Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Information overload?

One of the purposes of MTLINCS is to provide you with not only state information but also snippets from national discussions.  Do not be overwhelmed.  Just quickly scroll through the list of items to see what may be pertinent or interesting to you.

Montana Information

National Information:  *WIOA Items

HiSET Information

Happy New Year!

Montana Information

1. Montana Calendar Update

Click here to access information about the following February Montana ABLE Meetings:

·       Bring Your A Game to Work

·       Pilot Project Meeting

2. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.  Logic Model and Contextualized Templates now posted.

3. Montana ESL Information:  BEST Plus 2.0 Update

We would like to thank you for your support for BEST Plus and BEST Plus 2.0. CAL has been working on communication and transition plans for keeping you informed about the changes coming in 2016.

Our next BEST Plus communication to you will be in early January. It will include:

·         Pre- and posttesting guidance for NRS

·         Instructional hours guidance

·         BEST Plus 2.0 ordering information

·         Webinar dates and sign-up information

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Again, thank you for your continued support. We wish you a happy holiday season and a happy New Year!

Daniel Lieberson
Director, Product and Service Operations
Center for Applied Linguistics

4. Montana and National News Information

Click here  to access a site that will take you to the most current information without your having to search.  More resources posted on 12/14/15.

5. WIOA Update

12/14/15:  WIOA Graphic

How Performance Data Works

WIOA Montana Updates:

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

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Follow-up

Presentations posted on DLI website: under Data and Publications.

National Information

*6. Adult Basic Education Online Certificate

Taken from LINCS Notice

The Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy at Penn State has launched a new online certificate for professionals working with adults or out-of-school youth who struggle with reading, writing, numeracy,and/or English language proficiency. Penn State is one of the first universities to offer an online certificate in adult basic education (ABE).

The 12-credit post-baccalaureate certificate will help professionals gain high-quality, research-based knowledge about ABE, especially literacy and numeracy instruction. This research-to-practice certificate can enhance the work of educators, social workers, counselors, professional development specialists, administrators, literacy volunteers, and others who work in community-based organizations, libraries, community colleges, K-12 and alternative schools, and government agencies, among others.

Key features:

Offered online through the nationally recognized World Campus.

Three required courses and one elective.

The elective allows students to tailor the program to their interests, including ESL, program planning and administration, distance education, adult learning, or educational technology.

Act 48-approved provider for Pennsylvania educators; may count toward professional development hours. 

In spring 2016, students can take one or more of the following 3-credit courses:

·        ADTED 460:  Introduction to Adult Education (required)

·        ADTED 470:  Introduction to Distance Education (elective)

·        ADTED 575:  Administration of Adult Education (elective)

·        APLNG 802:  Focus on English: Teaching Form, Meaning, and Use (elective)

·        APLNG 808:  Focus on Instruction: Teaching and Assessing Language Learning (elective)

·        LDT 415B:     Systematic Instructional Development for Teachers (elective)

The two other required courses, ADTED 480 (Teaching Math and Numeracy to Adults) and ADTED 560 (Teaching Reading to College Students and Adults), will first be offered in fall 2016 and spring 2017,respectively.

To learn more about applying for the Certificate, contact World Campus admissions at 800-252-3592.For information about the Certificate, contact Beth Grinder at or 717-432-3498 or link to

 *7. Career Pathways:  Apprenticeship Information

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The Apprenticeship USA Toolkit website offers resources to learn, build and implement robust apprenticeship programs in your community.  What exactly is a registered apprenticeship? According to the Department of Labor, registered apprenticeships are "a proven approach for preparing workers for jobs while meeting the needs of business for a highly-skilled workforce. It is an employer-driven, 'learn while you earn' model that combines on-the-job training, provided by the employer that hires the apprentice, with job-related instruction in curricula tied to the attainment of national skills standards".

LEARN: Resources to introduce you to apprenticeship and its benefits for employers, workers, and the workforce system.

·        Introduction to Registered Apprenticeship On-line Training

·        Apprenticeship Frequently Asked Questions

·        WIOA: Advancing Apprenticeship as a Workforce Strategy

BUILD: Tools to help you build strong partnerships and plan apprenticeship strategies

·        Apprenticeship Assessment and Planning Tool 

·        Find Apprenticeship Partners in your Area 

IMPLEMENT: Resources to help you fully integrate apprenticeship into your workforce system.

·        Service Delivery Resources 

·        Guide for Business Services Representatives 

·        Register an Apprenticeship Program 

*8. Career Pathways:  Connecting Credentials Webinars in 2016

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Beginning in January 2016, the Connecting Credentials Initiative is co-hosting several interactive webinars featuring credentialing innovations across the U.S. These webinars will increase viewer's understanding of credentials and promote further discussion to better connect different credential systems. 

These webinars will focus on the five topics below:

·        Developing common language to serve as the basis for a connected credentialing system;

·        Using real-time data and technology to empower credential users and create continuous feedback mechanisms;

·        Creating nimble end-to-end quality assurance processes to support portability and trust of credentials;

·        Creating scalable employer engagement approaches to improve demand signals and increase relevance and currency of credentials; and,

·        Creating flexible credentialing pathways leading to family-sustaining job to increase equity.

