Montana ­­­LIN­­­CS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS 

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Montana Information

 1.    HiSET Blast

August Update

 Revised Conversion Table for Free Practice Tests

Click here  to access the revised conversion table for the free practice tests.  The updated scales for the Fee-based practice test should be out within the week.

Contact Margaret Bowles if you have any questions or concerns.

 HiSET Tips for Computer-Delivered Testing

Click here to access Tips for Computer-Delivered Testing.

July Update Directly from ETS:  Montana in the News with HiSET Success

New Resource Available

ETS has developed a quick reference Job Aid that can be used by testing centers, test takers, Test Taker Services and Test Administration Services to help guide students as they create their HiSET® profiles. You can access the HiSET Quick Reference Guides for Registration and Scheduling for Test Takers (PDF) and for Test Center Staff (PDF) to print and hang in your centers for use.

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. ET 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:

·        If you fill out answer sheets prior to test-takers' arrival to expedite the check-in process, please ensure the form on the test book given to the test taker matches the form that was entered on the answer sheet as well as the form that is assigned in the HiSET portal. Any discrepancies in these three can cause an inaccurate score to be processed for a test taker.

·        Also remember that answer sheets should be completely filled out in pencil.

·        All test takers, even PBT test takers, must have an appointment in the system to link their answer sheets to. Please make sure that you are scheduling appointments in the portal for all test takers.

Save the Date — ETS HiSET Conference



December 1–4, 2014


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

HiSET Success:  Montana

After struggling in a traditional high school environment, Zech Estenson enrolled in an alternative program, Youth Build, at the Career Training Institute in Helena, Mont. He successfully passed the HiSET exam which led to his current employment at Carroll College. Read more about Mr. Estenson's Success Story (PDF).


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.


For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:



Information Posted in July

Most Current Information from ETS about Raw Score Change:  7/10/14

Conversion Charts for Practice Tests: 

The conversion charts for the HiSET practice tests are in the process of being adjusted.  Stay tuned!

1.   Effective date on the score conversion is July 14th, for all tests scheduled to take place on or after July 14th.  If PBT answer sheets are received on or after July 14th, they would be held to the original score tables.

2.   Test Centers cannot complete the process outlined in the TCA Notification prior to Monday, July 14th. It would be a futile effort, as the upload will be finalized late Sunday night.  Essentially, a test center would end up running the original package, and not the update, causing disruption.

3.   Customer Service is conducting outbound outreach calls to ensure CEs received the notification, read the notification and understand the process as outlined in the notification.  Their first priority are test centers scheduled to test on July 14th.  This effort will continue until they’ve connected with all of our test centers.

4.   Unofficial scores will not be reported at the end of the testing until after Wednesday, July 16th.  This IS temporary.  Unofficial score reporting will resume after the upload is complete and verified.



ETS statement on HiSET Standards Setting Governing Board

Educational Testing Service is committed to the provision of a high quality, effective High School Equivalency Test (HiSET). To achieve this goal, we have partnered with the adult-education administration in states that use HiSET. ETS has appointed a HiSET Governing Board to help us set overall direction for the program, including the setting of standards for performance through a systematic and established standards review process.  The Governing Board has a senior-level representative from each state administering HiSET.

ETS conducted a HiSET standard setting in April 2014 which included educators from classrooms in 11th and 12th grade, adult education, and correctional facilities across the country.  The standard setting panel provided a performance standard recommendation for each of the subject areas.  In June 2014, the Governing Board met and reviewed these recommendations along with information about the current standards and test-taker performance to date.  As a result of this review, the Governing Board recommended to ETS an adjusted passing score, which ETS accepted and will implement by August 2014. While the passing scaled score will remain the same, the raw score on each test that maps to that scaled score will change.  

The adoption of a revised passing score is consistent with HiSET’s commitment to a phased approach to increased rigor over time.  The ETS HiSET program is a partnership with our states and continues to meet changing expectations for high school graduates and what is needed to enter the workforce or college.


2. Montana ABLE Fall Conference and Career Pathways Initiative 2014:  September 22 - 23

NOTICE:  Change of Location!!!


2301 Colonial Drive

Helena, MT 59601


Please call the hotel at 443-2100 and book your sleeping room.  You can also book on line at  using the online booking code ADUL0921.  The block of rooms are under OPI – Adult Education.  Reservations for the sleeping rooms need to be reserved by August 22, 2014.

