Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1. HiSET Blast

Update:  6/29/15

Check out most current HiSET information below!!!

·       Online Interactive Practice Tests

·       CBAL Quick Math Practice

·       Individual Score Reports:  Changes coming!

HiSET® Program eUpdate | June 2015

Online Interactive Practice Tests for the HiSET® Exam

Coming June 30, 2015

Experience what it is like to take the computer-delivered HiSET® exam by taking these free, 30–45-minute interactive practice tests. The questions on these practice tests are the same as on the HiSET Free Practice Test 2 (FPT2), but are provided in an interactive practice test format.

When you take the interactive practice tests, you receive immediate feedback on your responses, an estimate of your level of readiness to take the real test and an estimate of your HiSET scaled score on this test. You can then review the questions together with explanations for the correct answers.

CBAL™ Quick Math Practice

Coming June 30, 2015

The CBAL™ Quick Math Practice system was developed as part of the Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL™) Initiative at ETS.

With the CBAL Quick Math Practice, you can improve your mathematics skills by practicing with short exercises that focus on core mathematical concepts and procedures. Although the exercises in Quick Math Practice are not the same as the questions you will see on the HiSET mathematics subtest, they can complement your preparation for it. Additionally, the Quick Math Practice system is delivered in a computer-adaptive format, while the computer-delivered practice tests are not adaptive.

Individual Score Reports

HiSET will be changing the detail on our individual score report to reflect percentages rather than the number of items correct, as of June 30. Due to item variations across forms and the equating process, we want to eliminate any confusion as the number of items correct needed to pass will vary by form. This change will still assist candidates in identifying areas of improvement.


As a result of the HiSET portal updates scheduled for tomorrow, the individual score report design changes will be slightly delayed as the changes are dependent on some of the system enhancements. You can expect to see the changes for individuals testing the week of July 6th.  Please note that this delay will have no impact to score reporting time frames.  It’s simply a delay in the template used for reporting.

I’ve attached a sample of the new template for your reference.

Adriana Wells

Product Manager - Lead

Free Practice Test 1 (FPT1) and Paid Practice Test 1 (PPT1)

The free and paid practice tests that were released in 2013 were updated in April to include algebraic concept items that are similar to those on the live operational 2015 test. Please refer to the HiSET Practice Test Quick Reference Guide (PDF) which outlines all the practice test resources that are currently available.

HiSET Portal Enhancements

We will be making the latest round of enhancements to the HiSET Portal overnight on June 30, into the early morning of July 1. During this time, the portal will be unavailable for scheduling and registration.

New enhancements will include:

  • the ability to register with Canadian addresses
  • the ability to schedule and pay for exams using vouchers in the TCA Model

Test Center Reminders

Please avoid creating duplicate profiles for test takers as it can create delays in the processing of scores. The HiSET portal will automatically check for duplicate records as you create profiles and should be overridden only in the event you are certain the test taker does not already have an existing profile. If you have any questions, please contact Test Administration Services (TAS) for assistance.

Please also contact TAS for any general questions regarding ordering test materials, account information and test site scheduling:


Official Practice Test 2

The Official Practice Test 2 (OPT2) replacement orders have all been shipped. If you received an Official Practice Test 1 (OPT1) and have not received an OPT2, please email Lindsey Hamilton.

HiSET Success Stories

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 Bill Kopco 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: June 2015­­­

Update:  7/6/15

As you know, we are continuing our efforts to improve processes and ensure test integrity through the practice of regular, random test center audits. These audits are meant to ensure consistency in the processes followed to deliver the HiSET nationally, and are in no way an attempt to impede testing or to get centers “in trouble”. Our efforts are related directly to best practices, and we hope that this process continues to create an environment where centers can grow and learn and improve processes, as well as offering an opportunity to find centers that exemplify what we consider stellar center management. We are sending out the reminder to test centers below this week, as we’ve had a handful of centers surprised by their audits, and want to remind everyone that these audits are standard, customary practice and in no way should impact their day to day operations of delivering tests.


