­­MTLINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

 Having trouble with this email?  Click here for MTLINCS Email for 10/12/15.

Looking for past emails?

Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/index.htm

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 of interest to you.

Montana Information

National Information

HiSET Information (now placed at end of this email)

Montana Information

1. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.  Logic Model resources now posted.

2. Montana and National News Information

Click here http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/National_News2015.html  to access a site that will take you to the most current information without your having to search.  More resources posted on 9/13/15.

3. WIOA Update

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Follow-up

Presentations posted on DLI website:  https://dli.mt.gov/ under Data and Publications.

8/24/15:  WIOA Vision Document from US Department of Education

·       OCTAE Program Memorandum (OCTAE/DAEL 15-4) : Vision for the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act in the Workforce System and Initial Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and

·       OSERS Technical Assistance Circular (RSA-TAC-15-02):  Vision for the State Rehabilitation Services Program as a Partner in the Workforce Development System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.Back to Top.

8/13/15:  WIOA Vision for One Stop Delivery System

WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/wioa/wioa_updates.html  to access the following:   Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

4. Adult Learner Website on LINCS

Taken from LINCS Notice

Happy National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, #AEFLWeek! LINCS has exciting news to share with you this week. We’re pleased to announce a brand-new section of LINCS, designed specifically for adult learners! In conjunction with #AEFLWeek, OCTAE is launching the LINCS Learner Center, an online gateway to direct adult learners to high-quality resources related to education, training, and foundational skills.

The LINCS Learner Center compiles resources from many different federal agencies and additional organizations, categorized across seven life goals:

·        Learn to Read;

·        Learn Math;

·        Learn Science;

·        Learn English;

·        Get Job Skills;

·        Become a U.S. Citizen; and

·        Find a Program. 

Developed to be mobile-friendly, the site brings resources to learners in class, on the go, and at home so they can extend their learning time and accelerate their skills. Learners do not need a password to access the resources. Several resources in the LINCS Learner Center are also available in Spanish.

5. Career Pathways:  How is Career Pathways different from what we have already been doing?

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Question from David Rosen

I was asked by a colleague how I think a Career Pathways approach differs from what they have already been doing at their center.

When I asked what they have been doing, she said that for over two decades they have been been preparing adult learners for college, jobs and careers. They have been coaching students in academic skills and career and life management skills. Their students include those who may want to get their High School Equivalency (HSE), and others who are not yet college or career ready, even if they finished high school. Students learn how to investigate careers, various skills involved in applying for a job such as how to build a good resume and successful interviewing skills, proper workplace communication, what employers expect in terms of workplace behavior. They teach occupational skills in areas such as health careers, retail sales, welding, and other high-demand areas. They have a building trades program that has courses and a union-sponsored apprenticeship program. They also teach job readiness or "soft skills". Their students do job shadowing and internships in several career areas. The center works with employers to make sure their curricula for all their training, education and job readiness courses is aligned to what is required for high-demand jobs.

So, she wondered, isn't that what Career Pathways is?

Response by Mike Cruse

Great question! I'm interested in how your colleague defines what is being done in their program?  My personal understanding of what Career Pathways are comes from the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN).  NCPN does a good job of spelling out what they consider to be included in a definition of Career Pathways.  You can read the full definition and explanation here

Here is the basic definition, which the NCPN website does a good job of expanding on more fully.

A Career Pathway is a coherent, articulated sequence of rigorous academic and career/technical courses, commencing in the ninth grade and leading to an associate degree, baccalaureate degree and beyond, an industry recognized certificate, and/or licensure. The Career Pathway is developed, implemented, and maintained in partnership among secondary and post-secondary education, business, and employers. Career Pathways are available to all students, including adult learners, and lead to rewarding careers.

This definition was jointly developed by The Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), the College and Career Transitions Initiative (The League for Innovation in the Community College) and approved by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical and Education (Formerly OVAE).

This is a very broad definition, which we can choose to explore in a variety of ways within this community.  I'd encourage your colleague to join us in defining what we explore here, and contributing to the conversation. Regardless of the definition applied to the program, we are working towards similar goals of helping learners navigate career options that lead to a sustainable, living wage, for our learners and their families.

