Montana ­­­LIN­­­CS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1.    HiSET Blast

HiSET® Program eUpdate | August 2014


We are excited to welcome California as the 12th state to join the HiSET® family. We are eager to work with all test centers throughout the state to ensure that an affordable and accessible high school equivalency test is offered to the residents of California.

Scoring for Practice Tests

Make sure to visit the HiSET® Download Library to look at the updated score scales for the practice test. You can also download the Practice Test Results: Are You Ready to Take the Exam (PDF) document which has the conversions for both the free and for-purchase practice test. Please note that all score scales in the free and for-purchase practice tests have been updated to reflect these changes.

Resources for States and Educators and Test Center Staff

Remember to visit our HiSET Download Library for States and Educators and HiSET Download Library for Test Center Staff often to find updated information and new resources that will be useful for your test centers and test takers.


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 which their answer sheets can be linked. Please make sure that you are scheduling appointments in the portal for all test takers.

For CBT and PBT Centers:

·        Reminder that only one confidentiality form per candidate per day is needed. For PBT exams, the confidentiality agreement is located on the physical answer sheet.

·        HiSET systems will be undergoing scheduled maintenance on Sunday, September 7 and Monday, September 8. There will be no scheduling activities or appointments during this time.

HiSET® Program Success

We value the opportunity to partner with states on innovative ways to deliver a more accessible high school equivalency test to their residents. The HiSET Program is pleased to be working with Tennessee on its Career Coaches program. The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development is offering a new service, via the department's three "Career Coach" vehicles, to Tennesseans lacking a high school diploma. The mobile Career Centers have become certified testing sites for the new HiSET exam.

"Making the Career Coaches available as a testing site for the HiSET exam is a tremendous help to organizations and people in areas of the state not located near a test site," said Marva Doremus, Administrator for Adult Education at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. "The Career Coaches are certified testing sites, and each staff member is a certified proctor and examiner." To read more about the Career Coaches program in Tennessee, click on the link below.

HiSET Success Story — Union County, Tennessee

After deciding she wanted a career and wanted to set a good example for her children, Michelle Corum from Union County, Tennessee, took and passed the HiSET exam and is now preparing for college. Read more about Michelle's Success Story (PDF).

Save the Date — ETS HiSET Conference



December 1–4, 2014


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

Montana HiSET Resources

Recently Bozeman shared a couple of new resources that have been posted on the HiSET Resource page.

·       Montana Adult Mathematics Content Standards Checklist

·       Science Video List

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.

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 Fall Conference and Career Pathways Initiative 2014:  September 22 - 23

                              Click here to access current General Information, Conference Overview, and Needs Assessment 2014 Results.

General Information



2301 Colonial Drive

Helena, MT 59601


Contact Carol Flynn for more information.



ABLE Conference 2014

Conference Format:

Student Centered/Time for Collaboration - Get Your Classrooms Ready for WIOA

Why This Format: 

The Needs Assessment completed by 35 teachers and directors said overwhelmingly, “We want a conference that goes to the heart of the program, the classroom! We also want to have time to collaborate with our peers.” This aligns perfectly with WIOA preparation and an impeccable RFP!

Who Should Attend & Why:

Director and the designated pathway teacher, or teachers, from each program are required as part of the Moving Pathways Forward Technical Assistance Initiative sponsored by OCTATE.

Content area teachers should attend because the plenary time is being devoted to providing the framework for the 2014 - 2015 leap to WIOA which will require director/teacher collaboration. Over the course of this program year, the state will expend leadership dollars to support professional development that enhances a systemic approach to instruction and WIOA requirements.

What Needs to Be Done Prior to the Conference? 

Math:  All teachers should send a list of the materials they used for GED preparation (especially those favorites) and HiSET to the OPI by September 8th! Please send the material list to Carol Flynn at This list will be used to help presenters address the need for HiSET instructional materials. (Even teachers not attending the conference are encouraged to send the list materials, they will be represented.)