As part of our ongoing commitment to quality and consistency in the delivery of the HiSET exam, a test center observer may visit your center the day of the test or the week preceding it. You should check the observer’s identification and letter of authorization from ETS Office of Testing Integrity. If you are still in doubt about the identity of the auditor, you should call the number on the letter to verify the visit. Test center observations are scheduled to ensure that procedures and facilities meet test center standards. The observer will want to monitor as many aspects of the administration as possible, particularly test security arrangements and procedures, testing environment conditions and any evidence of recent changes in program policies, procedures, or requirements. It is requested you provide full cooperation to the observer, however, an observer should not in any way impede you or your staff in the execution of the test administration. These audits will be unannounced and are random and ongoing throughout the testing year in all of our HiSET jurisdictions. You can always contact Test Administration Services at 1-800-257-5123 for additional questions or information regarding test center audits.


Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Amy E. Briggs

Director of Product Management

ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)


Update:  6/29/15

Webex demo for our new free CBT practice tests and CBAL™ Quick Math practice tool

·       HiSET CBT Practice Test & CBAL Quick Math Demo

Click here to PLAY RECORDING (15 min)

Corrections Webinar:  New Scheduling Options

·       Click here to PLAY RECORDING (5 min)

Check out Montana’s Post-Standard Passing Rate:

·       2014 Annual Statistical Report on HiSET Exam


HiSET Test Administration Update:

·        Test Administrator:  Directions for Administering HiSET Paper-based Exam

·        Test Taker:  Directions for Administering 2015 HiSET Paper-based Exams

·        Test Taker: Spanish Instructions for Administering 2015 HiSET Paper-based Exams


Estimate how well prepared you are for 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.

2. 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 7/6/15:

3. Instruction

Check out #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, and #13.

4. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

5. WIOA Update

7/6/15:  WIOA Joint Blog: Making a Shift in the Public Workforce System

On July 1, 2015 many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) went into effect. OCTAE, along with our partners at the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services released a blog discussing the combined efforts at the federal, state, and local levels to date, and how the federal partners will continue to support the transformation of the public workforce system as state and local officials work to transform their systems. Read the joint statement about this significant milestone by Acting Assistant Secretary of OCTAE Johan E. Uvin and our partner agencies.
We encourage you to continue to visit for additional information and resources, as they become available.

Cheryl L. Keenan

Director, Adult Education and Literacy
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education

6/29/15:   Montana WIOA Kickoff

Please contact Margaret Bowles at for more information about the conference.

August 18 – 20

Gateway Center, Helena


WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here  to access the following:

Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

6. Career Pathways:  Funding Career Pathways - A Federal Funding Toolkit for States (Revised Edition)  

Taken from Career Pathways Exchange

Funding Career Pathways: A Federal Funding Toolkit for States (Revised Edition)

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), 2015

Earlier editions of CLASP's Career Pathways Funding Toolkit were widely cited and used at the federal, state, and local levels. The newest edition includes revised program profiles reflecting the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act legislative and administrative changes to key federal programs. Of all the elements of career pathways, support services are among the most important to student success; they also are the most difficult to fund. An updated appendix identifies 10 federal funding sources that can be used to provide a wide range of support services for participants in career pathways.

7. Corrections:  New OCTAE Report on Correctional Education Highlights Importance of Facility and Community Partnerships

Taken from OCTAE Connection

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education recently released a new report, Reentry Education Model Implementation Study: Promoting Reentry Success through Continuity of Educational Opportunities. The study examines the implementation of OCTAE’s correctional education reentry model at three demonstration sites—Barton Community College in Kansas, Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 in Pennsylvania, and Western Technical College in Wisconsin.  It also identifies lessons for linking facility-and community-based reentry education programs. Adult education providers may wish to review this report for lessons learned, and for application to their own programs serving transitional adult learners who are preparing for the workforce. 