For more information, contact Carol Flynn


·         Working with our Career Pathway Coaches

·         HiSET Information

·         Reauthorization Updates and MUCH, MUCH MORE

3.    MCIS Webinar:  What’s New This Fall in MCIS

Register for a session now by clicking a date below:

Thu, Aug 21, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM MDT


Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration
with information you need to join the Webinar.


System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

4.    Montana Moving Pathways Forward:  Watch for Survey

As indicated in the SAVE THE DATE notice about the fall conference, one of the highlights of our September conference will be the launch of Montana’s Moving Pathways Forward Project. Our project coaches, Judy Alamprese and Becky Dyer, will be flying in from Washington D.C., to provide a framework to begin action steps that will further integrate adult basic education into the broader pathways system development. It is important that they understand the current range of activities in the state to help determine their preliminary work with you. Within the next three-to-four weeks you will be receiving a survey for you and key staff members to complete.

We are fortunate to be working with Judy and Becky, as all the project activities are going to assist you writing your application to be a provider under the new law. All of our upcoming project work coincides with the new law; interagency, pathway work is the heart of the new legislation.

We are so fortunate to be among the 14 states getting ahead of the curve. Watch for the survey!

Margaret Bowles, Montana ABLE Director

5.   Montana Career Pathways Resource

Click here to access a good Pathways resources:  Career News from Montana Department of Labor & Industry.

6.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out the Postings 10, 11, 14, 15 an 16 below for ideas about instruction. 

7.    WIOA Update:  Montana ABLE Programs – Stay informed!

Conference Call Summary

Click here for a summary of the August 5 Montana Conference Call.

                                             Click below for regional maps:

·       Regional Map

·        Workforce Regions

WIOA Information:

Click here  to access Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

Click here to access Overview of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Click here  for U.S. Department of Education WIOA Reauthorization site.

WIOA Comment Period

Please see the blog inviting comments on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Comments will be accepted until Friday, August 29, 2014.

We welcome your comments and recommendations. Please broadly distribute this input opportunity to program staff, and representatives of local education agencies, researchers, business and industry and other stakeholders.

Specific questions about WIOA implementation should be sent to and remember to check the resource page for updates.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE)

National Information

8.  Career Pathways:  Why Modern Learners Need a New Set of Job Skills

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Currently, there seems to be a gap between what our schools and universities teach and the lifelong learning skills students must learn to master on their own. And yet, the need for students to master lifelong skills has never been greater. Corporate leaders confirm their importance for promotion and advancement, while economists contend these skills hold the key to countering projected job losses due to automation. With all the buzz around the Common Core, MOOCs, and blended learning, it’s time to prioritize skills that prepare students to learn for life.

With schools like Summit Public Schools and Lindsay Unified making efforts to experiment with new approaches to learning, there’s an opportunity to focus on a new set of skills. I believe these skills can be broken into three categories: Reflection, Research, and Resolving. Grounded in educator Malcolm Knowles’ definition (Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers) of learning, these 3Rs take students beyond the centuries-old, subject-specific 3Rs of reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic. Armed with them, learners can thrive in a world where learning never ends.


Donna Brian

9.  College Success:  Student Retention

Taken from LINCS Postsecondary Completion

I came across an interesting post ( in the Community College Daily which provides an excerpt from a recent article, Strategies to Improve Student Retention, Success.  The post describes an initiative of St. Petersburg College's, the College Experience: Student Success.  As part of the initiative, several strategies to improve student retention and success were identified.  These strategies include:

·        Expanded out-of-class support

·        Integrated career and academic advising

·        Improved new student orientation

·        Enhanced the My Learning Plan tool

Follow the link to the post shown above to learn about specific actions and activities that were implemented for each of these strategies.  The post also describes outcomes and improvements that resulted in implementing these strategies. 

Gail Cope, SME, LINCS Program Management Group

10.  CCR Standards Project:  Implementing the CCR Standards

Taken from LINCS Notice

The LINCS page for Implementing College and Career Readiness Standards in Adult Education has been recently updated to reflect the CCR Standards Project as mandated in the Federal Initiatives.  The CCR Institute Materials will be posted soon and coming on October 1 will be the Applications for the Advanced Implementation Support Professional Development.  This next phase will be disseminated to state directors on October 1, 2014 where twelve states will be selected to receive intensive support building on the Standards-in-Action Innovations.  This project has been named, College and Career Readiness Standards-in-Action (CCR SIA).  Check out the link for more information.

