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:  October Update

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 Moving Pathways Forward Resources

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

3. 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.

4. WIOA Update

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Follow-up

Presentations posted on DLI website: under Data and Publications.

WIOA Montana Updates:

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

National Information

5. Ability to Benefit Webinar:  November 9

Taken from LINCS Financial Literacy

Be sure to Register EARLY - even if you can't make it you will receive the information**

Date and Time: Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST

Access to financial aid plays a huge role in the ability of students to access, persist in, and complete postsecondary education, especially for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent. In December 2014, Congress partially restored the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision of the Higher Education Act. Under this provision, students who do not have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, but who are enrolled in eligible career pathways programs, may qualify for federal financial aid. In addition to participating in an eligible career pathways program, students wanting to qualify for aid need to pass an approved test or successfully complete six hours of college credit. The partial ATB restoration provides a great opportunity for thousands of students who will now be able to pursue postsecondary education and training in community and technical colleges, or four-year colleges, and attain the credentials needed for careers in high-demand occupations. To benefit from the restoration, however, students in eligible career pathways programs need help to gain access to resources and information.

The webinar will address the following questions:

What is Ability to Benefit?

Who is eligible for Ability to Benefit?

What are the two primary ways to help students qualify for ATB and access financial aid for college pathways programs?

What constitutes an “eligible” career pathways program?

Where can one find the list of ABT tests that qualify students for ATB?

During the Nov. 9 webinar, staff from the U.S. Department of Education will provide guidance on how students can qualify. In addition, state and community college officials will share examples of how Ability to Benefit is being utilized to support low-income, underprepared students.

ED is asking webinar participants to submit by Nov. 1 any inquiries on which they would like ED’s guidance. To submit a question(s) please fill out this short survey. ED will review the inquiries in advance and respond to as many of them as possible during the webinar.

For more resources from Jobs for the Future about how to help underprepared students access and succeed in college, please visit

For more background on Ability to Benefit, visit


·        Mark Mitsui, deputy assistant secretary for Community Colleges, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education;

·        Carney McCullough, director, Policy Development Group, Office of Postsecondary Education;

·        David Musser, policy liaison, Federal Student Aid;

·        Maria Flynn, senior vice president, Jobs for the Future;

·        Jon Kerr, director of Adult Basic Education, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges; and

·        Derek Ball, financial aid officer at the Kentucky Community & Technical College System.


·        Mary Clagett, program director, Jobs for the Future

·        Lauren E. Walizer, senior policy analyst, Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, CLASP

Please be sure to register for the webinar by clicking here. Login information for the event will be sent out to registered attendees prior to the event.

6. 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!

7. Adult Charter Schools Discussion

Taken from LINCS Program Management

The LINCS Program Management Community of Practice will host a week-long panel discussion on adult charter schools from Monday, November 2nd through Friday, November 6th. A relatively new, but steadily growing trend in over ten states and the District of Columbia, we now have nearly 100 adult public charter schools in the U.S. Panelists include experienced adult charter school managers who will describe the opportunities and challenges in creating and operating adult charter schools. Participants will learn more about what charter schools are, what an adult charter school looks like, what opportunities they present, and challenges they create for program administrators, teachers and adult learners. For example, becoming an adult charter school might ensure a stable source of funding, or offer a solid alternative to high school equivalency diplomas with an approved high school diploma. This is an important opportunity for innovative program directors, who are seeking new opportunities for their adult secondary education skills programs.

Here are the topics, day-by-day

·        Monday November 2nd we will begin with Introductions of the Panelists

·        Tuesday, November 3rd ,  Opportunities and Challenges in Becoming an Adult Charter school.

·        Wednesday, November 4th,  Teacher Professional Development.

·        Thursday, November 5th, Career Pathways.

·        Friday, November 6th,  Assessment and Evaluation.

To participate: if you are not already a member, join the Program Management Community of Practice. I look forward to seeing your questions and comments in this discussion!  If you know colleagues who may be interested in joining LINCS for this discussion, please forward the instructions for joining and posting messages below.

David J. Rosen

8. Career Pathways:  Pathways to Career Network Curriculum Resources

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Two freely accessible curricula have been developed through a joint initiative between the Women Employed and the City Colleges of Chicago to share policies and programs promoting successful transitions from basic skill programs to college and career paths. The Career Foundations Curriculum and Bridge Program Lesson Plans provide daily lesson plans and handouts to use with adult students.

Career Foundations Curriculum

How do you encourage adult students who never earned a high school diploma to view Adult Education as a program that leads to real opportunity? The Career Foundations: Making Your Education Work for You curriculum is designed to assist students who read at a 4th grade level or above or who speak limited English assess their skills and interests, explore career paths, and craft a plan to get them to college.