The demonstration sites were selected through a competitive process and received grant funds in March 2013 to implement the reentry education model. The model involves “establishing a strong program infrastructure, strengthening and aligning correctional and reentry education services, and integrating education into the correctional system.”  It also emphasizes the use of evidence-based curricula and instruction. The study offers observations from the first full year of the model’s use at the sites to describe their implementation experiences as well as the model’s strengths and limitations. 

The study found that strong partnerships between education providers and correctional facilities are essential to offering quality correctional education and maintaining educational continuity as formerly incarcerated people reenter the community. Some practices that are crucial to sustaining partnerships are highlighted. These include facilitating good communication among partners, particularly through in-person meetings; recognizing and respecting the different priorities and organizational cultures of all of the partners; and engaging both frontline staff and senior leadership. 

In addition to these partnerships, the study showed that focusing on transitions into and out of correctional facilities and providing programs leading to career pathways can significantly enable incarcerated individuals to continue their education and prepare for good jobs. “Moments of transition”—entry into or release from a correctional facility—are key points for recruiting and retaining students in educational programs. Thus, effective recruitment and class assignment strategies can improve students’ program of study retention and completion rates. Once students have transitioned from corrections facilities, the study found, wrap-around reentry support services, such as college and career counseling, are important in recruiting and retaining students in community-based reentry education programs. 

Education that is focused on high-demand career pathways can use stackable credentials—and jobs that would be accessible to individuals with criminal histories— to offer more opportunities for the previously incarcerated to earn a living wage and avoid recidivism. Career assessment and exploration can enable students to see not only how their interests connect to potential careers, but also what credentials are needed for various jobs within a career pathway.

For more information, interested parties are encouraged to read the full implementation study and the original reentry education model report.

8. Disabilities:  Postsecondary Transition in Special Education: A Parent and Student Perspective

Taken from LINCS Disabilities in Adult Education

Webinar on June 30:  When students with disabilities leave high school, they also leave behind the extensive rules and regulations that come with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. While many young adults can transition seamlessly into college or work, others find the lack of structure challenging. Parents may not know where to get the additional assistance that their children may still need. Young adults, unused to self-advocacy, may find it difficult to navigate a new set of expectations and requirements.

Transcript from Webinar:

9. Instruction:  Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning – Coming soon!

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy 

The LINCS Learning Portal houses self-paced, freely accessible online courses developed by U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education-funded initiatives. The LINCS project will be releasing an online course entitled Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning this summer. An announcement will be made when the course is live on the Learning Portal. Please disregard this post until the course is live.

10. Math:  Geometry - Solve real-world & math problems involving area, surface area & volume

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

Among the best standards-based lesson plans I've found on the web are at Stanford University's Understanding Language website. These lessons take into account that many learners need to enhance not only their math skills but also their language skills. For example, this highly interactive lesson on Making Matchsticks addresses several Standards for Mathematical Practice as well as the Level C standard on "Solving real-world & math problems involving area, surface area, and volume." The lesson also effectively integrates several ELA standards.

Susan Finnmiller

11. Reading Webinar from May 29 Now Archived:  Take a look at the PowerPoint!

Taken from LINCS Notice

If you did not get a chance to participate in the webinar, check out the PowerPoint for curriculum information beginning on Frame 22.  This gives a good framework for the progression of skills needed for reading.

Here are just a few snippets from the PowerPoint.


·        Do you know what Peeling Off is?  Check Frame 27.

·        Using the Three Decoding Strategies – Frame 29.

Metacognition – Frame 34

·        Self-talk and self-regulated learning

·        Conscious awareness of strategy use

·        Learner understands strategies, can name

·        and describe them, knows when to use them

·        Select, Apply, Monitor, and Evaluate

·        Multi-strategic, flexible, and persistent

·        Attributes success to strategy use

Workplace Words – Frame 35

Comprehension:  Adult PACES Comprehension Program – Frame 37

·        Predicting the Author’s Purpose

·        Acquiring Vocabulary using Context Clues

·        Clarifying Common Sources of Confusion

·        Evaluating and Elaborating through Questioning

·        Summarizing Important Information

And much, much more!