Meryl Becker-Prezocki, SME

11.  Instruction:  25 Alternatives to Using the Word “Great”

Taken from LINCS Assessment

I happened to run by this post from Sarah Brown Wessling.  She is a high school instructor in Johnston, Iowa and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel.  The article, 25 Alternatives to Using the Word “Great”, deals with Sarah’s overuse of the comment “great” in describing feedback for her class and individual students.  Click here to read the alternatives for what she was really thinking.

I liked the list of prompts that is included, and it can be a helpful tool for everyone.  This is particularly meaningful as instructors move forward in their integration of standards into their daily lessons. 

Meryl Becker-Prezocki, SME 

12.  Learning Disabilities:  Direct Instruction

Taken from LINCS Learning Disabilities

We know that all adult students with LD have different challenges with learning.  However, they all benefit from instruction that helps them processing information.  The LINCS Collection resource highlighted above, Keys to Effective LD Teaching Practice, includes effective strategies for all students with information processing disorders. 

One of the critically important and effective LD instructional practices is "Direct Instruction,"  Direct Instruction is characterized by high rates of teacher or tutor leadership and control during the initial stages of information acquisition, followed by careful monitoring of the learner’s performance as she gradually assumes control of and masters the information.  Direct instruction is a map for teaching that incorporates all the characteristics of LD-appropriate instruction.

The Direct Instruction Model for LD-Appropriate Instruction below was adapted by Amanda Keller from Instruction: A Models Approach (Gunter, Estes & Schwaab, 1995)

I.  Set: Provide Objectives, Establish Expectations, and Introduce the Skill
    A.  Activate background knowledge
    B.  Involve all students
    C.  Relate to real life
    D.  Label the learning and set goals

II.  Instruction: Introduce and Model the Skill
    A.  Teacher does it. (Students use eyes and ears.)
    B.  Teacher does it; students help. (Students use eyes, ears, and voices.)
    C.  Students do it; teacher helps. (Students use eyes, ears, voices, and pencils.)
    D.  Students do it. (Students use pencils.)

III.  Guided Practice With Feedback
Students have the opportunity to practice their new skills under the teacher’s supervision.  This is a good opportunity for peer tutoring or cooperative learning, especially in the context of word problems.

IV. Closure
     A.  “Tell me (or someone else) what you learned.”
     B.  “Show me what you learned.”
     C.  “Do one more.”

V.  Independent Practice and Generalization
     A.  Have student practice his or her new skill independently.
     B.  Have student do a problem every day

Rochelle Kenyon

13.  LINCS Change:  New Password

Taken from LINCS Notice

Dear LINCS Community members,

The log in process for the LINCS Community was merged with the log in process for the LINCS Learning Portal. This means that you are now able to sign into the LINCS Community and LINCS Learning Portal using one set of account credentials. It is no longer necessary to have separate accounts for each resource.

In order for our technical team to complete this merge, all user passwords have been reset. You will need to change your password in order to sign into either resource. Rest assured that this password reset is for security purposes, and you will not need to reset your password again until one calendar year has elapsed.

In order to proceed into the LINCS Community, you will need to:

·        Go to

·        Select the LINCS Log In button in the top right corner of the screen.

·        Select the Forgot Password button on the right-hand side.

·        Enter your email address and submit the form.

·        Check your email (including your spam filter!) for a password reset email.

·        Click the link in the email to be directed to the new LINCS landing page.

·        Update your your password.

·        Click the LINCS Community icon to be logged into the LINCS Community.

The next time you wish to log in, you can access the community normally and will not have to change your password again.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need assistance getting into your account.


The LINCS Community Team

14.  LINCS Webinars for August:  Vocabulary, Science, and Professional Development

Taken from LINCS Notice

August may be a traditionally quiet month in the field of education, but LINCS hopes to change that with a series of several webinars coming up in the next two weeks. More information and registration instructions will follow shortly, but please save the date for these great, expert-led events:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 3 p.m. EDT: Integrating Graphic Organizers into Reading Vocabulary Instruction, co-hosted by the Reading and Writing and Disabilities in Adult Education groups. Register now! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 3 p.m. EDT: Making the LINCS Science Course Series Work for You, hosted by the Science group

The LINCS Community team and Dr. Sharon Reynolds, author of the LINCS Science Course Series, will present Making the LINCS Science Course Series Work for You. , August 21, 3-4pm EDT.  This webinar will demonstrate how teachers, program managers, and professional developers can use the LINCS Science Courses to further professional development in science instruction. With the goal of exploring tips and strategies for using these courses and the scientific practices as a new framework, this event will be particularly relevant for STEM and health literacy educators, individuals interested in career pathways, and literacy providers in related LINCS discussion groups. Before the event, be sure to check out the featured courses in the LINCS Learning Portal:  Engaging Adult Learners in Science and Scientific Practices in Context: Curricular Planning and Lesson Development.  Register here.

