Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

Adult Basic Education Fall Conference 2015


1. HiSET Blast

Summary of Updates

·       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

HiSET® Program eUpdate | August 2015

Practice Tests

The HiSET® Program is pleased to announce the release of the new practice tests! The Free Practice Tests, eBooks and Official Practice Test in Language Arts — Writing, Language Arts — Reading, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies have been updated to prepare test takers for the 2016 HiSET exam. The new releases include evidence-based writing prompts, a set of a paired passages and new mathematics items. For a breakdown of the updates and how to purchase the new practice tests, please see the Quick Reference Guide (PDF).

Program Manual

The 2016 HiSET Program Manual (PDF) will be available on our Download Library on September 1, 2015. This new edition contains updates to the directions for test administration, annual test book returns and other program updates.

Preparation Documents

The 2015 Test at a Glance (TAAG) (PDF) has been updated to include more details and a new section on the College and Career Readiness Standards for the Mathematics section. This updated PDF is available on our Download Library.

The 2016 Test at a Glance (TAAG) (PDF) will be released and available on our Download Library on September 1, 2015. The new 2016 TAAG (PDF) will have College and Career Readiness Standards for Reading, Writing and Mathematics. All subtest areas have been updated to include approximate percentages and new content areas.

Writing Section

The Scored Sample Writing Response and Writing Response Scoring Guide (Rubrics) have been updated to include a new evidence-based writing prompt, a new writing sample and a new rubric and will be available on our Download Library on September 1, 2015. You can access both the Scored Sample Writing Response and Writing Response Scoring Guide (Rubrics) on our Download Library.

Sample Items

New sample items for all subtests with Depth of Knowledge levels will also be available on September 1, 2015. You can access these new sample items on our Download Library.

Expired Vouchers Policy

Organizations or individuals that have purchased vouchers have up to six months from the date of expiration to notify us that they would like to be issued new voucher numbers for those vouchers that have not been redeemed. After six months from the expiration date, the voucher will be removed and unavailable for further use. Please contact us at so we can assist you with this process.

Registering Test Takers — Important Reminder

When registering test takers, please click the submit button only ONCE. Double-clicking creates duplicate batteries and appointments in our systems.

Save the Date — ETS HiSET Conference


November 30–December 2, 2015


Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
500 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Registration is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration information will be available soon.

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:  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.


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 Adult Basic Education Fall Conference

September 29 – 30

Holiday Inn Downtown



3. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

4. 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.

5. TABE:  Participate in the TABE 11 & 12 Field Test Review

Data Recognition Corporation | CTB will be field testing new test items for the development of new TABE® forms. To achieve this goal, we need your help. We invite your program to join in this national field test review. You will have the opportunity to view and respond to test items that may appear on the new TABE 11&12.

Programs electing to participate will benefit in several different ways. First, they will contribute to improving the quality and development of the adult assessments they already use to effectively assess the skills and knowledge of adult learners. Second, they will gain familiarity in experiencing the new TABE forms. And finally, as a thank you for participating, both your program and students will receive monetary compensation.

Learn More 
For additional information on participating in the TABE 11&12 national field test, please fill out this brief survey. After you fill out the survey we will keep your information on file and will contact you when we are ready to begin the field test.

To access the survey, click
here »

For questions about prequalification for the field test study please contact:

Mike Johnson
National Adult Education Manager
Data Recognition Corporation | CTB

6. WIOA Update

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Followup

Presentations posted on DLI website under Data and Publications.

8/24/15:  WIOA Vision Document from US Department of Education

  OCTAE Program Memorandum (OCTAE/DAEL 15-4) : Vision for the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act in the Workforce System and Initial Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and

·        OSERS Technical Assistance Circular (RSA-TAC-15-02):  Vision for the State Rehabilitation Services Program as a Partner in the Workforce Development System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.Back to Top.

8/13/15:  WIOA Vision for One Stop Delivery System

WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here  to access the following:

Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

7. Career Pathways:  Understanding Career-Related Credentials

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has published a useful resource on work-related credentials.  Credentials can be defined as "a verification of an individual’s qualification or competence issued by a third party with the relevant authority to issue such credentials" (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010).  The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) defines the term "recognized postsecondary credential" as a "credential consisting of an industry-recognized certificate or certification, a certificate of completion of an apprenticeship, a license recognized by the State involved or Federal Government, or an associate or baccalaureate degree."