6. Career Pathways:  Making Skills Everyone’s Business – Webinar Posted

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The webinar recording is now available here

7. Career Pathways:  Moving Pathways Forward Podcast Series (with Judith Alamprese)

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Many of you have already accessed the first of Judith Alamprese's podcast interviews, which are part of the Moving Pathways Forward series.  If you haven't yet had a chance to listen to this short, informative podcast, I encourage you to take a listen here

·        Judith and Debra speak about the challenges in providing guidance to learners when it comes to career advising …

·        The speakers also talk about the term contextualized instruction for career pathways …

8. College and Career Standards:  Promoting Higher Order Thinking

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

The College and Career standards are designed to support students to enhance their critical thinking skills as indicated in Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK). This Edutopia article by Gerald Aungst, which focuses on Webb's DOK, highlights some practical techniques for increasing the rigor of instruction.

Susan Finnmiller

Snippet from article

Recently, educators have begun applying Webb’s DoK to help them design better instruction. Try this exercise to better understand the cognitive depth of the tasks you are using in your classroom and improve the rigor of your instruction:

1.   Keep a list or collection of every task you ask students to do in a day (or in one subject for a week), including classwork, homework, and projects.

2.   Sort the tasks into categories according to the four DoK Levels. Some resources which may help:

·        This DoK “wheel” (PDF, 34KB)

·        These examples of DoK levels for four content areas (PDF, 39KB)

·        These examples of using DoK in the fine arts (PDF, 102KB).

3.   Work with a team of colleagues to review the groupings. Many tasks are easily categorized, but some will require deeper discussion to clarify your understanding of the levels. Strive toward consensus. A few pointers:

·        The verb does not define the level. Instead, consider the cognitive effort that a student will use to complete the task. The verb "describe," for example, could be any level, depending on the kind of description.

·        It is common to find tasks that seem to fall in between levels. When in doubt, assign the higher level.

·        "Extended time" alone does not make a task Level 4. Lower-level tasks that are merely repeated over a period of time are still lower level.

4.   Analyze your groupings. What patterns do you see? Is there a reasonable distribution of tasks across the four levels? Do you notice anything unexpected?

5.   Rewrite a Level 1 or Level 2 task to be at least Level 3. These question stems are helpful in creating good tasks (PDF, 28KB).

9. Corrections:  Online Discussion – Unlocking the Promise of Pell for the Incarcerated Learners

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Location: The Correctional Education and Financial Literacy groups

Date(s): October 12 - 16, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) announcement of a pilot program that will allow Pell Grant eligibility for some incarcerated students signaled a change in the way education is viewed in correctional facilities across the nation. Education is a proven strategy to break the cycle of crime and incarceration that too often prevails in impoverished families and communities. The program also creates the potential for a change in public policy that can shape both the fiscal return on efforts to reduce recidivism and the reclamation of human potential through the successful re-entry of offenders into society.

Join us for a thoughtful discussion on the re-implementation of Pell Grants at experimental sites in state prisons. We will look briefly at the history of Pell in corrections postsecondary programs, at the 1994 Crime Bill that led to its demise, and then review and discuss the new ED initiative.

10. Disabilities:  Discussion on Self-determination

Taken from LINCS Disabilities

Here are some snippets from a very interesting discussion on self-determination.  Click here to access all of the comments.

Snippet #1:  Positive Psychology

… Positive psychology is a recently emerging branch of psychology which aims to engage the “scientific study of what goes right in life, from birth to death and all the stops in between…and that takes seriously those things in life that make life most worth living” (Peterson, 2006, p. 4). The Center for Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, headed up by Dr. Martin Seligman, defines positive psychology as “…the scientific study of strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive” (2007, p. 1). The field of positive psychology encompasses the study of personal emotions and traits linked to enhanced well-being and positive life outcomes, as well as investigation of the role of institutions (including schools) in helping individuals not just survive, but flourish (Center for Positive Psychology, 2007) …