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 3 p.m. EDT: State Professional Development in a New Era, hosted by the Evidence-based Professional Development group

These webinars will be managed by the LINCS Community team, hosted by LINCS discussion group moderators, and presented by noted subject matter experts from the field. We hope you will join us for one or all of these events!

15.  OER Stem Pilot

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

The OER STEM team is excited to begin recruitment of adult educators and trainers for four new online courses.  As a participant, you will pilot these online courses and facilitation materials with support from project team members beginning early 2015.  The four courses are:

·        Open Your Classroom with Open Educational Resources

·        Open Science—Open Resources: Engage Your Students for Science Learning

·        Open Math—Open Resources: Engage Your Students for Math Learning

·        Build a Lesson with OER

To learn more about OER please visit the OER STEM project page and to learn more about this opportunity, please view the recruitment flyer.  The recruitment flyer will provide you with more details about the application process, eligibility requirements and the pilot timeframe, as well as a link to the online application.  To be considered for this opportunity, please complete the application by August 31, 2014 .  Contact with questions .

We’re excited to move forward with these courses and are looking forward to once again, collaborating with the adult education field to provide high quality training to improve instructional practices in the classroom.


16.  Science:  Environmental Education Resource

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

One Ocean:

An exciting resource has recently been added to the LINCS Resource Collection.  It is “One Ocean”, part of the  “Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide Series” published online by National Geographic Education.   As the LINCS Resource Guide says, “’One Ocean’ was developed to support teachers in teaching topics with real-world context, and provide them with the background to feel competent and comfortable when teaching about the ocean.”

Prior to being selected for the LINCS Collection, resources are reviewed by experts (such as instructors and professional development specialists) in adult basic education/adult secondary education.  Referring to “One Ocean”, one reviewer wrote:

“One Ocean will inspire any instructor of adult education; it is an excellent resource for teachers, and by extension, adult education students. It is very applicable to adult education to support direct instruction of English language arts and math using science as its context; preparation for high school equivalency exams that test science content and practices; individual teacher professional development to increase teacher knowledge of basic science, hands-on classroom activities, and integration of technology in the classroom; and small group teacher study circles using the resource as a whole or through select chapters (e.g., chapters 1, 2, and 7). This is a great document for members of the general public as well. We all can learn more about the environment, and the ocean is a major driver of Earth's systems.”

Please take a look at this resource.  We’ll be discussing some specific topics and issues that are raised in “One Ocean”, and we'd like to hear from people who have looked at the resource!

Susan Cowles

 17.  Technology:  Ted Talks

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

Here are four TED talks I have found useful and inspiring:

1.     At a TED X Boston talk in June, 2012, Noah Wilson-Rich, the President of the Best Bees Company, did a presentation on the successful beehives that are found on the tops of Boston buildings, including the convention center in South Boston. Through this talk I learned that honeybees are thriving in cities in the U.S. and throughout the world while, as you may be aware, honeybees are vanishing in rural areas because of a widespread phenomenon called Beehive Colony Collapse disorder,  “a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear.”  They are not just dying, but disappearing. What do you think the explanation might be? I wondered if  there are pesticides that are used on farms that are not used on building tops in cities?

2.     Recently I watched a two-year old TED talk by a Stanford University professor and inventor named Manu Prakash. He talked about his invention called the Foldscope, a rugged, so-called “origami microscope” designed especially for poor countries.  It has 2000 times magnification; it can be assembled in under ten minutes and, once commercially manufactured, it may cost under a dollar.  When I saw this, I searched the web for other information about it and it led me to the Foldscope web site and Prakash’s contact information. I emailed him to find out if adult education science teachers in the U.S. could participate in the beta test because most do not have access to microscopes. As a result we now have a few U.S. adult education teachers who have applied and at least one that I know who is part of this beta test..   and

3.     Our colleague, Daphne Greenberg, Director of the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy at Georgia State University, did a TedX talk on adult literacy in Atlanta earlier this year that I -- and other colleagues -- have found useful in advocating to adult literacy. You will find it at

4.     Bill Strickland is a community educator and activist in Pittsburgh. In his February 2002 TED Talk he describes how the arts saved him when he was in high school, and how the arts are integral to the success of the community job training center he helped to create in Philadelphia and that has influenced job training centers in other cities such as L.A.

David J. Rosen

 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