Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1. Montana Adult Education Website

Check out the new Montana Adult Education website at .

1.     When you go to the website, just click on the OPI tab at the top. 

2.     You will see the Standards section. 

3.     Click on Resources to find all resources from the Teacher Summer Institute.

MTLINCS is still online and filled with resources.  However, as we move to WIOA, all new information will be posted at .

2. Montana Adult Education and Partner Meetings/Trainings:

Montana Adult Education Meetings

Montana ABLE Teacher Institute Resources

Click here for Resources.

Note from Margaret Bowles:

Greetings Summer Institute Participants,

I have had the opportunity to visit with several teachers who attended the Institute, and they have provided very positive feedback on how we can proceed to create our CCR Standards-Based Learning Community in a much more collaborative, efficient manner.

So please, put the lesson plan template and monthly call assignments aside, and look forward to a regional face-to-face meeting in the fall (and spring) that will take MT adult education classroom to the next level in a very teacher-friendly manner. You can look forward to creating plans and talking about CCR lessons with your professional peers.

Also, Michele Curlee has decided to move onto another professional adventure. So I will be your point of contact for professional development questions.

Thanks to all of you for being visionary ABE teachers. Together we will  embrace the  challenge and implement change!

Have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to working with you all this fall.


Technology Training:  Free

Microsoft Innovator Educator

NCCE nominated Great Falls to be the site of a Microsoft Innovative Educator training on June 16, the day after MIET! By completing the FREE TRAINING, participants will receive a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Badge and a completion certificate for participation.  Attendees will also receive complimentary certification vouchers for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exams enabling them to continue to advance their own professional development following this training. The MIE program was designed by teachers and teacher trainers for K-12 educators across all subjects. It increases the knowledge and integration of technology tools to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom, enabling teachers and students to get more out of the Microsoft products they love. This free training has limited enrollment and it's filling fast! Go to the MIET website (below) for a link to register for this separate event!

Visit us online for more information!

Montana WIOA Core Partner Meeting

·        August 23, 24, and 25

This will be a very important meeting; employability skills training, national leaders’ panel discussion, and unveiling of MT WIOA policy (how the partners will collaborate to provide services) will be unveiled. 

3. Montana Adult Education Director Update:  TABE

As you know, we have been working hard at the state level to discuss delivery of services to common clients under WIOA. Once thing that came to our attention was the question whether vocational rehabilitation required the TABE complete battery or survey for the clients they refer to ABE. … there is no state vocational rehabilitation requirement that ABE give the full battery. They rely on the ABE center to make that determination, which as you can see is most often the survey.

Margaret Bowles

TABE Update on 6/13/16

We are moving toward having ABE do all of our TABE testing.  This won’t happen overnight but we hope to have this all in place by July 1, 2017.  If you do have an ABE center in your community, you can use them to do your testing now.  There is no DLI WIOA policy that outlines which test is needed (TABE Full Battery versus the TABE Survey) to be given to Adult and Dislocated Worker participants and the decision on which test is appropriate can be left up to ABE. 

For now, if you are testing your own Adult and Dislocated Worker participants, you might think about starting to utilize ABE for this if they are in your community etc.  This will save some time for you and this is the direction we will be going…  If there are issues to be ironed out in your community surrounding this issue and you want to keep testing for now, go ahead and do that – just know the option is out there to have ABE test. 

Suzanne Ferguson

406-447-3237 Work

406-447-3240 Fax

4. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.  New 5/21/16

5. 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.  New resources posted on 5/21/16.

6. WIOA Update

WIOA Montana Updates:


Measurable Skills Gain

Below is a rather long document with comments on Measureable Skill Gain (MSG);  there is a lot that will change in the coming years, and we will receive more definitive guidance on what all will be included in MSG. I do want to call your attention to the second to the last page. It appears that attainment of a job-readiness certificate was not selected as a gain type.

I thought this may be important for some of you to know as you work with your partners who may give job-readiness certificates.

Margaret Bowles

Click here for Measurable Skill Gain Excerpt


Agencies urge aligning SNAP E&T with WIOA

To better serve SNAP participants known as ABAWDs (able-bodied adults without dependents), states should connect them to quality employment and training opportunities so they can maintain food assistance while building skills. According to new guidance from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Labor, SNAP and workforce agencies should work together to help SNAP participants access WIOA programs. Read more on our Skills Blog.


Montana WIOA Discussion Group Update

Have you been reading items posted on the Montana WIOA Discussion List?  Monthly program reports have been posted.

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

WIOA National Update:

2/20/16:  NRS Implementation Guidelines

NRS Implementation Guidelines

HiSET Information

HiSET® May 2016 Newsletter

The HiSET® Program Welcomes Illinois!

