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

HiSET Information

Montana Information

1. Montana ABE Resources:  October

ANN Newsletter

Contextualized Templates

·        ABE:  Skills for ABE

·        Fire Rescue

·        LPN/RN

·        Welding

HiSET Information by Jonna McDonough, Director, ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®)

HiSET 2016

2. Montana ABE Shoptalk

Shoptalk 10/20/15


·        Moving Career Pathways Forward Project

·        Partner Work

·        Classroom Work

·        Pilot Project

·        Work Plans

·        Contextualized Templates

·        Job-embedded Professional Development

·        ANN

·        Distance Learning

·        CCR Standards

·        MCIS/PEP Talk

·        MABLE

·        WIOA Update


·        Career Pathways

§  Career Pathways Local System Model Blank Template

§  Directions for Career Pathways Local System Model

§  IRF Analysis

·        Distance Learning via Missouri Learns:  Blackboard Timings updated July 2015 for Montana

·        Monthly ABLE Report:  2015-2016

·        State Report Template

3. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

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

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 9/13/15.

5. WIOA Update

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Follow-up

Presentations posted on DLI website: 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  to access the following:   Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

6. Adult Basic Skills Webinar:  Snippets from What’s Happening in Adult Basic Skills Programs - The Long-term Impact of ABS on Economic Outcomes, Postsecondary Engagement, and GED Attainment

Taken from LINCS Notice

Here is the link to the study website:  LSAL The Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning at Portland State University.

Here are some of the main findings that Steve Reder highlighted in the webinar:

·        82% of the study participants were interested in some postsecondary education

·        28% rate of credit attainment for study participants after 8 years

·        ABS program participation had a substantial impact on postsecondary engagement, not just at the 100+ hour mark

·        very low rates of degree/certification completion

·        other supports apparently needed for postsecondary completion in this population

Snippets from discussion

Snippet #1

Results from the various statistical analyses suggest that “the number of hours of program attendance an individual accumulated through a given point in time is a statistically significant, positive predictor of that individual’s earning at that point in time.  The intensity of participation is also important, with about 100 hours again being a critical level.  The strongest predictor of future earnings combines both intensity and elapsed time since the onset of participation: the more time elapsed since an individual accumulated 100 hours of attendance, the greater the individual’s earnings tended to be.”  

Mike Cruse

Snippet #2

I'll get right to the point because I don't want you to miss it: this research may be the most important our field has had for arguing that adult basic skills programs have a significant economic impact, that there is a return on investment of public dollars. As I understand it, this study in particular can be used by Adult Basic Skills (ABS) programs to argue that learner participation in ABS programs for an average of 100 hours or more leads -- after five or six years -- to an annual earnings increase of an average of nearly $10,000 per learner.

You may be thinking, can this be true for students in my program? Possibly. This is the only longitudinal study of adults who have dropped out of school that has been done in the U.S.. It lasted about a decade. It is the only study that has been able to capture impact (outcomes over time, not just at the end of one year). By the end of the study about 90% of the participants were still in the study (remarkable in itself -- kudos to the researchers!). The study had a random sample of nearly a thousand participants …

David Rosen

Snippet #3

I want to echo David's comment about the increased wages for those adult learners who participated in Adult Basic Skills (ABS) programs at the 100+ hour level because it is so astounding.  Those who enter ABS programs had an annual wage (before 1997) of approximately $6,000 (much lower than those who do not participate in ABS programs) but climbed to nearly $14,000 by the end of the study (after 2007; measured in 1997 dollars).  This is still not a family sustaining wage the trajectory is in the right direction.

Cynthia Zafft

7. Adult Basic Education:  Designing a Better Future for Adult Learners – November 18

Taken from LINCS Notice

Save the Date!

Designing a Better Future for Adult Learners: A Cross-Country Collaboration
November 18, 2015
9am - 3pm PST / 12 - 6pm EST

The need is great. Imagine not being able to read to your children because you never learned how, or being unable to get a job that allows you to provide for your family because you do not have the required basic skills. Today, an estimated 36 million adult learners in America lack the basic math, language, and digital literacy skills necessary to find good paying jobs and navigate public and social systems. From a social and an economic standpoint, the need IS great, but there is a way forward, and we believe you can help.

Convened by Digital Promise’s Adult Learning Initiative, in close cooperation with the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, several education accelerators are hosting a nationwide, multi-city design day to explore how new digital learning opportunities could be designed for under-skilled, under-served adults. The team based design day will run simultaneously in multiple locations across the country and will be connected to the other locations virtually (via web conference) at the beginning and end of the day for kickoff, exchange of ideas, and reflection.