Beth Tuckwiller

Snippet #2:  Positive Psychology

… The Wehmeyer quote that you shared ("Put bluntly, across history, people with disabilities have not been viewed in the context of strengths and capacities…the literature in the field of disability has not been strengths-focused, and the literature in the field of positive psychology has not addressed disability") really got me thinking about this idea of intersection. While Wehmeyer was speaking of the field of disabilities, I think that a similar statement might be made about the field of adult education. I know that in my setting even as we try to remain positive in our approach with students, among staff our discussions about students are often focused on what's wrong and many of our professional development activities are focused on learning how to help "fix" those things …

Lindsey Anderson 

Snippet #3:  Grit

Grit article:  Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century

"Educators and administrators interested in promoting grit, tenacity, and perseverance should draw on key research-based best practices, for example,

(1) provide students with opportunities to take on higher-order or long-term goals that are “worthy” to the student—goals that are “optimally challenging” and aligned with the students’ own interests, and 

(2) provide a rigorous and supportive environment for accomplishing their goals. Students should be supported in the psychological resources that will help them succeed—academic mindsets, effortful control, and strategies and tactics. Rigorous and supportive learning environments instill, for example, high expectations, a growth mindset, expectations for challenge and early failure, cycles of constructive feedback and iteration, and a sense of belonging; and support for strategies to plan, monitor, and stay on track. Supports also should include the necessary tangible resources (i.e., materials, people, time). Educators should be aware of potential risks or costs of pushing students in ways inappropriate for their needs."

Snippet #4:  Resource

Promoting self-determination for adults:  A practice guide (Vatland, Strickland-Cohn, Loman, Doren, Homer, & Walker, 2011).  

The publication examines and weighs the research on self-determination for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and I think their recommendations, based on the research available, holds true for many adults:

·        Recommendation 1:  Use direct and explicit instructional strategies to teach the components skills of self-determination

·        Recommendation 2:  Use person-centered planning methods

·        Recommendation 3:  Teach individuals skills needed to be a self-directed learner

·        Recommendation 4:  Organize environments to provide enriched opportunities, supports, models, and resources

Cynthia Zaft

11. ESL:  Update on Discussion New Immigrant Professionals Study

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Just today IMPRINT released a new, first-of-its-kind study about immigrant professionals, Steps to Success: Integrating Immigrant Professionals in the United States. This survey collected data from skilled immigrants in six urban localities across the United States: Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Detroit, San Jose, and Seattle.

Snippet #1:  Evaluating Credential Evaluation Services

… At this time, I have students who are teachers, mechanical engineers and business administrative assistants. Trying to guide them to jobs other than housekeeping or restaurant work is frustrating.  They need credentials, which means they need money to get credentials evaluated …

Linda Neas

Snippet #2:  Evaluating Credential Evaluation Services

… You bring up a good point (Linda) that I've also seen in teaching adult ELL classes.  While I don't have a silver bullet to the problem, I wanted to share a resource for those needing to go through credential evaluation.  NAFSA: Association of International Educators has a good resource for those trying to choose a credential evaluation service.  A Guide to Selecting a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Service is a free resource that will help learners consider which service to use for this not inexpensive evaluation of foreign education … 

Mike Cruse

12. LINCS Events for October

Taken from LINCS Notice

October 5-9, 2015: Positive Psychology, GRIT, Academic Resilience & Your Adult Learner discussion, hosted by the Disabilities in Adult Education group; summarized in the Postsecondary Completion group.

October 12-16, 2015: Unlocking the Promise of Pell for Incarcerated Learners, hosted by the Correctional Education and Financial Literacy groups. This activity will kick off with a webinar hosted by the LINCS Regional Professional Development Center for Region 3; stay tuned for a save the date!

October 19-22, 2015: Steve Reder will host a webinar on October 19 from 1-2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will be followed by a week-long discussion in the Financial Literacy, Postsecondary Completion, Career Pathways , and Program Management groups. Register now for What’s Happening in Adult Basic Skills Programs: The Long-term Impact of ABS on Economic Outcomes, Postsecondary Engagement, and GED Attainment!

October 19- November 5, 2015: Reentry Education Model Implementation Study: Findings and Lessons Learned, hosted by RTI International, will include a two-week discussion and a webinar on October 22 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Register now for Reentry Education Model Implementation Study: Findings and Lessons Learned!!