Directors and Pathway Teacher(s):  Complete the Pathway Survey independently by September 12th and submit to Carol Flynn at This will be used to guide the coaches’ work at the conference and regional meetings in October.  Survey will be coming after Labor Day.

Reading/Writing:  All teachers should come prepared with questions regarding ramped up instruction required for WIOA performance measures and pathways instruction.

Who will be presenting?

The presenters will include:

·       The Washington D.C. Pathway Coaches

·       Our regional HiSET representative

·       A new partner for all ABE programs and new curriculum for everyone (The perfect curriculum to support career pathways at no cost to your program)

·       Montana ABE teachers and directors with materials developed to assist with instructional changes and challenges

Needs Assessment

Click here to access the 2014 Needs Assessment.  Click on each of the tabs to access all of the information.

3.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out the Postings 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 14 below for ideas about instruction. 

4.    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 …

Please contact me with any questions you may have about WIOA


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.cid:image001.jpg@01CFBE0D.8E8E5AA0 

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.

National Information

5.  Career Pathways:  Middle-Skill Economy – State by State Snapshots

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

National Skills Coalition has just released new factsheets showing that demand for middle-skill jobs is strong in all 50 states. The factsheets show the current and projected middle-skill jobs, as well as the middle-skills gap. You can view all the factsheets, arranged by state, here.  

The most striking fact captured by these factsheets is the skills gap between the available and projected jobs and the skill levels of the current workforce. This furthers strengthens the need of developing and implementing effective career pathways within adult education programs and deepening the partnerships with postsecondary institutions and with area employers.   


Priyanka Sharma

Click here for Montana stats.

6.  College:  The Hidden Curriculum

Taken from LINCS Postsecondary Completion

I recently read an article profiling a new book, Mentoring At-Risk Students through the Hidden Curriculum of Education. This book focuses on a mentoring model that supports students who are at a higher risk of dropping out of college because of academic, financial, and other related reasons. The book highlights the importance of the ability to navigate the "hidden curriculum" of college, which includes institutional culture and social networks. Having a mentor is one way of getting the support new students need to succeed in college and understand the college culture.  

How do you prepare your college-bound students to navigate college and be successful? Does your program have college and career navigators to support the students? Please share your program practices and ideas below. 

Interview with the author, Buffy Smith -

7.  Math Videos:  Pythagorean Theorem

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

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

Click here   This has a nice video that visually shows what "a squared" and "b squared" are. (Scroll down for the video; it's just a screen shot on top.)   He shows the "a" and then a square with that as a side... and that many square units... then "B"... then walks 'em around...   

8.  Professional Development Archived Webinar Posted:  Designing Professional Development with Student Outcomes in Mind: Job Embedded PD, Cohort Models, and Standards Implementation

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

Thank you for your interest in this week’s webinar, Designing Professional Development with Student Outcomes in Mind: Job Embedded PD, Cohort Models, and Standards Implementation. The webinar recording can now be accessed by clicking here. You can click here and view and download the webinar presentation slides as well.

Jackie Taylor, SME

9.  Reading:  Webinar on Using the Change Agent – September 23

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

A new issue of The Change Agent, with pieces written by adult learners from all over the country, is back from the printer. This issue’s focus - food - brings up powerful memories. Stories from the kitchen often touch on themes that matter the most to us. Exploring how we produce, distribute, and eat our food helps us raise many interesting questions about our society and our economy, and offers many opportunities for skill development.

Attend a FREE lunchtime webinar on Tuesday, September 23, at noon EST, with special guest, Carey Reid, who will be demonstrating the use of explicit instruction for building fluency and comprehension, and using articles from the issue to build an instructional unit. The webinar is free, but you must register to attend:  Carey will provide lesson plans before the webinar so you have a chance to look them over. 

Our next issue will be on prisons. You can find the Call for Articles ere: Students whose writings are accepted receive a $50 stipend.

You can find a great 2-minute video on the website ( that takes you on a tour of all of its helpful features.