Whichever definition you prefer, these credentials are big business, and include educational certificates, degrees, certifications and government-issued licenses.  ACTE's What is a Credential? provides further definitions for each, along with a useful chart for better understanding differences in credential attainment, time to completion, maintenance, and examples.

8. Diversity:  Common Challenge Facing Native Americans and Diverse Learners Discussion

Taken from LINCS Diversity and Learning

Event Title: Common Challenges Facing Native Americans & Diverse Learners

Event Type: Online Discussion in the LINCS Community

Event Location: The Diversity and Literacy and Reading and Writing  groups

Date(s): September 21-23, 2015

Among diverse populations who experience challenges in dominant social and school environments, the need to learn to read and write as adults is greater than average. Many American Indians in the Four Corners region face barriers related to reading and writing as they attempt to complete GEDs, enter college or advanced training programs, or even apply for entry-level occupations that promise higher wages in high-demand sectors.

From September 21-23, 2015, special guest Cindy Higgins (Navajo professional, Utah State University) will promote dialogue and interaction around the common challenges faced by diverse communities in dominant educational and career environments. She will also propose creative practices for engaging diverse populations in academic pursuits and share relevant research and case studies related to the under-achievement of diverse learners, especially among American Indian/Alaska Natives and similar populations in the United States.

9. ESL:  Constitution Day and Citizen Day

Taken from LINCS Notice

As our nation celebrates Constitution Day and Citizenship Day/Constitution Week, this is a timely opportunity to share new resources and initiatives from our partner, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), that can support the education of adult learners, particularly citizenship and civic education. USCIS announced new efforts to highlight U.S. citizenship and immigrant civic integration. These initiatives will improve how the agency serves its customers and supports lawful permanent residents on their path to naturalization. To learn more, please see their Constitution Week fact sheet.  

10. ESL:  Learn Tools to Better Integrate Immigrants and African Americans Webinar

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

This free webinar offered by the Immigrant Learning Center, Learn tools to better integrate immigrants and African Americans, on October 8th from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time may be of interest.

David J. Rosen

11. ESL:  Networks for Integrating New Americans Discussion

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Title: Strengthening and Transforming ESL Programs through Community Networks

Event Type: Online Discussion

Date(s): September 28-30, 2015

Greetings members!

This month, the LINCS Community is taking an important step in helping to strengthen nationwide integration efforts for new Americans by sharing the work of World Education’s Networks for Integrating New Americans initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE).

Please join us from September 28-30, 2015, in the LINCS English Language Learners and Program Management groups, for a special Strengthening and Transforming ESL Programs through Community Networks online discussion. This online discussion will focus on:

·        How working in coalitions with community partners can advance common goals and strengthen partner organizations, and

·        How three ESL programs have been transformed by their participation in networks focused on immigrant integration.

This initiative uses organizational networks for promoting immigrant integration as a dynamic, two-way process in which immigrants and receiving societies work together to build vibrant and cohesive communities.  Its goal is to strengthen adult education programs’ role in networks to:

·        Improve immigrant access to effective and innovative English language programs;

·        Support immigrants on the path to citizenship; and

·        Support immigrant career development through training and education.

Aimed at expanding the knowledge and experience of ESL program staff and adult education program leaders that have or want to consider new possibilities for collaboration in connecting ESL instruction to adults’ broader economic, civic, and linguistic integration, this is an event you will not want to miss.

12. Reading:  Reading and Writing Newsletter September 2015

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

Reading and Writing moderator, Leecy Wise, has shared a compilation of recent information from the Reading and Writing LINCS Discussion.

Click here to access some good resources.

13. Reading:  Teaching Phonics and Other “Bottom-up” Reading Skills Resources

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Two colleagues and I have done some professional development around the 6 syllable types and ESL learners, and in doing so we created a website to house our workshop materials, readings, classroom videos, etc.  That's here:  .  Our focus was actually very low-level ESL learners, many of whom had low or no literacy in their first languages.

I'll also suggest the Intermediate Word Study resource you can find here in the ATLAS EBRI resource library:

ATLAS also has a brand new resource on beginning alphabetics (the BATT - Beginning Alphabetics Tests and Tools) available on the same site. For a brief description of this resource, see here: 

Patsy Vinogradov

14. TABE:  What’s New for 2015

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

The PowerPoint presentation, TABE College and Career Readiness for 2015 and Beyond, covers What's New for 2015. Go to the link below view the presentation online.

For any questions regarding the information presented, please contact..

Stephen Marsh (author)
National Adult Education Specialist

15. 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

Norene Peterson

Adult Education Center

415 N. 30th Billings, MT 59101