Bridge Program Lesson Plans

(No need to reinvent the wheel – check out this design.)  How do you help students who need to improve their basic reading and writing skills, want to pass the 2014 GED (or other HSE) and go on to college-level classes, and are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare or transportation, distribution, and logistics (TDL)? Bridge program lesson plans, written for adult students who read at a 6th grade level or above, provide all the materials you need.

9. 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

10. Corrections:  Educational Technology in Corrections

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

A new video highlighting the importance of educational technology in corrections has been posted on the LINCS YouTube channel. It references a report, Educational Technology in Corrections 2015, RTI International developed for OCTAE examining the current use of advanced technologies in corrections. The report also describes the present status of educational technology in corrections; existing and emerging approaches to offering such services in facilities; the successes and challenges of early implementers; and recommendations for adoption. We encourage you to take a look at both and share them with any colleagues working with correctional facilities.

11. ESL:  A Framework for Raising Expectations and Rigor for English Learners

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

I wanted to draw your attention to a resource in the LINCS collection that may be of interest, particularly to adult education programs serving immigrants and refugees-- A Framework for Raising Expectations and Instructional Rigor for English Language Learner Students.

This K12 resource was developed by the Council of the Great City Schools, which is a membership organization of 67 of the nations’ largest urban public school districts. The review emphasizes the potential value of the resource for guiding adult ESL instruction toward the rigor necessary to prepare adult English learners for college and career. 

According to the review:

"The resource describes how the needs of ELLs can be met within the framework of English Language Arts/Literacy [Common Core State Standards]. It provides:

A new vision for English language development

The provision of examples of instructional delivery models

Step-by-step guidance for selecting instructional materials that will accelerate the acquisition of academic language and grade-level content for all English learners.

This resource is unusual in that it offers a framework for evaluating curriculum both for its alignment to college and career readiness (CCR) standards AND for its suitability with ELLs. It addresses all the key instructional advances in light of special procedures and supports that should be considered for an ELL population.It does not back away from the high expectations of the CCR standards for ELLs, and it clearly describes what sorts of language supports should be built in to materials designed to be effective for ELLs."

This looks like an especially useful resource as we strive to increase expectations and the rigor of instruction for English learners

Susan Finn Miller, Moderator, AELL & CCS Communities of Practice

12. 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

HiSET Information

HiSET® October 2015 Newsletter

New Resources

Khan Academy Math Videos

In collaboration with Khan Academy, the HiSET® program has identified videos and exercises that can assist you in preparing for the HiSET Math test. These training videos can improve the fundamental skills in Numbers and Operations, Geometry, Data Analysis and Algebra that you need to be successful on the HiSET Math test. See the Khan Academy Instructional Support Videos and Exercises (PDF) for more information.

Ordering Test Materials for 2016

HiSET Test Administration Services (TAS) will be placing 2016 initial orders for all paper-delivered test centers. This will alleviate the burden of calculating battery bundle quantities for chief examiners. TAS will begin ordering materials on November 2, 2015. Please do not place orders for 2016 material without first contacting your HiSET TAS representative.

Returning Test Materials for 2015

All 2015 HiSET test books must be returned to the ETS warehouse at the conclusion of the 2015 testing year by chief examiners. Because of 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, i.e., 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.

Quick Reference Guide

The HiSET Quick Reference Guide (PDF) is a detailed list of all HiSET practice tests that are currently available. Please use this resource when choosing which practice tests to purchase or download.

Test Prep Providers

The HiSET Program has a list of publishers of HiSET test prep materials for educators and test takers. The HiSET® Test Prep Providers page, found in the "For States and Educators" section of the HiSET website, has a list of available products and publishers. These products were reviewed by third parties for alignment with the HiSET exam, but are not endorsed or approved by ETS.

Confidentiality Statement

Test centers do not need to mail in the confidentiality statement to the TAS department. The confidentiality statement is included in the Computer Based Testing test package and the test taker signs off on the confidentiality statement on the back of their answer sheet. Therefore, it is no longer necessary for test takers to write out and sign the confidentiality statement.

HiSET Success Story — Lawrence, Massachusetts

With the help of YouthBuild®, Daniel Morales successfully passed the HiSET exam and earned his high school equivalency certificate. Now set on a path to achieve lifelong goals, Morales is enrolled in an associates program at Northern Essex Community College. Read more about Morales' 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.

HiSET Annual Conference — Registration is now closed!

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans on November 30–December 2, 2015. If you have any questions, please email us at

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.
Phone toll-free:


Montana HSE Update: October 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