Greetings from Montana LINCS

Interested in what is happening nationally?  Looking for new strategies?  Sign up on the LINCS discussion lists to follow trending information.  Go to . 

Looking for past emails?

Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at

MTLINCS will take intermittent breaks within the next few weeks.

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 WIOA Core Partner Meeting

August 23 – 1:00 to 5:00

August 24 – 8:00 to 5:00

August 25 – 8:00 to 11ish

Gateway Center, 1710 National Avenue, Helena (same place as last year)

Some things to look forward to are:

·       Federal perspective on WIOA from our DOL Regional Administrator Nick

Lalpuis and possibly other Federal Partner programs. 

·       Discussions with partners within your MaCO Districts

·       Montana’s Workforce Vision

Be looking for a link to register for the conference.  We are going to ask that you identify the MaCO District you serve (Districts 1, 2 and 3 will be combined).  Click here to view the MACO district map for you to refer to when you register.

Margaret Bowles

(A block of 30 sleeping rooms has been reserved at Wingate of Helena, 2007 N. Oakes, for the nights of August 23 and 24.  The reservations need to be made prior to July 23, 2016.  Please call Wingate at 406-449-3000 and reserve a sleeping room.  The block of sleeping rooms is under OPI!

3. Montana Adult Education Director Update:  TABE - Adult Educators invited to be a part of the TABE 11/12 Standard Setting Study

Note from Michael Johnson

Hello everyone,

We have reached a major milestone recently in the completion of the TABE 11/12 Field Test.  Thank you to all of you that helped encourage your programs to participate!  The next step in the development of the new TABE 11/12 tests is a Standard Setting workshop later this summer.  To prepare for the workshop we have started recruiting Adult Education professionals to submit an application to be considered for one of the workshops.

This recruitment is simply a request to have Teachers, Administrators, and other professionals complete an application.  All the applications will be reviewed by DRC staff and selected applicants will be invited to attend the Standard Setting workshop webinars.  

I am sending this email to state level contacts so that you are aware that we have started this recruitment with local programs.  I am not always confident that we have the most current emails for the many local programs so as a request I would like to ask that you share this email and specifically the information below with your local Adult Ed Program Directors.  

Thank you for any assistance to you can provide for this very important study.  Please let me know if you have any questions on the application, the study or TABE 11/12 plans.  


TABE 11&12 Online Standard Setting Study

To ensure TABE® 11&12 provides the most useful information about students’ levels of knowledge and skill, Data Recognition Corporation | CTB is selecting a small group of experts within the Adult Basic Education community to participate in a unique online study.

When a student takes TABE they receive many scores, including a NRS Educational Functioning Level (EFL), which reflects an adult learner’s progression in reading, language, and mathematics. To build clear links between TABE and the NRS EFLs, DRC|CTB will conduct an Online Standard Setting Study. During the study, participants will view test items from TABE 11&12, discuss the NRS EFLs, and recommend scores on TABE which will be used to divide students into EFLs.

We are looking for participants who are:

·        Seasoned instructors of adult learners

·        Administrators in Adult Basic Education centers, including schools, standalone learning centers, and correctional facilities

·        Content coaches andd experts for the Adult Basic Education community 

·         Higher Education professionals with knowledge of the Adult Basic Education community

Ideal participants will also have 5+ years of experience with Adult Basic Education, a degree in a related field, and access to an internet-connected computer and telephone line.

The Online Standard Setting Study will be conducted in early August with three separate sessions that will each last one day (typically 4-6 hours): one day each for reading, language, and mathematics. Interested participants may apply to take part in one, two, or all three studies.

Before the sessions, DRC|CTB will provide training on the methodology and the web conferencing platform. Each one-day session will be facilitated by DRC|CTB staff members with expertise in test development, educational measurement, and Adult Basic Education.

As a sign of our appreciation, DRC|CTB is delighted to offer participants in the online standard setting an honorarium of $150 per day. Those not selected to participate at this time will be notified of future studies. 


Interested parties are encouraged to apply for the study by
July 14, by completing the following form at:

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!