13. Math:  Mathematical Discourse

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy

I received this email, "Orchestrating mathematical discourse to enhance student learning", and wondered how many of my colleagues utilize mathematical discourse in the class?  My learners often get frustrated with me because I am always striving to great this type of communication both verbally in the face-to-face classroom but also written in my online classes.  I tell my students, "I want to hear how you think...explain it." It takes awhile for many learners to be comfortable with this idea because they haven't experienced an instructor wanting to hear how they think.

Brooke Istas

14. Professional Development:  Online Courses from World Education

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

World Education E-Learning offers facilitated online courses for adult education professionals. This year we are offering the following numeracy courses:

·        Foundations of Teaching Adult Numeracy (10/15-12/3)

·        Data: Helping Students Interpret Numeric Information (10/30-12/18)

·        Teaching Reasoning and Problem-Solving Strategies (11/4-12/16)

·        Number Sense: Teaching About Parts and Wholes (2/4-3/24)

·        Algebra: Introducing Algebraic Reasoning (4/6-5/25)

·        Geometry: Teaching About Shapes and Measures (4/28-6/2)

All courses in our numeracy series are six weeks long and require approximately 3 hours of work per week to complete. Participants interact with colleagues through asynchronous online discussions (no need to be online at any specific time), and turn in assignments based on a weekly calendar. An expert facilitator supports participants' progress and provides feedback on work completed. For more information, or to register, click on the course titles above or visit our website for a full course list. 

15. Science Resource for Reading and Writing

Taken from LINCS Science

Since 1998 the American Geosciences Institute has conducted an Earth Science Week in early October.  Each year the focus is on a different topic in earth systems science.  This year the week runs from October 11-17, though the activities are useful year-round and will be available the 2015-2016 academic year.

The theme of this year’s “week” is  “Visualizing Earth Systems”.  As the website states, “Earth Science Week 2015 focuses on the theme of “Visualizing Earth Systems,” exploring visualization methods ranging from traditional charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations, and still images to videos, computer-generated animations, and 3D-printed creations. The celebration’s learning resources and activities are engaging young people and others in investigating many ways of visualizing Earth systems.”

The calendar of events, topics and “Did You Know” features, arranged month by month, can be downloaded at http://www.earthsciweek.org/sites/default/files/Calendar/2015-2016%20calendar/AGI_1516Calendar_061015.pdf

Activities are tied to the Next Generation Science Standards and the earlier National Science Education Standards.  A searchable database of classroom activities can be found at http://www.earthsciweek.org/classroom-activities  In addition, a comprehensive grouping of educational activities can be found at http://www.earthsciweek.org/educational-resources  There are resources in citizen science activities and materials written in Spanish as well as English.  It is not too late to order a toolkit on a variety of topics.

16. Standards:  New CCR Standards Resources in the LINCS

Taken from LINCS Notice

We’re happy to announce the recent addition of fifteen resources to the LINCS College and Career Standards Resource Collection. They include eight College and Career Readiness (CCR) resources in mathematics and seven in English language arts/literacy. These exemplary teaching and learning resources were recommended and reviewed by coaches and staff from OCTAE’s Implementing CCR Standards in Adult Education project. You’ll find a range of tools aimed primarily at instructors responsible for providing instruction aligned to CCR standards including some to assist instructors with students with limited English proficiency. 

17. Teaching:  More Snippets from “Doing It All”: Successes and Challenges in Teaching Adult Education

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Development

This has been a very rich discussion.   Click here for the complete discussion.

The landscape for adult learners in the 21st century has changed, and with it the roles and expectations of adult educators. Adult educators prepare adult learners to pass rigorous high school equivalency exams, be digital age learners with the reading, writing, numeracy, and critical thinking skills needed to be competitive in today’s economy, and successfully transition to college and careers. They design engaging lessons aligned with new college and career readiness standards. Many also teach in a linguistically diverse classroom while helping immigrants integrate into society and participate in civic life. The vast majority do this part-time while often juggling multiple jobs in order to make ends meet.

Snippets from Discussion

Snippet #1:  Professional Development and Ed Camp Model

I like your comment about the teachers driving the agenda for PD and I am wondering if you are familiar with the Ed Camp Model of Professional Learning. …

Below is a link to an article about it:


Irene Ramos

Snippet #2:  Funding

… To me, the statement that change cannot happen without significantly more funding feels like a roadblock so overwhelming that it could become a barrier to even trying.