·        LEARN about adult students and their unique needs, as well as how the Adult Education market works, who the buyers are and how funding works.

·        Engage in local DESIGN challenges focused on designing real solutions for adult learners.

·        CONNECT with entrepreneurs, educators, researchers, and investors who can help make your design a reality.

Join us! The need IS great, the digital divide IS real, but together, we can roll up our sleeves to do the good work for adult education students nationwide.

Register Now!

8. Career Pathways:  Workforce Data Quality Campaign Webinar on Employer Engagement in Workforce Data – October 27

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

A new paper by the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC), "Taking Care of Business: Employer Engagement in Workforce Data," highlights the importance of involving business leaders in the development and use of workforce information.

Join WDQC for a discussion about why longitudinal data systems and other sources of workforce information are important to employers. The conversation will include business leaders involved with developing state data systems, and how they are using their own data to make smarter hiring decisions.

Register for this webinar here.

Panelists include:

• Jay Moon, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association 
• Martha Legg Miller, Attorney, Balch & Bingham LLP, in Alabama 
• Jaimie Francis, Senior Manager, Programs and Operations, Center for Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 

Moderated by Rachel Zinn, Director, Workforce Data Quality Campaign

Location:  Online webinar

Date:  Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm

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

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The webinar recording is now available here

10. College and Career Standards:  Text Complexity

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

Currently, we are reading an article from Newsela about the recent discovery of ancient hominid bones in South Africa. One of the things I appreciate about the articles in Newsela is that you can choose various levels of the same text. According to the Reading Maturity Matrix, the Lexile Level we are using for this text was confirmed at 6.8, which should be about right for the students in my class -- with teacher support.

The text complexity collection at Achieve the Core, which you can read about and link to in the LINCS collection, offers helpful guidance to us on choosing text at the right level.

Susan Finnmiller

Assessing Complex Texts:  Using more than Lexile

I have been working in Maine on CCRS teacher professional development and as you mentioned the emphasis on complex text is a big new idea for many teachers. I think one of the ways that teachers can help participants access complex text comes from the very way that teachers determine text complexity. While the Lexile level is one way to determine text complexity there are other factors that are also very important. Teachers can start with the Lexile Level but should also do a qualitative analysis of the text. By looking at the features of the text- things such as: structure, language clarity and conventions, knowledge demands, purpose and/or meaning teachers can begin to get a sense of where students will need to be scaffolded in order to access the text. 

A teacher must take into consideration the quantitative (i.e. lexile level) and qualitative measures of a text and this together with what the teacher knows about what students know and can do help to build a road map for supporting students to access the text.

Megan Dichter

 11. ESL:  New and Improved USA Learns Webinar – December 4

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

New and Improved USA Learns webinar will be given by John Fleischman on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm Eastern. Even though it might a little early to commit to attending, you will receive a reminder.  And even if you can't make it, by registering you will receive a link to the recorded webinar. So you can register now

12. LINCS Events for October

Taken from LINCS Notice

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. Reading and Writing:  Technology and Engineering Reading Passages

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

The following link on provides technology and engineering reading passages at different K-12 reading levels. Since STEM skills and knowledge continue to be in high demand, the following passages will be of interest among our adult learners.

14. Technology:  Keyboarding

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Resource:  The Literacy List Keyboarding Skills


For learning the keys, I use TIPP10 online version. It is free and has a reporting system that analyzes every keystroke so you can see your accuracy, not only for every key, but also for every finger. I also use a classic typing book, Cortez-Peters Championship Typing. I particularly like its reverse typing exercise. I also use Authentic writing assignments such as "type everything that you can remember about the class visitor we had yesterday." I focus on helping students build muscle memory in their fingers and de-emphasize speed. I use the analogy of playing the guitar. When I want to play a G chord, my hand contorts into this odd shape which is just right to produce the desired sound. I try to convince students that it will help them in their computer work if their fingers automatically take care of the typing so their mind is free to focus on the task at hand …

Kenny Tamarkin

… I use Type2learn because of its easy registration, because it's online, so students can use it anywhere with Internet access, and because it's easy to use (finger positions are color coded). It's a pretty bare bones program -only drill practice, no games - and emphasizes accuracy over speed. I've used Mavis Beacon before, too, but prefer the free online program for easier student access. Also, when I used Mavis Beacon, or even other online typing programs that offered games, my students were never interested in the games. I think that might be a difference between children and adults …

Dorothy Taylor

HiSET Information

HiSET® September 2015 Newsletter

New Resources

Practice Tests

The HiSET® 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 HiSET® 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

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:


Montana HSE Update: September 2015­­­

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