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:



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

NOTICE:  Change of Location!!!


2301 Colonial Drive

Helena, MT 59601


Contact Carol Flynn for more information


         Working with our Career Pathway Coaches

         HiSET Information

         Reauthorization Updates and MUCH, MUCH MORE

3.    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

4.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out the Postings 9, 10, and 12 below for ideas about instruction. 

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

WIOA Information:

Update 8/25:  Margaret Bowles


I continue to engage in several WIOA conference calls and Webinars each week. At this point in time, there is still a lot of speculation and assumptions. Once we receive the guidance from OCTAE in January, we can move forward with more definitive answers.

I would like to share significant pieces of information regarding upcoming accountability and new state level activities.

Below is also an invitation to the WIOA Webinar scheduled for next week, the details are below.

Please contact me with any questions you may have about WIOA, and the Blog is available for your questions through next Friday, August 29th.


Accountability and State Level Activities

Performance Measures in WIOA:

1.     Percentage of program participants employed during the second quarter after exit

2.     Percentage of program participants employed during the fourth quarter after exit

3.     Median earnings of program participants

4.     Percentage of participants who obtain a postsecondary credential

5.     Percentage of participants who during the program year achieve a measurable skill gain

6.     Effectiveness in serving employers

Three New Title II Activities in WIOA:

1.     Integrated education and training: Aims to provide adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training. Targets training in occupations or clusters that assist adults in their educational and career advancement.

2.     Workforce preparation activities:  Activities, programs, or services to help individuals gain basic academic, critical thinking, digital literacy, and self-management. Includes competencies in utilizing resources and using information, and acquiring other skills necessary for successful transition into postsecondary education, training, or employment

3.     Integrated English Literacy and Civics (IEL/CE):  Codifies IEL/CE programs; Provides instruction in literacy and English language acquisition, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and civic participation, and workforce training. Focuses program design on integrated education and training activities and coordination with the local workforce system.

Webinar:  Invitation for Update – Thursday 8/28 12:30pm – 2pm MST

U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE). This webinar will provide a broad Join a webinar, The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): An Overview of Adult Education and Literacy, hosted by the overview of the legislation, key dates for implementation, and useful information on resources and materials for adult education and literacy partners and stakeholders. The event will also feature a panel of representatives from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Labor.

Date: Thursday, August 28, 2014

Time: 2:30pm – 4:00pm ET

The webinar will stream live from this link on the EdStream site and will be recorded. No registration or call-in phone number is necessary.

Please distribute this opportunity broadly with your program staff, and representatives of local education agencies, researchers, business and industry, and other stakeholders.

Send questions in advance about WIOA implementation to

For other WIOA updates and resources, please visit OCTAE’s resource page at

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

6.  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

7.  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

8.  ESL:  Facts about Immigration and the U.S. Economy

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has put together this helpful report, Facts About Immigration and the U.S. Economy: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, that answers questions and straightens out misconceptions about our immigrant population and work.  The link for the report is

Donna Brian

9.  Learning Disabilities:  New LD Resource on LINCS

Taken from LINCS Learning Disabilities

Kratos recently announced that 10 new resources have now been added to the LINCS Resource Collection.  One of those is on the topic of disability.

The From College to Careers: Fostering Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in STEM resource is the product of a collaborative project initiated to examine current issues and explore future directions for improving the academic success and career entry rate of postsecondary students with disabilities (SWDs) in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. It can be used in program development, course development, teacher training, and other professional development for continuous program improvement, such as a study circle for program administrators, as well as by practitioners who are interested in helping learners with disabilities succeed in the STEM fields.

If the URL above is not accessible, you can go to  >

Rochelle Kenyon

10.  Math Webinar:  Personalizing Math Through Technology and Differentiated Instruction

Taken from LINCS Notice

Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 2 to 3 p.m. ET

Facing more rigorous math standards and expectations, schools are exploring new avenues to engage students in numeracy and address diverse learning needs. Silvestre Arcos, an award-winning math instructional leader, has found that resourceful use of technology can help teachers personalize instruction so that "students at every level can make tremendous gains." In this webinar, Arcos will discuss his efforts to align math instruction with students' learning needs and offer ways that schools and districts can support and scale up personalized-learning projects.


Silvestre Arcos, founding math teacher and instructional coach, KIPP Washington Heights Middle School, New York City

This webinar will be moderated by Ross Brenneman, assistant editor, Education Week Teacher

Register here for this free live webinar.

11.  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.