Maybe our field should put a lens up to the model programs, carefully examine the steps they took, when they took them, and what the results were at each point along the way to improving their programs' ABE workforce. Without that level of detail, a road map to achieving the vision, who’s to say that some (or many) local program and state administrators won't just throw their hands up. They might say nothing can be done without significantly increased state level resources for ABE and leave it at that. Perhaps that is what has already been happening. I encourage us to overcome roadblocks and create road maps leading to positive change for the profession, and ultimately, for our students …

Jackie Taylor

Snippet #3:  Summary

… As Jackie mentioned, we should not let insufficient funding be a "roadblock" to progress in the field of adult education.  There were so many great ideas that were shared during the course of this discussion.  Some that struck a chord were the importance of PD in which teachers feel invested, as mentioned by Irene and Chris.  The value of encouraging teachers to teach to their area of expertise, a practice shared by DeAnn, which is getting good results at Hawkeye Community College, the importance of improved assessments and use of teaching labs that are working well in Maine, mentioned by Ed.  Another innovative model that is worth another look is the co-teaching model known as I-Best, successfully practiced in Washington State, and last, but not least we can learn from outstanding non-profits such as GPLC in Pittsburgh.  We should continue to emulate these (and other) innovative ideas in order to continue to move our field forward …

Anurag Sagar

HiSET Information

HiSETŪ September 2015 Newsletter

New Resources

Practice Tests

The HiSETŪ Program is thrilled to announce the release of new practice tests! The Free Practice Tests, eBooks and Official Practice Tests in Language Arts – Writing, Language Arts – Reading and Mathematics have been updated to prepare test takers for the 2016 HiSET exam. The new releases include evidence-based writing prompts, a set of paired passages and new mathematics items. For a breakdown of the updates and how to purchase new tests, please see the Quick Reference Guide.

Program Manual

The 2016 HiSETŪ Program Manual is now available. This updated edition contains updates to the directions for administration, annual test book returns and other program updates.

Preparation Documents

The 2015 Test at a Glance is updated now to include more details and the College and Career Readiness Standards for the Mathematics section. This new PDF is available on the side bar of the HiSET Download Library.

The 2016 Test at a Glance (TAAG) is currently available on the download library. This new TAAG contains College and Career Readiness Standards for Reading, Writing and Mathematics. All subtest areas have been updated to include approximate percentages and new content areas.

Writing Section

The Scored Sample Writing Response Guide and Writing Response Scoring Guide (Rubrics) have been updated to include a new evidence-based writing prompt, a new writing sample and new rubric.

We added a new feature to the HiSET website. The HiSET program partnered with CareerBuilder to provide resources and options for after you've earned your state-issued credential. Visit our website to learn about these topics and more:

  • planning your career
  • understanding employment trends
  • writing an effective resume
  • preparing for an interview

You'll find useful strategies and tips that can help you find a job and build a career. Learn how to best position yourself for success by using the resources we have compiled to assist you.

Adult Ed Modules

If your state uses the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) assessments, you can utilize the new curriculum modules with your low-level literacy learners, including those with intellectual disabilities, in programs for Adult Basic Education, Special Education and Rehabilitation, and Workforce Learning! Learn more.

ETS HiSET Conference — Invitations to register have been emailed

When:  November 30-December 2, 2015

Where:  Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Registration is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. After registration has filled, you will be placed on a waiting list. If you have not received an invitation, please email hisetevents@ets.org.

HiSET Success – Washington, Iowa

Two years after dropping out of high school in the 11th grade, Areli Espinosa thought she had everything with a loving husband and baby on the way. After her husband's sudden death, Espinosa's world was turned upside down. With the encouragement of family, Espinosa set out to fulfill her dream of getting her high school equivalency in order to become a nurse. Enrolled at Kirkwood Community College, she is on her way to achieving her goal. Read more about Espinosa's story.

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:

Email: HiSET@ets.org

Montana HSE Update: September 2015­­­

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 http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/HiSET/hiset_resources.htm.

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 http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/ .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please email mtlincs@gmail.com !  Thanks!

Norene Peterson, Adult Education Center