You can register for these free webinars, using the links below: 

·        New Approaches for Scaling Employer Engagement with Credentials 

o   January 8, 2016 1:00-2:30 pm EST

·        Innovations in Credit for Prior Learning

o   January 22, 2016 1:00-2:30 pm EST

·        Flexible Credentialing Pathways Leading to Family-Sustaining Jobs

o   February 11, 2016 2:00-3:30 pm EST

·        Developing a Common Language for Connecting Credentials

o   February 19, 2016 1:00-2:30 pm EST

Mike Cruse

*9. ESL:  USA Learns Webinar Posted

Taken from World Education

Click here to watch/listen to archived USA Learns webinar.

*10. HSE Tests Survey:  What is your experience with various HSE tests?

Taken from LINCS Assessment

In New York State we currently only have the TASC as our HSE test.  To help us develop our advocacy work around HSE, the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy would like to learn more about how the HSE process is going in other states, particularly the experiences of adult education providers with preparing students to take the different tests (GED, HiSET, or TASC).  We are also very interested in the pros and cons of offering multiple tests as a path to a state high school equivalency diploma.

We have developed a 12 question survey to help us gather this information and would very much appreciate your input.  The survey is for anyone working in adult education.  Please share the link to the survey with your colleagues.  We ask that you respond to the survey by close of business on January 8

Link to the survey:

*11. Instruction:  Flubaroo

Taken from LINCS Assessment

I wanted to share a blog post I recently did for Tech Tips for Teachers about the tool Flubaroo.  Flubaroo is a tool that is used in conjunction with Google Forms that allows the teacher to create self-graded assessments and share the results with individual students instantly.  This tool is seriously a game changer.  There are a series of steps involved in order to create these assessments which might seem intimidating but I can promise you it's easy once you get the hang of it and I've never met a teacher who doesn't fall in love with the tool.  The tool actually goes beyond just automatically grading quizzes; it also crunches all of the numbers for you so you can see how your class did as a whole and on an individual level.  I used to spend my entire Sunday night grading papers and compiling data, but with Flubaroo you can accomplish all of this in less than 2 minutes!  I highly encourage everyone to check it out.  My blog post walks you through the process step by step and includes a screen cast: 

Becky Schiring

*12. Instruction:  Math – Numeracy Words and Phrases

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

Posting #1

I found a resource today that may be useful for looking up math/numeracy key words and phrases (#7 in my previous post), the Math is Fun online dictionary.

David Rosen

Posting #1

TheMathPage's ( "Skill in Arithmetic" ( section has some nice guidance, tricks, and practice for doing arithmetic in your head, which might prove helpful as well.

Robert Wessel

*13. Instruction:  Reading and Technology – Filtering Out Internet Noise

Taken from LINCS Disabilities in Education

Posting #1 

We all are aware that there are many articles and documents on the Internet we wish learners to engage in. One challenge I face at times with some learners is that pages that house some of this rich content have so many distractions. Side margins are full of flashy, distracting ads, top banners flowing like a ticker tape and there are even some pop up ads that show up from time to time on some sites. 

I have found one tool that I think is really cool, but I am finding a few limitations. The tool is called Readability (Link here). Here is a link to a video that gives you a quick over view of the tool. You do need to sign up (free account) to store your articles. Once you are signed in, you can offer readability a link to an article and Readability will strip out all the distractions, the images, everything from that page to capture just the text of the article. It even has options of changing the font, size of font, offers a black on white or white on black scheme, and how wide a page of text is. This is all great if I go to print things out, but I am encountering huge issues with sharing that stripped resource with students digitally on their devices. My best solution so far has been copy and paste to a google doc that can be shared. This has the limitation of losing all the text manipulation options that are so easy in the readability resource.

Edward Latham

Posting #2 

I installed the Readability extension on Google Chrome and did a few tests. I like how it gives you just the content in a clean format.

I copied and pasted the content into Microsoft Word, WordPad, TextMaker, Libre Office and OpenOffice Writer, and Google Docs. It copied perfectly into Word and almost as well into both versions of Writer. The other options changed the formatting to varying, unacceptable degrees.

With Word and Writer, I saved the document in both .docx and .rtf formats. When I opened these files in the other word processors, they looked exactly as they did in Word and Writer. They also looked the same in Google Docs, after I uploaded them. So, if you convert the content with Word or Writer, learners will be able to view and edit it with the full capabilities of whatever word processor they happen to have on their device.

I was also able use Word and Writer to save the copied-and-pasted content in PDF format, so learners could also view it with Adobe or another PDF viewer.

If you left-click inside the Readability text, a row of icons will appear on the left-hand side of the screen. There are several options for sharing the content. Sending it to a Kindle is a little complicated, but because Kindle has integrated dictionaries, it might be a useful option for some learners. I downloaded a document in ePub format and used Calibre to read it. Again, learners could use any of the capabilities of whatever eBook reader they have on their device to read it.