12.  Reading:  Direct Vocabulary Instruction

Taken from LINCS Disabilities in Adult Education

… my experience in teaching young adults who are challenged with the requirement to learn a large number of vocabulary in their education, has been very positive. The recommendations listed for effective vocabulary learning are especially useful for older students who arrive in school or in their job training with limited vocabulary background, and these may be students with disabilities.  Putting many of these pieces together into a cohesive study routine or study strategy can make adults (young and older) more successful in their schooling and in their job pursuits.

In the webinar, I listed five features for direct vocabulary instruction based on recommendations by many experts in vocabulary.

1.Teachers should explain meaning. This should happen multiple times and be connected to the content and in context.

2.Various contexts for particularly vocabulary requires sufficient examples – playing with language for instance.

         An example of a word with many meanings that are useful to know, consider the many meanings of the word reconcile:

        To agree or become friendly again  - She hoped to reconcile with her mother after not speaking for a long time.

        To make sure numbers or facts match – You should reconcile your checkbook with your bank statement.

        To Accept a fact or idea – I am reconciled to the fact that I need to work hard to earn my GED.

3.Generating your own examples and practicing on one’s own is important to becoming efficient

4.Being able to surface one’s thinking about vocabulary by using words in sentences demonstrates their thinking. Surfacing their approach so teacher can provide feedback. The example of Reconcile, above, illustrates this as well.

5.Drawing a picture is a way of visually connecting a word to its meaning and use.

When a strategy for studying vocabulary facilitates auditory and visual memory devices to learn and remember complex terms, power is added by employing these paths in tandem even when students prefer one over the other. Additionally, as Ellis (2001) points out, these are useful for recalling definitions for tests, actually 'constructing the devices adds even more power because the process focuses students' attention on understanding the critical features of the term and its meaning' (p. 2) enhancing their learning.

Patricia Graner

13.  Technology:  Why Some Schools Are Selling Their I-Pads

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Click here  to access There is an interesting article in the Atlantic from August 5 on the move for some k-12 shools from iPads to chromebooks (what is this?).  There is some hype in the article and the comments made by readers at the end of the article show a big divide between people who feel technology and education has not been studied enough and those who are more embracing of tech.  Are the arguments similar for technology and education for adults?  

One of the arguments made in the article is that children see the iPad as a tool for playing but the Chromebook (or any laptop) as a tool for learning which is why some schools are moving away from iPads.  I do see the value in Chromebooks and laptops but I would argue that iPads are a tool and it's what students and teachers do with them that  makes them a learning tool or not.

Another argument made in favor of moving from iPads to Chromebooks is the ease of managing the latter from an IT standpoint.  We have a set of 20 iPads where I work and updating apps on them all and wiping out any accounts users have left open is time consuming, so I am intrigued by the use of Chromebooks from that standpoint.

Nell Eckersly, SME

14.  WIOA:  CAAL Blog – Food for Thought

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learner

Hi, everyone.  A blog from the Center for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) just arrived in my inbox yesterday, August 19. With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), CAAL' s president, Gail Spanngenberg, has assembled thought pieces by 30 leaders in the field of adult education, including from the ELL side Jodi Crandall and Heide Spruck Wrigley. Other leaders represented are from the fields of worker education, and advocacy, community colleges, higher education, career and technical education, state departments of education, family literacy, professional development for educators, and more. There is also a piece by Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Director Office of Career, Technical, & Adult Education.  The blog can be accessed at

It's food for thought. Issues brought up, include, on the bright side, the  increasing realization of the importance of English learners and their assets. On the less-than-bright side is the need for more resources to address the literacy needs of the diverse population we have here in the United States, I find what Lennox McClendon,  Executive Director National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (NAEPDC) said quite hopeful and compelling when he wrote:

The challenge of the immediate future is to help program managers and teachers “infuse” careers throughout the program services—at the beginning reader levels, in multilevel classrooms, which are still the predominant delivery, and in English language learning services. By “infuse” we hope not to throw away the student-centered learning we are doing now; but rather integrate contextualized learning around the high demand jobs in local areas, integrating the soft (job readiness) skills that employers long for in their employees, and infusing career awareness and exploration because many of the high-demand jobs are those with which we are unfamiliar (we hear regularly that the high-demand jobs of today did not exist five or ten years ago). The challenge is magnified because we have a teaching force that is 80% part-time and a program management/leadership force that is 50% part-time.

Miriam Burt

15.  Technology:  Tweets

Taken from LINCS


#AdultEd turns 50! @usedgov says "Lives have been changed through a common passion for adult ed & the adult learner"


Missed out on Integrating Graphic Organizers into Reading Vocabulary Instruction? Ask ?s & learn from our presenter @


Improving #FinancialLiteracy for those with #Disabilities. New blog by @USDOL  @CFPB @RealEconImpact

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