Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS!
February 2019  Issue
Passion With a Purpose
If you are anything like me, tasks and responsibilities that are only completed periodically each year tend to slip the mind when the calendar flips around to that time. New job processes, such as some things in MS-CPAS, may also add to this uncertainty. February always signals a time for us in assessment to become focused on making sure all of our processes align with the plans we laid out at the start of the school year. We are extremely passionate about what we do, but we want to make sure that there is meaning behind every action. To help refresh your expertise, we are offering two training days: one at the Mississippi State University Hunter Henry Center (Feb. 19) and another at the DoubleTree Inn in Hattiesburg (Feb. 21). Notice that these dates and locations are a change from previous years. Space is limited on each day, so please, only register essential staff.

For our educational tech thought this month, I wanted us to reflect on a purposeful use of technology. Eric Sheninger, @E_Sheninger on Twitter, implores us to consider if kids are thinking and how they are applying that thinking when we use technology in classroom instruction. As this graphic indicates, technology and instructional rigor varies by student technology product. To read more about Sheninger's work, click here.

I hope that each of you have had a great start to the spring term and are ready to finish the semester strong!


Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager
Important Dates
Final Day to Register for Test Coordinator Training.................................Feb. 4
Spring Roster Submission Period........................................Jan. 28 -  March 22
Secondary Practice Testing Window.......................................Feb. 14 - Mar. 29
Secondary Test Coordinator Training, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Starkville)..........Feb. 19
Secondary Test Coordinator Training, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Hattiesburg)......Feb. 21
MS-CPAS Updates

This is our final call for spring test coordinator training on Feb. 19 or 21. Through Feb. 4, you can register by visiting the RCU's Go Sign Me Up  p age, logging in, and entering "Test Coordinator Training" in the search box. We look forward to seeing you in Starkville Feb. 19 or in Hattiesburg Feb. 21.
In recent days, we have enjoyed hearing from test coordinators who are beginning to prepare for spring testing. Checking out technology labs is an important first step. The RCU recommends that districts use Chrome or Firefox 3+ as browsers for CTE testing. It is very important to check with district IT personnel to ensure browsers are updated before testing begins. MS-CPAS Demo Testing, available year-round, is a great way to verify that computer labs are ready for MS-CPAS testing. Instructions for demonstration testing are in Section 4 of the CTE Testing Manual.
Students who are in programs for which online practice tests are provided will have the opportunity for two practice test attempts during the practice testing window (Feb. 14 - March 29) once students are uploaded and verified in the RCU testing system. A list of available practice tests is found under MS-CPAS Testing Resources on the RCU website, and instructions for practice testing are in Section 4 of the CTE Testing Manual.
Another early test preparation to consider is the advance printing of supplementary materials students in some programs will need as they take the MS-CPAS. These materials are included in the 2018-2019 Supplementary Materials Manual, which is located under MS-CPAS Testing Resources on the RCU website. We wish you the best as you are preparing. Please reach out to us through the RCU Help Desk or by calling 662.325.2510 if we can be of assistance.
National Certifications Updates
The time for end-of-the-year testing is quickly approaching. The national certification testing window opens April 1 and will remain open until May 10. Roster verification for spring testing must be completed by March 22. Please be on the lookout for new testing tutorials that will be posted on the RCU Assessment page by March 1. These tutorials will give you important information, dates, and links to testing resources that will be useful during the spring testing window.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via the RCU Help Desk, and we will be happy to assist you.
Performance-Based Assessment
Performance-based assessment began Feb.1 for second-year students in architecture and drafting, digital media technology, and simulation and animation design. Test coordinators and directors, if you have teachers in these programs, please check in with them regarding their PBA progress.
Second-year students in polymer science should be finishing their PBA, which has run year-long with four tasks.
The deadline for all programs to submit completed student PBA artifacts (task, job application, résumé) is Friday, March 22 by 5 p.m. For more information about PBA, please visit the PBA page on the RCU website or contact the RCU via the  Help Desk.
Webinar Wednesdays
On the second Wednesday of each month, the RCU communications team will host webinars to support teachers and administrators in promoting their CTE programs. The fifth in this series will be held 11 a.m. Feb. 13 and will focus on best practices for newsletters. Topics include:
  • How to start a newsletter
  • Tips for creating engaging content
  • How to effectively disseminate a newsletter
You can join us live using via Zoom at this link or view the webinar anytime after it airs by visiting the RCU's Webinar page. 

If you have any questions, please contact either Jason Hauser or   Carl Smith

Perkins V Listening Tour

The Mississippi Department of Education and the RCU hosted a listening tour this winter for stakeholders, teachers, and the public to provide in-depth updates on the new CTE legislation.  Read more about the listening tour here. 

February is national CTE Month! The RCU has you covered with ways to promote your programs all month long. Check out our  promotional toolkit, which contains infographics, research briefs, and social media content. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out via the RCU Help Desk or contact Brock Turnipseed
Key Contacts
Assessment Manager ..............................
IAD Meetings and Training Events...........
National Certification ...............................
PBA .........................................................
Research and Standard Setting................

Have assessment needs not addressed in this issue?
Create a Help Desk ticket, and we'll get right on it! 

662.325.2510 |