ETS proudly welcomes Illinois to our family of states and jurisdictions that offer the HiSET® exam to out-of-school youth and adults who are pursuing their high school equivalency credential. Illinois is the 21st state to offer a more affordable and accessible test option to its residents.

Enhanced Individual Reporting Now Available in the Enterprise Data Manager

We've listened to your feedback and have made it easier for Test Center Administrators to access specific scores for individual test takers in the Enterprise Data Manager. In addition to accessing scoring information faster, test administrators can now track subtest completion status for individual test takers. Enterprise Data Manager, a new online system that enables test center staff to run specific data on their test takers, is found in your HiSET portal. If you want to learn more, contact your state Client Manager about upcoming training opportunities.

Minimum Requirements for Computer-Based Testing (CBT) have been updated

HiSET CBT now supports the following Operating systems and browsers: Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) 32-bit and 64-bit, Windows® 8.1 32-bit and 64-bit, Windows® 10 32-bit and 64-bit; as well as Microsoft Internet Explorer® (IE) v10, v11, and Edge.

Additional information:

  • The operating system should reside on, and boot from, the computer's local hard disk. Virtual machines and thin clients are not supported.
  • Macintosh® or iMac® are not supported or approved for use with test delivery on the iBT™ platform.
  • Microsoft® Server Operating System or Linux® are not supported.

HiSET Success Story — Lanai, Hawaii

Congratulations to Lanai, the smallest island of the Hawaiian chain, and the students of McKinley Community Adult School's first graduating class, who successfully completed Essential Education's Online Learning Academy for the HiSET exam and earned their high school equivalency credential by passing the HiSET exam.

The academy is an online prep course that helps prepare adult students to take the HiSET exam. Essential Education is one of several HiSET test preparation providers and products that can help test takers prepare. Read more about this tiny island's big success.

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 2016 Annual Conference — Save the date!

When:  December 5-7, 2016

Where: Fairmont San Francisco,

950 Mason Street

San Francisco, CA 94108

Registration:  $250

A separate email will be sent out in a few weeks with additional details regarding registration, hotel information and program agenda.

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:


Montana HSE Update:  June 2016

Update:  6/13/16

HiSET Online Portal:  Scheduled Outage and Updates

As you know, we have been developing and preparing to implement enhancements within our online portal.  To ensure smooth testing and migration efforts, we need to bring the portal down entirely.  The outage is currently scheduled for Friday, July 29, 2016 and is expected to last through Monday, August 1, 2016.  We expect the system to be back up an running during the early morning hours of August 2, 2016.  The outage will impact all internal and external users. Since neither ETS nor test centers will be able to access the system, no testing will be scheduled for administration during the outage.  At this time, no test takers are scheduled to test on the dates listed above.  To be certain there is no rescheduling impact to our testers, we have blocked these dates from scheduling.  A communication will be sent to all HiSET testing centers next week advising them the same. 

Here is a brief highlight of some of the changes you can expect after the update:

·        Removal of 'Battery' purchase option - Test takers and test centers will now be able to purchase individual sub tests AND receive two free makeups without paying the entire ETS battery cost upfront! 

·        New Email/Text/SMS notifications - Functionality will allow us to automatically notify test takers when a new score has been posted to their account!  Additionally, we will send a reminder email when they have an upcoming appointment.  NOTE: When multiple appointments are scheduled the same day, ONE notification will be sent showing details for each appointment. Method of communication will be based on an individual's communication preferences set in their personal profile.

·        'Important Messages' Center - A message box will be displayed on the test taker's home showing short, important notes.  Some of the messages to be included here are things like new score available, upcoming appointment, and refund status.

HiSET College and Career Opportunities Report

The HiSET College and Career Opportunities report will launch on June 8th.  The report will be emailed to all* test takers who pass HiSET June 8th and beyond. 

Click here for the report.

Update:  4/11/16

The HiSET team has always committed to providing relevant practice tests in order to assess a test taker’s readiness to take the HiSET exam.  Each year, our practice tests are re-evaluated for their relevance to the latest operational HiSET battery.  Our first two practice tests released in 2013, FPT1 and PPT1, no longer provide a strong correlation to the HiSET battery to measure a tester’s readiness.  As a result, FPT1 and PPT1 will no longer be available as of April 8, 2016. 


Instructors and test takers are encouraged to consider using our more recent practice tests released in 2015.  The HiSET Practice Test Reference Guide provides more details.  We will include a message about the removal if FPT1 and PPT1 in the upcoming HiSET newsletter for the field.

We look forward to providing additional practice tests in September 2016. 

Thank you!

Amy Riker
National Executive Director, ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®)

Educational Testing Service

Update:  3/20/16

HiSET Road Map for Instructors

Update:  2/20/16

HiSET Approved Materials provided by Marianne Shomaker, Montana OPI High School Equivalency Specialist

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!