Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS!
September  2019  Issue
Down, Set...
 
Even if you don't enjoy watching football, the kickoff of high school games reminds us we will soon have relief from the dog days of summer.
 
This year, the official start of fall is Sept. 23. As in every organization and season of the year, we, too, are experiencing changes on our team. 

Riesa Blackwell joined us from the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District. She has more than eight years of teaching experience at the high school level in the areas of biology, anatomy and physiology, botany, and zoology. She also received the 2019 Teacher of the Year at Starkville High School and was chosen by her students as an example of excellence in 2015, 2016, and 2019. We are excited to have her take over our performance-based assessment project.

Ben Alexander also joined our team last month from the Columbus Municipal School District. Ben taught eight years at the high school level in the areas of history, economics, government, and psychology in online and traditional formats (secondary and postsecondary). He has spent the last five years serving either as a principal or an assistant principal at the middle school or high school levels in public schools in Mississippi. He now leads some of the research, data, and other core assessment processes for us.

As a reminder, our primary methods of communication are this newsletter and the RCU website. Please click here and share the link with others so they can subscribe and view past newsletters.

I hope each of you had a successful start to the 2019-2020 school year!

Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager
Important Dates 
 
MS-NCCER Baseline Testing 
Aug. 13-Sept. 6 
Deadline to Add NCCER Numbers to Spreadsheet in Testing Tools 
Sept. 11 
New Secondary Test Coordinator Training 
Sep. 24 
Fall Roster Submission Period for Secondary Fall Testers 
Sep. 24-Oct. 11 
Fall Practice Testing Window for Secondary Fall Testers 
Oct. 1-Nov. 6 
Fall Roster Submission Period for Postsecondary Fall Testers 
Oct. 28-Nov. 8 
 
MS-CPAS Updates

 
In a few weeks, it will be time to upload and verify rosters for secondary students taking an MS-CPAS assessment or a national certification test during the fall testing window. Section 3 of the CTE Testing Manual, located on the   MS-CPAS resources page, will be your guide as you work through the roster upload and verification processes. The roster submission period for secondary school programs runs from Sept. 24 to Oct. 11.
 
We are excited to be debuting fall practice testing this semester for secondary students. Once students are uploaded and verified in our system, students in programs with an MS-CPAS practice test will have two practice test attempts available to them. Information on practice testing is located in Section 4 of the CTE Testing Manual, and there is a practice test script in Appendix I of the manual that provides test proctors with step-by-step instructions in administering the practice tests. A list of available practice tests is posted on the   MS-CPAS resources page. Please note that you must be logged in to the RCU website to access the MS-CPAS resources.
 
We encourage all new test coordinators to take advantage of a one-day training from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at the RCU. This training is designed to help test coordinators who have less than two years of experience become more familiar with our testing processes. New test coordinators can sign up here before Sept. 18.   
National Certifications Updates
  
NCCER baseline testing is still ongoing, and the last day for baseline testing is Sept. 6. Thank you to everyone for your hard work in getting your NCCER student rosters for baseline testing uploaded to the RCU portal. Great job! 
 
Remember to send your students' NCCER numbers to the RCU via a  Help Desk ticket if you have not already done so. The  deadline for submitting the NCCER numbers is Sept. 11. You will add your students' NCCER numbers in a spreadsheet that can be found on the  RCU Assessment page  under Reports and Testing Tools. Once you have added the numbers, save the spreadsheet as an Excel file and send it to the RCU.
 
If your district offers Culinary Arts and you plan for your students to take the ProStart exam in fall 2019 for those students who complete the course in the fall or in spring 2020 for those students who complete the course in the spring, please make sure you have gone through all the necessary steps for registering your school, instructors, and proctors. Be on the lookout for registration information from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, as well as from Mike Cashion of the Mississippi Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Registration must be completed before testing to ensure that you are able to administer the ProStart to your students who qualify. If you have questions, please contact Mike at mikecashion@msra.org .
 
If you have second-year automotive students who plan to take the ASE during the fall national certification testing window (Nov. 11-Dec. 6), make sure those students are uploaded and verified in the RCU portal. Fall roster submission for fall testers is Sept. 24 to Oct.11.
 
Performance-Based Assessment
  
I would like to introduce myself as the new project manager for performance-based assessment and let you know what to look for in the coming weeks.
 
You can expect the updated PBA manual to be on the RCU website this month. The manual will include the changes to the scoring process, testing window dates, and a suggested timeline. Please note many of the RCU resources are now located behind a district login on our webpage.
 
Throughout the semester, the RCU will communicate with districts to obtain contact information for prospective PBA evaluators, so please be thinking about who you would like to recommend.
 
If you are a new instructor in a PBA pathway or if you have one at your center, please contact me via the RCU Help Desk at  helpdesk@rcu.msstate.edu . For more information about PBA, please click here . 
 
I hope that your year is off to a great start, and I look forward to meeting and working with you this year!
 
Thank you for all that you do!
 
Riesa Blackwell
Project Manager
 
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! 

662.325.2510 | rcu.msstate.edu
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