Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information


Montana WIOA Kickoff 

August 18 & 19

Gateway Center

1710 National Avenue

Helena, MT

AGENDA (As of 8/10/15)

1. HiSET Blast

HiSET® Program eUpdate | July 2015

Test Taker Bulletin

The 2015–2016 HiSET® Test Taker Bulletin (PDF) is available! The bulletin contains new information about policy changes, new states and jurisdictions, SSD requirements, and more.

Upcoming Practice Tests

Writing, Math and Reading Practice tests will be released in September 2015. More information about test preparation materials for the 2016 HiSET exam will be available in August 2015 — stay tuned!

HiSET® Posters

New HiSET posters will be available in August 2015. Please contact Lindsey Hamilton for more information or if you would like to order the new HiSET posters.

HiSET Refund Policy

The policies for rescheduling and refunds for the HiSET exam have changed. Test takers can now reschedule or cancel their appointments up until 11:59 p.m. local time the day before the scheduled appointment. For example, if a test taker's appointment is on Friday, June 5, the deadline to cancel is Wednesday, June 3 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Test takers will be eligible for refunds on battery and individual fees if they cancel their appointment up until 11:59 p.m. local time the day before the scheduled appointment. Battery refunds will be made only if the test takers have not taken any of the subtests. Also, please note that state, jurisdiction and/or test center fees will still apply and these fees will not be refunded.

New Voucher Form

Our new voucher form is now available. You can access the new voucher form from our Download Library.

Annual Statistical Report

The 2014 Annual Statistical Report on the HiSET® Exam (PDF) is now available. You can also access this report from our Download Library. This statistical report contains data about the HiSET exam pertaining to our inaugural 2014 testing year.

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: August 2015­­­

Update:  7/27/15

HiSET Test at a Glance Update

Greetings HiSET States & Territories-

Just a quick update on revisions to our Test At A Glance (TAAG) document.

We will be making modifications to the HiSET TAAG, specifically to provide additional information in Math. This update will be released the week of August 10th.

Also, as a reminder the 2016 TAAG will be released on September 1st. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Jason A. Carter, National Director, High School Equivalency Testing (HiSET®)|Educational Testing Service


Save the Date! 

2015 HiSET Conference

November 30 to December 2

New Orleans

Registration and Exhibit information available soon!


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)



HiSET Accommodations Overview for 2014


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.

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 6/29/15.

3. Montana Instruction

Check out #7 - #14.

4. Montana MABLE Update

MABLE 2015 Update!  (Note:  Updated Business Language Below - Posted on 7/27)

MABLE Make-over

MABLE launch went smoothly on July 1st. It is important to read the business language that provides succinct, clear language on reporting in MABLE. All program staff members need to be aware of MABLE changes and their implications for program/classroom management.  A new Users’ Manual will be forthcoming soon. However the business language captures the new reporting features.

Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

Montana Office of Public Instruction

Highlights of the new MABLE include:

·       Focus on the program year (no more instructional year);

·       Students no longer tied to PAIs dating to enrollments in past years;

·       Easy to track student gains;

·       Teacher read-rights to all of MABLE beginning July 15th  (Contact Carol Flynn at OPI if you need access to MABLE);

·       Spreadsheet will be available to track all exited student (coming soon);

·       Aligned to WIOA; and

·       Reports will be updated by July 31st.

Business Language Updated 7/27/15  (Clickhere for printable version.)

5. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources. 

6. WIOA Update

8/10/15:  Montana WIOA Kickoff Update

Click here for an updated AGENDA.

8/10/15:  OCTAE Connection – Flash Edition on WIOA

Click here to access OCTAE Connection.

8/10/15:  National Association of Workforce Development Professionals

Classes offered:  Increasing Employment Outcomes with Tough Clients

This program offers a 6-step framework so you and your clients can expedite their success. Each step offers fresh perspective and practical approaches to increase immediate and long-term outcomes for clients at all levels, including those with major employment barriers.    

This program is valuable for anyone focused on helping lots of people with significant barriers to begin and succeed in employment, including staff and managers in workforce development, corrections, addiction recovery, housing & homeless services, mental health, disability, education, youth services, and more.

