Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS
October 2020
Once Again...a Return of the Minute 

It is like the saying goes, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

After making the decision to migrate the content from the MS-CPAS Minute to the RCU Quarterly, we realized we had navigated off course. The goal of any educational group's communication plan is to convey information in a timely manner, in the most effective way possible. By changing the frequency of our communication, we disrupted the plan in the worst way. We were no longer providing CTE centers with important assessment information at the appropriate time.

As we relaunch our newsletter, please share our MS-CPAS Minute page with others who may want to subscribe or catch up on recent issues. In this and future issues, we will continue our trend of providing instructional technology, assessment and other educational tips that you may want to use in your school or classroom. Most of the things I share have been tested by me, personally, and the majority will be of no cost.

In my university class, I have started using a product called Loom. Loom is a Web or desktop product that allows you to capture your screen, voice and face in an efficient format. You can share the video link to any platform. I have started integrating my Loom videos directly into Canvas modules. The best part of this product is that the professional version is free for all students and teachers. I recently created a video to show students in my two classes how to create and format an academic paper in the American Psychological Association's - also known as APA - seventh edition of style.

Speaking of Canvas, I know everyone is constantly searching for ways to improve the instructional design of our CTE Canvas courses. As with everything in teaching, our courses - whether they are synchronous, asynchronous, hybrid, virtual or traditional - are always a work in progress! I have changed more aspects of my course design and delivery this year than any other year I have taught. If you are looking for stories from field practitioners on using Canvas, consider subscribing to the  Canvas LMS YouTube channel. There are quite a few videos they have posted - like this one covering teaching math asynchronously in Canvas - that may help you in your CTE classroom.
I hope this month goes well for each of you, and you all receive more treats than tricks!

Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager
A Special Update on MS-CPAS
Due to circumstances caused by COVID-19 this school year, we are currently exploring the possibility of extending MS-CPAS testing windows. The dates listed below reflect current plans without the possible extension. Please monitor the RCU website for any changes to the testing calendar.

For the full calendar, visit the MS-CPAS resources page. Please note that you must be logged in to the RCU website to access the MS-CPAS resources. 

Important Dates

Fall Practice Testing for Fall TestersOct. 1 - Nov. 4
MS-CPAS Demo PeriodDemo testing is open year-round.
Fall Verification DeadlineOct. 9
Fall 2020 Testing
Nov. 9-12 (Normal testing)
Nov. 13 (Make-up testing)
5 p.m., Nov. 27 (Final reports available)
Fall 2020 National Certification Testing
National certification testing will occur between Nov. 9 and Dec. 4. The RCU will publish MDE certification reports in January, contingent upon the release of results by certification companies. 

MS-CPAS Updates
Fall practice testing is underway for secondary students who will take their end-of-course MS-CPAS this fall. Please note students must first be verified in Step 2 on the RCU website before their two practice test attempts are available. When classes have the green "Ready for Scheduling" status in Step 2, a practice test will be available within 24 hours for students in any pathway that offers a practice test. The CTE testing manual is located on the MS-CPAS resources page. Please note you must be logged in to the RCU website to access the MS-CPAS resources. 
National Certifications Updates
CTE testing for last school year was canceled due to COVID-19. In an effort to allow some students to take advantage of national certification testing, first- and second-year Culinary Arts students are being allowed to make up the ProStart exam this fall. The make-up testing window for the ProStart exam is Nov. 9 to Dec. 4. Any students who will take advantage of this makeup testing must be uploaded and verified in the RCU portal. You will need to send in a Help Desk ticket to the RCU Helpdesk and let us know how many first- or second-edition Level 1 and Level 2 testing vouchers you will need. For additional information and access to ProStart exam resources to help you prepare for testing, as well as many other resources related to testing in general, visit the RCU website.
Also, if you have students who will be taking any national certifications during the fall national certification testing window (Nov. 9 to Dec. 4), please make sure those students are uploaded and verified in the RCU portal. The national certification testing manual is located on the student certification resources page. Please note you must be logged in to the RCU website to access the student certification resources. The page has been updated with all the new certifications and corresponding information. Be sure certify your site and set up the site coordinator for each certification. Please see the certification manual for websites or tabs on the student certification page. 
Performance-Based Assessment
Performance-based assessment tasks are currently being developed for simulation and animation design, digital media technology, and architecture and drafting. Look for these tasks to be posted on the RCU website toward the close of the fall semester.
Mark March 30 on your calendar as the deadline for PBA submission. All artifacts will be due by 5 p.m., and tasks will be scored by industry professionals through blind scoring. Instructors will not need to secure evaluators.
If you have any PBA questions, please contact Riesa Blackwell at

Key Contacts
Assessment Manager .........................
IAD Meetings and Training Events.......
National Certifications .........................
Data and Research..............................
Performance-Based Assessment.........

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

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