Montana ­­­LIN­­­CS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

  Problems with the links in the email?

Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at

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 Services1-800-257-5123

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 Agenda.

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

Reminder to teachers:

Teachers should send Carol Flynn a list of the materials they use for Math HSE preparation (GED and HiSET) no later than Tuesday, September 9. 

The list of materials  will be used to help presenters at the Fall Conference to address the need for HiSET instructional materials.  Even teachers not attending the conference are encouraged to send the list of materials they use so they will be represented.

3.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out the Postings 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 below for ideas about instruction. 

4.   Montana MCIS Update

Please fill out the form attached and email it back to or fax it to 406-444-2638.

The renewal form helps us to keep the most updated information on who the administrator of your MCIS account is.  If you are not the administrator of the MCIS account at your site please do not fill out a form.

Click here for MCIS Renewal Form.

Click here for MCIS Optional Components Flier

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

WIOA Information:

Update 9/5:  Margaret Bowles

Today I participated in a Webinar on the WIOA unified plan.   I was delighted to hear that strategic components of the plan must include analysis of the economic conditions of the state, as well as workforce and labor market trends.  These are all topics that will be included in your pathways work plans, which we will begin developing at the October regional meetings. You will be so ready for the RFP! 

Today I am sharing the link to a video on an overview of the WIOA Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act,  portion of WIOA. This is all about us!

Watch Session II:  Overview of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act at

Please contact me if you have any questions. We will have time at our ABLE conference to discuss WIOA.


WIOA Montana Updates:

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

WIOA National Updates:

Click here  

U.S. Department of Education WIOA Reauthorization site

Click here  to access

Session II:  Overview of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Click here to access

Session I:  Overview of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

National Information

6.  Career Pathways:  Job-driven Training:  A Call to Action

Taken from OCTAE

Last month, in tandem with the signing of the Workforce and Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), Vice President Biden released a new report, Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity. This was in response to the president’s request in his 2014 State of the Union address that Biden review federal training programs so that they, along with federal employment programs and policies, would be “more job-driven and effective, consistent with existing statutory authority.” We encourage adult education providers, including community colleges, the workforce community, our federal partners, and others to read this report, which provides an in-depth discussion of the findings, actions, and strategies for creating new jobs and career paths as part of the mission to build a strong middle class.

Biden led a comprehensive review team comprising Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He also included input from the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the expertise of the Department of the Treasury, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Personnel Management.

According to the report’s fact sheet, the actions that federal agencies are taking as a result of the review will “make programs that serve over 21 million Americans every year—including veterans, young people navigating their way into the workforce, Americans with disabilities, those coming back from serious setbacks, and those seeking a better career path—more effective and accountable for matching and training Americans into good jobs that employers need to fill.”

These federal agencies, working together with employment and training programs, developed a job-driven training checklist to guide administrators in ensuring that all Americans receive the most effective training. The checklist consists of seven elements:

1.     “Work up-front with employers to determine local hiring needs and design training programs.”

2.     “Offer work-based learning opportunities with employers … as training paths to employment.”

3.     “Make better use of data to drive accountability.”

4.     “Measure and evaluate employment and earnings outcomes.”

5.     “Promote a seamless progression from one educational stepping stone to another.”

6.     “Break down barriers to … job-driven training and hiring.”

7.     "Coordinate (with) … public and private entities, to make the most of limited resources.”

To assist with these actions, the Department of Labor, along with the departments of Commerce, Education, and Health and Human Services, researched and summarized the evidence of what is working for adults and youths in job-driven training programs and partnerships around the country in the study What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence. This synthesis also identifies where there is a need to learn more, including a focus on disconnected youths and lower-skilled individuals.

7.  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.

8.  Disabilities:  Adult ADHD

Taken from LINCS Disabilities in Adult Education

Click here   to watch ABC’s Routine is the Key for Those with Adult ADHD where an adult woman with ADHD discusses her life challenges and the lessons she has learned.  It includes such advice as establishing and keeping a routine, using time management skills, planning ahead, eating a healthy diet, and using a workout program.

9.  ESL:  Resource for Determining ABE/ESL Learning Disabilities

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

In response to the comments around determining if a non-native speaker has a learning disability, there is of course no easy answer.  I wanted to share an online resource developed here in Minnesota that may be helpful, however.  An online learner intervention from PANDA, the MN ABE Disabilities specialists, can be useful in teasing out language issues from other types of issues that may be challenging a learner's progress.  You'll find the link to that learner invention in the center of the screen here: , plus there is a great deal of other excellent information on this site!

Patsy Vinogradov, ATLAS

10.  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

11.  Reading:  Think Aloud Strategy

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

Here's a link to an explanation from Reading Rockets (yes, it's K12, but what the students are reading can be at any level/ with any conent  that explains think-alouds in detail.

Miriam Burt

12.  Reading:  Webinar on Integrating Graphic Organizers into Reading Vocabulary Instruction

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

Click here to watch the archived video Integrating Graphic Organizers into Reading Vocabulary Instruction.

13.  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. 

14.  Standards:  Inferences from Text – Importance of Reading

Taken from LINCS Assessment 

Click here to access All Things Considered.

"The instructional advances that identify the most significant elements of the CCR Standards for Adult Education for literacy:  

·        Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary

·        Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text

·        Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction"

I think it was only last night as I was driving home and listening to "All Things Considered" on National Public Radio (NPR) that I heard something that made me think of the importance of the standards. I can't remember the state, but a student who is studying nursing at a community college  was being interviewed. He had had several jobs previously, such as billboard painter and factory worker, but he wanted and needed a job that would sustain him financially. He was having difficulties in the Anatomy class, as were many other students. Because of the low number of students who made it through the Anatomy class, and indeed, through the whole program, the college had instituted a sort of pre-Anatomy class where the instructor provided help to students on how to study and how to learn. The man, a native English speaker, probably in his 40s, said that he didn't know how to understand what he read when the text didn't say something directly; he didn't know how to say what it "implied." He said he had always thought learning was just about memorizing what the text said.

Miriam Burt

15.  Technology:  New Technologies ALE Wiki Page 

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

The Adult Literacy Education (ALE) Wiki has an extensive section on technology. Within it is a page on New Technologies that I am planning to update. You'll find it at, All the resources listed there have active links, but there are categories that need to be added, and links to new resources need to be added under those categories and others. I hope to get your help with this.  Because it's a wiki you can add new categories and new resources. It's easy to do -- scroll down to the bottom of the page to "How to Add Text to this Page" and follow the simple directions. If you're concerned that you might mess something up, don't be. I'll be checking the additions, and can also "revert" to the previous version of the page or make needed changes in formatting. What is essential is that we take advantage of our collective knowledge. For example, I know that we should have a category on QR codes, and I bet I know an expert or two on this CoP who can help with that!  We should have a category on mobile apps for adult literacy and numeracy; perhaps someone could help with that. What other categories should be added? I look forward to reading what you will add. Thanks.

David J. Rosen

16.  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 . 

17.  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