Cost:  $375 per person

Click here for more information.

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

7. Career Pathways:  Characteristics of Adult Learners in Higher Education

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

FYI: newly published article relevant to adult ed & postsecondary transitions.

Prins, E., Kassab, C., & Campbell, C. (2015). Adult Learners in Higher Education: A Rural–Urban Analysis of Pennsylvania FAFSA Applicants’ Educational, Demographic, and Financial Characteristics. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 63(2), 71-85.

Abstract. This article paints a comprehensive portrait of the demographic, financial, and educational characteristics of Pennsylvania postsecondary students who are adult learners, and identifies rural-urban differences within this group. The study analyzed data from the 2010-11 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (n = 610,925), supplemented by interviews with two policy experts and six financial aid administrators at rural postsecondary institutions. Adult learners differed from younger students on all measures and experienced more disadvantage. Economic hardship was pronounced: Adult learners’ mean annual family income was less than half that of traditional-age students, and 60% lived in poverty or near-poverty. Salient rural-urban differences included institutional type, parental education, marital status, dependent children, and income. Together, quantitative and qualitative data revealed that adult learners have distinct economic situations (employment status, income), family obligations, and enrollment patterns (e.g., part-time study, short-duration degree programs). Thus, they need different forms of support and financial aid.

8. Disabilities:  CDC Report

Taken from LINCS Disabilities in Adult Education

Disability Impacts All of Us:  A Snapshot of Disability in the United States

INFOGRAPHIC:  disabilities_impacts_all_of_us.pdf

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created this interactive infographic on disability in the U.S.  You can also download the three page document here. This is an excellent resource if you are looking for both state level and national statistics on disabilities, in order to support programs and services for your learners with disabilities.

Some findings at the national level include:  

·        1 in 4 women have a disability

·        1 in 3 unemployed adults who are able to work reported a disability

·        4 in 10 adults who have not completed high school reported a disability

·        Disability costs $400 billion per year in healthcare expenditures

Click here for the infographic.

1 in 5 U.S. Adults has a Physical or Mental Disability

The following research on the incidence of disability in the U.S. was released last week from the CDC. The following excerpts are from the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus coverage.

"This report is a snapshot of the percent of adults with disabilities in the U.S., so we can get a better understanding of who people with disabilities are," said researcher Elizabeth Courtney-Long, a health scientist at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.The researchers found blacks (29 percent) and Hispanics (26 percent) were more likely to suffer from disabilities than whites (nearly 21 percent).

Moreover, education and income levels appear to have strong ties to disability rates. Nearly 40 percent of people in the study who had less than a high school education reported a disability. Also, about 47 percent of people who had annual household incomes of less than $15,000, and about one-third of unemployed people who were able to work reported a disability, the study found.

9. Disabilities:  Special Discussion on Adult Learners' Awareness of Disabilities and Accommodations

Taken from LINCS Disabilities in Adult Education

Beginning on Monday, August 10th, our LINCS colleague, Dr. Margaret Patterson, will be leading a special event on adult learners’ awareness of, and attitudes towards disabilities and accommodations.  Discussion will take place:


She will share research findings from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) study, Adult Transitions to Learning, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness' survey, College Students Speak: A Survey Report on Mental Health, to support a better understanding of the current state of research in adult education.


Dr. Patterson will facilitate discussion on how adults with disabilities' perceptions of their disability may shift as they gain more education, and ask questions about our awareness of adult learners’ knowledge of accommodations, and whether it differs when adults are English language learners.


Michael Cruse

10. Instruction:  Self-paced Online Course in Differentiated Instruction Now Available

Taken from LINCS Notice 

The Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning course is now live on the LINCS Learning Portal!

Designed to assist teachers in producing rigorous, standards-based lessons while maintaining differentiation, Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning contains interactive activities and examples for use in practice. The course walks participants through the steps of planning lessons, including how to write effective learning objectives, choose among approaches to differentiation, and design assessments. In completing the course, participants produce differentiated lesson plans that are suited to their unique instructional content and environments.

With many adult education classrooms containing students of varying ages, native languages, educational backgrounds, and academic skills, teachers can face many new and persistent challenges. Differentiated instruction is one of the most effective approaches for helping these students learn. We hope you find this course helpful!

