many of the approaches highlighted in OCTAE’s report are already embraced by NSC members and partners. Read more about the report here.

Gail Cope, LINCS Program Management Group

10. Career Pathways:  Online Tools Updated

Taken from NAEPDC

DOL’s Employment and Training has released updates to their entire suite of online career tools for jobseekers, students, workforce professionals, and businesses, including a redesigned CareerOneStop website, a new 'Credentials Center' (Center), and CareerOneStop's mobile apps and tools and is now available at

These tools are most helpful for infusing careers throughout all levels of adult education instruction.  Please pass this on to your program managers and teachers.

11. Career Pathways:  Report Released – Career Pathways Approaches for the Delivery of Education, Training, Employment, and Human Services Summary of Responses to a Request for Information

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Findings from a joint Request for Information (RFI) of The Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Labor (DOL) were recently described on the National Skills Coalition blog page.  The RFI was issued to solicit information and recommendations about career pathways systems from stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The most frequently cited issues from stakeholders included data and evaluation; high- quality and well-coordinated partnerships; and reaching hard-to-serve populations.

Topics discussed in the data and evaluation category included:

·        the importance of common definitions and common measures across various federal programs

·        states with developed integrated data systems are well-positioned to implement career pathways initiatives.

·        In the high quality and well-coordinated partnership category, the following were discussed: 

·        importance of leadership-level commitment

·        dedicated staffing at the state and/or local level to ensure effective coordination among partners

·        expertise on how to braid complex federal funding streams.

Topics discussed in the reaching hard-to-serve population issues included:

·        suggestions for how to ensure that career pathways programs are accessible to

o   immigrants

o   low-skilled youth and adults, and

o   other hard-to-serve populations.

The following link provides additional information and a link to the report, CAREER PATHWAYS Approaches for the Delivery of Education, Training, Employment,  and Human Services  Summary of Responses to a Request for Information.  The report also summarizes recommendations on funding, promising practices, and needed research in structuring and sustaining high quality career pathways programs.

12. Career Pathways:  Using Labor Market Information to Design Job-Driven Training Programs Webinar

Taken from LINCS Health Literacy

March 25, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

Click here to Register

Join us to learn how to utilize labor market information (LMI) to verify employer demands and build education and training opportunities for your program participants. By participating in the webinar, participants will walk away with the ability to:

·        Take the guesswork out of choosing in-demand training opportunities;

·        Make sense of real-time and wage data; and

·        Institutionalize a process for data-driven decision-making.

This webinar is a follow-up to the paper, “Using Labor Market Information to Design Job-Driven Training Programs,” that the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program recently published.  Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the HPOG program helps low income individuals receive health care education and training, serving the dual purpose of increasing the nation’s health care workforce while also putting low income Americans on a path to self-sufficiency.

Presenter:  Joshua Fangmeier, Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.

Joshua Fangmeier is a Senior Health Policy Analyst at the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.  Joshua co-authored the paper, “Using Labor Market Information to Design Job-Driven Training Programs,” published by the HPOG program.

 13. Math:  Construction Math Toolbox

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy

LINCS Resource Collection has added a new resource to the Math and Numeracy Collection.  The Construction Math Toolbox combines fun, industry-required math lessons with supplemental academic and career guidance information.  Here is a link to this resource:

If you use any of these lessons in your class please be sure to post your classrooms results - did the learners like the lesson?  Did they find it valuable?  Did you find this resources to be an asset?  The feedback that you share will benefit other practitioners who are looking for new and meaningful ways to improve their math instruction.  Also, if you have questions about the concepts in the resource be sure to post them here, too.

Let's work together to help improve math instruction!

Brooke Istas, Moderator

14. Professional Development:  Webinar Archived for What’s Happening in State PD?

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

The webinar archive of Part I: What's Happening in State Professional Development is now available on the LINCS YouTube Channel here.

During the webinar, guest discussants Nancye Gaj (North Carolina), Cindy Wilson (Washington), and Will Durden (Washington) shared their work in North Carolina and Washington State PD. We then divided into small groups to share our own work and discuss trending topics in adult literacy professional development. Small groups then reconvened as a large group and reported out. Approximately 36 pages of chat transcripts were generated by participants. Broad-based trending topics from the chats were:

·        Certification and credentialing

·        Providing incentives for PD

·        Designing /delivering effective professional development

·        Implementing what is learned from PD

·        Paid PD  

Part II of the discussion went into greater detail in the trends listed above and a summary of Part II is online here.

Don't forget to tell us what your top goals are this spring and summer for your own professional development!

Jackie Taylor, SME

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