Robert Wessel

Posting #3

I came across a similar product to Readability called Pocket ( that allows you to save content to your device for offline reading at a later time. It also strips out the clutter and you can copy and paste the text into Google Docs and TextMaker without losing any of the formatting. As with Readability, there are Android and Kindle apps, and an extension for the Chrome browser. It doesn't, however, allow you to download the content to different formats as Readability does.

Robert Wessel

Click here to read more about filtering out noise.

14.  WIOA:  Immigrants and WIOA Services Factsheet

Taken from LINCS Diversity and Literacy

The Migration Policy Institute released facts sheet for the United States and the states with the largest foreign-born populations. Each factsheet provides estimates of the ages, origins, educational attainment, English proficiency, unemployment and underemployment, parental status, poverty, health insurance coverage and immigration status and their relevance to WIOA. The factsheets can be found on the MPI website or by following this link:

HiSET Information

HiSET® December 2015 Newsletter

The HiSET® program would like to extend warm holiday wishes to everyone during this special time of year. As we complete our second full year of testing, we are excited to be providing a more affordable and accessible option to states. We owe our success to all of the states and territories that have adopted the HiSET exam, and we couldn't have done it without your unwavering support. As we move into 2016, we are eager to build upon the success of 2015 and work with new states that seek alternative high school equivalency testing. Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

Enterprise Data Manager

Our Enterprise Data Manager resource was launched on December 11, 2015. All test center administrators have access to this resource from the HiSET portal once they log into the system. We also have provided a link within the portal to a user guide that explains all the features of this new resource. We will present a webinar in the near future to demonstrate all the capabilities of Enterprise Data Manager.

Subtest Fee Change

HiSET subtest fees are decreasing from $15 to $10, starting on January 1, 2016. The full battery will cost $50.

HiSET Reminders

Holiday Hours

It's the holiday season, and many of us are taking vacations after a busy year! If you are unable to reach your normal Test Administrative Services representative, please remember to email, so that another representative can assist you. ETS has coverage in place, and we will be able to serve you quickly in the event your representative is taking some time off for the holidays. You can also call TAS at 1-800-257-5123 and you will be directed to an available representative. ETS will be closed December 24–25 for the holidays, as well as December 31–January 1, 2016, for the New Year holiday.

Returning 2015 Test Materials

All 2015 HiSET test books must be returned to the ETS warehouse at the conclusion of the 2015 testing year by chief examiners. Per policy and procedures, you may not keep the test books for any reason whatsoever after the 2015 testing year concludes.

Please return all test books to:
Inbound Processing Center
200 Ludlow Drive
Ewing, NJ 08638

The test books should be returned sorted and counted by subtest and form; for example, count by Math Form A, Math Form B, etc. Please label each box in your shipment with the center's name or HSTP number, and keep a record of the tracking numbers.

Unused answer sheets can be used in 2016 and do not need to be included in your returns. See our 2015 Test Materials Return (PDF) and 2015 Test Materials Return Notice (PDF) for detailed instructions.

HiSET Success Stories — Billings, Montana

Just a few months shy of her 20th birthday, Aspin Miller felt she had no clear direction in her life. At that point, she decided to further her education, not just for herself, but for her family too. Miller enrolled in classes at the Billings Adult Education Center to prepare to take the HiSET exam. Read more about Miller's story (PDF) and how passing the HiSET exam has helped her find the path to achieving her goals.

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 2016

Update:  1/4/16

Important Update Regarding the 'Are you Ready to Take the HiSET Exam?' Chart

During a recent quality control of all online material, we discovered that the Math range tables posted on September 1, 2015 do not reflect the most current information.  As you may recall, the Math tables were updated back in April to accommodate the additional items added to the existing practice tests. Please note that the tables were in fact accurate at that time. On September 1st, the document was then updated to include the newly added practice tests. When that update occurred, the Math range tables inadvertently reverted to the data as it existed prior to April 2015. The error was immediately corrected and an updated chart has been posted online.

To summarize, the Math tables published between September 1, 2015 and December 18, 2015 were incorrect.  Please use be certain to use this updated chart moving forward.

Our sincere apologies for any confusion or inconvenience this oversight may have caused you or your test takers. Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns. My contact information can be found in my signature below.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!

Adriana Wells

Senior Product Manager

Update:  10/19/15

·        HiSET 2016 Montana Presentation by Jonna McDonough, Director, ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®)

Update:  10/5/15

·       2016 Writing Response Scoring Guide:  NEW

·       2016 Scored Sample Writing Responses:  NEW

·       2016 Sample Questions:  NEW

·       2016 Test at a Glance:  NEW

·       2016 HiSET Program Manual:  NEW

Update:  8/31/15

HiSET 2015 Information Brief - Math

As many Math teachers requested, we have enhanced the Math information with a great deal of detail.  Teachers may expect a similar level of detail in our 2016 Informational Brief for all subtests.  This particular update was developed in response to feedback received from Math teachers across all HiSET states and territories.

Click here for the brief.

Estimate how well prepared you are for the HiSET exam:

Are You Ready to Take the HiSET Exam?

HiSET Preparation Materials 2015

Montana HiSET Resources

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

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 email !  Thanks!

Norene Peterson, Adult Education Center