10.  Science:  Webinar Archived for Making the LINCS Science Online Course Series Work for You

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

You can view the archived webinar on the LINCS YouTube channel:

11.  Technology:  More TED Talk Suggestions

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

·        Every Kid Needs a Champion:

·        Gratitude: 

·        Hidden Miracle of the Natural World:

·        Pranav Mistry:  The Thrilling Potential of Sixth Sense Technology:

·        The Myth of Average by Todd Rose:

·        Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are:

12.  Technology:  Tweets

Taken from LINCS

·        LINCS @LINCS_ED

Q. How can formative assessment best be devised for & successfully incorporated into adult numeracy teaching? A.

·        LINCS @LINCS_ED

Be sure to visit @usedgov for more info on the performance changes mentioned by Acting Asst. Sec. Johan Uvin:  #WIOA

·        LINCS @LINCS_ED

Major theme in #WIOA: Partner alignment and affecting significant change for #adults

·        LINCS @LINCS_ED

Watching the #WIOA webinar? Here is the VP’s report that OCTAE’s Johan Uvin referenced:

13.  Technology:  URL Shorteners

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Click here to access URL Shorteners: The Unsung Hero Of Social Media Marketing

This is an interesting article that gives a basic introduction to URL shorteners.  They useful when you want to share a link that is long and either breaks in an email, takes up too make characters in a tweet, or when folks will have to type the URL.

Nell Eckersley

14.  Technology:  Webinar - Three Factors for Success in Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students

Taken from LINCS Program Management

See the announcement below for information about an upcoming webinar, Three Factors for Success in Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students, to be held on September 10 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm, Eastern time.

Please join the Alliance for Excellent Education for a webinar that will explore three important variables for success in using digital learning strategies to better support at-risk students: interactive learning, use of technology to explore and create, and the right blend of teachers and technology.

For decades, educators have sought to find better ways to close achievement gaps and better serve students at risk of failing courses or dropping out of high school. Of particular concern are the needs of students who struggle with personal challenges, such as pregnancy, mobility, or homelessness, and those who face academic challenges including credit deficiencies, are English language learners, or have special education needs. Many districts have turned to technology-driven solutions; yet in many cases, these efforts have failed to produce consistent improvements in student outcomes.

According to a new report by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), research indicates that there are examples of successful approaches to using technology to support at-risk students. SCOPE’s Linda Darling-Hammond, one of the report’s authors, will discuss the findings of the literature review and the three factors for success with at-risk students. Tom Murray of the Alliance will moderate the discussion and Molly Zielezinski will reflect on the findings and her time as a classroom teacher in both Massachusetts and California. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.

Linda Darling-Hammond, EdD, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University Graduate School of Education; Faculty Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE)
Tom Murray, State and District Digital Learning Director,Alliance for Excellent Education
Molly B. Zielezinski, Doctoral Candidate, Learning Sciences and Technology Design, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Register and submit questions for the webinar at .

15.  USDA SNAP Education &Training Pilots Request for Applications Published

Taken from U.S. Department of Education

The 2014 Farm Bill provided USDA with $200 million to conduct and evaluate up to 10 Education and Training (E&T) pilot projects.  These pilots will allow Food and Nutrition Services and State partners to test a number of approaches and strategies that help SNAP recipients gain and retain employment, increase earnings, and lead to self-sufficiency.  USDA is hoping to see a robust set of proposals that reflect the diversity of SNAP work registrants, including individuals with low skills, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), and recipients who are working in very low-wage or part-time jobs.

The Request for Applications (RFA) outlines areas of interest, pilot requirements, and the approach to evaluating proposals.  USDA is particularly interested in pilots that focus on hard to serve populations, provide case management services, test work-based learning or a career pathway approaches, or have strong public-private partnerships.  Food and Nutrition Services will ensure that projects as a whole reflect the array of approaches indicated by the Farm Bill, including those focused on education and training, services for individuals with barriers to employment, and rapid attachment to work.

In September, USDA will host a webinar for interested applicants in order to help unpack the priorities, requirements, and expectations outlined in the RFA.  A registration link with the date and time of the webinar will be made available on the E&T Pilot web page.

The RFA can be found on and on the E&T Pilot web page:

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