To view the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy webinar, go to:

If you only want to see the slides, go to: _Webinar.pdf

To view the AutoTutor video that was presented during the webinar, go to:

12. Technology:  How-to Websites for Adult Learners

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning 

The web now has an overwhelming number of "How-to" video websites. Some are useful for adult learners. For example, the (young) Google staff put together a good collection of free short videos called Teach Parents Technology that I have recommended to adult education teachers for many years.

There is also the Google Tips website Another favorite is Wiki How, not videos, but short articles on how to do an amazing array of things

David Rosen

13. Technology Discussion:  LINCS Explores Digital Badges in Adult Education – Online Portfolios and Micro-credentials

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Title: Micro-credentials and Online Portfolios

Event Type: Online Discussion

Date(s): July 13-17, 2015

Next Monday, from July 13-17, 2015, join us in the LINCS Technology and Learning group for a special Micro-credentials and Online Portfolios online discussion. This online discussion will focus on:

Defining and describing micro-credentials (digital badges) and online portfolios;

Exploring how they can be used in adult education programs, schools and organizations;

Examining how they can enhance existing online learning or assessment products and websites ; and

Identifying potential benefits for learners pursuing substantive career pathways.

Aimed at examining micro-credentials and online portfolios in a comprehensive way, this event will be particularly relevant to adult education teachers, program administrators, and members of the LINCS Technology and Learning, Program Management, and Career Pathways groups.

14. Technology:  Summary of Internet Access

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Here's my (David Rosen) summary of the data from the latest (June 26, 2015) Pew Research Center Internet Survey, Americans’ Internet Access: 2000-2015Before you read this, what two groups in America do you think have the lowest Internet access: women, older adults, low-income adults, African-Americans, Latino/Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, those who lack a high school diploma, or those who live in rural areas? 

·        84% of American adults now use the Internet. In 2000 it was a little over 50%. Note, however, that there has been little or no growth since 2012.

·        Older adults still lag behind. "Older adults have lagged behind younger adults in their adoption, but now a clear majority (58%) of senior citizens uses the internet" and older adults as a group have a faster adoption rate than young adults. (I presume because young adults are already the group most likely to use the Internet.)

·        Education and economic class differences affect access and use. "Those with college educations are more likely than those who do not have high school diplomas to use the internet. Similarly, those who live in households earning more than $75,000 are more likely to be internet users than those living in households earning less than $30,000. Still, the class-related gaps have shrunk dramatically in 15 years as the most pronounced growth has come among those in lower-income households and those with lower levels of educational attainment." Note: 66% of those who have not completed high school, now use the internet. 74% of those with  household incomes below $30K have Internet access.

·        Racial and ethnic differences still matter but the gap has narrowed. "African-Americans and Hispanics have been somewhat less likely than whites or English-speaking Asian-Americans to be internet users, but the gaps have narrowed. Today, 78% of African-Americans and 81% of Latino/Hispanic-Americans use the internet, compared with 85% of whites and 97% of English-speaking Asian-Americans.

·        Internet access for those in rural areas is still lower but the gap has narrowed. "Those who live in rural areas are less likely than those in the suburbs and urban areas to use the internet." Only 78% of rural residents are online.

·        Gender. There has been gender parity for fifteen years.

If you guessed "older adults" (58%) and "those who lack a high school diploma" (66%) you're right; these are the two groups with the lowest rate of Internet access. Although the digital divide has narrowed, for some groups it is still a big problem, and perhaps for people who fit two or more of the gap categories -- older, lacking a high school diploma, low family income, residing in a rural area, African-American, Latino/Hispanic American -- the gap could be even larger.

Surprising to me (David Rosen) was that although immigrants are mentioned, "immigrants" is not in itself an Internet access category …

Here's a link to a blog article version of my digital divide data summary that explores the roles of adult basic education in reducing the gaps.

David Rosen

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

415 N. 30th Billings, MT 59101