11. Postsecondary:  College and Career Navigator Training Resource

Taken from LINCS Postsecondary Completion

If you are a transition counselor, success coach, or an instructor providing guidance to students preparing for college and careers, Finding True North: The Role of the Navigator is for you.

This 3-hour, self-paced course identifies the types of supports that adult learners need to be truly prepared for college and careers and introduces the core functions and responsibilities of a navigator, such as coordinating and providing services that supplement academic instruction, which have been found to aid student persistence and success. The course also introduces the core competencies of effective navigators, advising approaches and styles, and Navigator program design elements to consider.

Cynthia Zaft

12. Technology:  Digital Literacy Tools

Taken from LINCS Assessment

Here are two blogs dealing with digital literacy and tools for teachers in the 21st century. Both could be used as ideas for creating formative assessments.

Jennifer Way

13. Technology:  Integrating Problem Solving, Digital Literacy, and Access – August 13

Taken from LINCS Notice

Free Webinar

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 3:00-4:30 pm Eastern

Register now!

Integrating Problem Solving, Digital Literacy and Access into Instruction 

Hear how adult educators have been integrating digital literacy into instruction. Ideas will be shared on how to use project-based learning activities to help adult students improve their solving problems skills while offering practice with reading, writing, speaking and listening. A panel of practitioners will share their ideas on how adult learners can improve digital literacy skills and access to technology thereby accelerating learning.

Hosts: Steve Quann and Ben Bruno, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, a project of World Education 

Welcome: Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, Team Leader, Applied Innovation and Improvement, Division of Adult Education and Literacy, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education 

Presenters: A panel of adult educators will share how they have implemented lesson ideas.

Pre-webinar assignment: Review Integrating Digital Literacy and Problem Solving into Instruction

14. WIOA:  Request for Comments on WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements 

Taken from LINCS Notice

The Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development are soliciting comments concerning a collection of data that will be used for unified and combined state plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  The WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements is a consolidated information collection that would implement sections 102 and 103 of WIOA (P.L. 113-128). WIOA requires that, no later than March 3, 2016, each State, at a minimum, submit a Unified State Plan as a condition of receiving funds for core programs subject to the Unified State Plan requirements. In the alternative, States may submit a Combined State Plan as a condition of receiving funds under certain named programs subject to the Combined State Plan provisions. See 29 U.S.C. §§ 3112 and 3113The Unified or Combined State Plan requirements are designed to improve service integration and ensure that the publicly-funded workforce system provides a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.  To that end, the Unified or Combined State Plan would describe how the State will develop and implement a unified, integrated service delivery system rather than discuss the State’s approach to operating each program individually.

A copy of the proposed Information Collection Request with applicable supporting documentation may be accessed at by selecting Docket ID number ETA-2015-0006 or directly at!documentDetail;D=ETA-2015-0006-0002The comment period is open for 60 days and closes on October 5, 2015.  Any comments not received through the processes outlined in the Federal Register will not be considered by the departments.  Technical assistance materials will be available at

15. WIOA:  WIOA Performance Accountability Reporting Requirements: Overview of Layout and Templates – Webinar August 12 or 13

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Staff from the Departments of Labor and Education will guide you through the various components of the information collection request (ICR) for data elements described in the July 22, 2015 Federal Register notice. This information request specifies the data elements and definitions necessary for the completion of the State Annual Performance Report Template and the Eligible Training Provider Template. These data elements must be collected by the six core programs in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Through your participation, you will learn about the data collection documents, where to comment and how to comment.

Register here for the 8/12/15 event.  This will be repeated on 8/13/15.  Both events will present the same information. 


Luke Murren, Supervisory Workforce Analyst, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Jay LeMaster, Education Program Supervisor, U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education

Steven Zwillinger, Analyst, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services Administration, US Dept. of Education

Karen Staha, Director, Division of Strategic Planning and Performance, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration  


Cheryl Keenan, Director, Division of Adult Education and Literacy, The Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, US Dept. of Education

Mark Snyderman, Acting Chief, Data Collection and Analysis Unit, Rehabilitation Services Administration, US Dept. of Education

Date:  Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

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