ETF offers webinars for July, August

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is offering a series of live, interactive webinars designed to increase employees’ understanding of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) benefits. Employees can ask questions after each session. Visit the ETF webinar events page to register and learn more about the following sessions. Registration closes 10 minutes prior to the event.

Additional Contributions
By adding money to a WRS account, via additional contributions, employees can enhance the eventual WRS retirement benefit. This 30 minute webinar explains how.

  • Thursday, Aug. 1, 11:30 a.m.-noon
  • Wednesday, Aug. 7, 6-6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13, 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 28, 12:30-1 p.m.

Beneficiary Designations - What Happens to an Account When an Employee Dies?
This webinar reviews the importance of having a beneficiary designation on file and keeping it updated as life events occur. ETF will also review how to correctly complete a designation form, what it means if the form is not on file with ETF and how employees can request a copy of their current forms. (30 min.)

  • Tuesday, July 2, 11:30 a.m.-noon
  • Thursday, July 18, 12:30-1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 23, 6-6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, July 29, noon-12:30 p.m.

Overview of the Wisconsin Retirement System
This webinar covers participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System, how the WRS is funded and what benefits are available under the WRS. A brief overview of the Core and Variable Trust Funds and how the WRS is structured are included. (30 min.) 

  • Friday, July 12, 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, July 17, 6 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 25, noon- 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 30, 11:30 a.m.-noon

Retirement Annuity Options
This 30 minute online webinar discusses the many options for receiving the retirement benefit and how each option impacts the size of payment and affects loved ones.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 7, noon-12:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 15, 12:30-1 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 22, 12:30-1 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 29, 6-6:30 p.m.

WRS Employee and Employer Contribution Rates 
This 30 minute webinar reviews how employer and employee contributions help keep the WRS fully funded and discusses how the contribution rates are calculated.

  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13, 12:30-1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21, noon-12:30 p.m
  • Tuesday, Aug. 27, 6-6:30 p.m.

WRS Retirement Benefit Calculation Methods
This 30 minute webinar explains the methods used for benefit calculations and each method’s components.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 6, 11:30 a.m.-noon
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14, 6-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 28, 11-11:30 a.m.

Published June 28, 2019.

HR announces new BESTflex Benefits Cards

Madison College employees that participate in the BESTflex Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and have a BESTflex Benefits Card with expiration date of July 2019 can use current this card through Wednesday, July 31.

Employee Benefits Corp (EBC) will mail a new Benefits Card to the employees' home address on or about Monday, July 1, which they need to use as of Thursday, August 1.

It is important to know that getting a new Benefits Card has no impact on employees' 2019 FSA contributions or available funds.

Published June 28, 2019. Updated July 3, 2019.

SAA moves to Truax

With the move out of the Downtown Campus, the School of Academic Advancement will now have a presence at the Truax campus in room C2429.

Academic Advancement coordinates all developmental education, English as a Second Language, high school completion and bridge programming. The Truax campus has traditionally housed developmental-level classes in support of testing and placement and bridge programming in manufacturing, biotechnology, business, culinary and optometric technician. It will now offer advanced-level ESL classes as well.
SAA staff and administrators provide support for Academic Advancement faculty and students and work to connect with the other schools and student development services to better serve students. The staff include two transition specialists, Chelsey Bauer and Brad Baranowski, who assist students to transition into degree-credit classes and programs; Chris Purves, senior administrative coordinator; Yvonne Ochieng, administrative specialist; and Janice Mettauer, associate dean.

The School of Academic Advancement encourages both faculty and students to drop by and learn about the school.

Published June 28, 2019. Updated July 10, 2019.

What's on the menu?

Monday: Gyros, Fries and Greens with House-made Vinaigrette

Chicken Fried Steak, Garlic mashed Potatoes with Country Gravy, Veggies and Biscuit.

** CAFÉ CLOSED** serving light breakfast. Lasagna with Garlic Bread Stick and Greens for lunch near the ‘We Proudly Serve’ Starbucks Café. There will also be limited salad bar and grab and go options available.

: Campus closed. 

** CAFÉ CLOSED** Serving light breakfast. Swedish Meatballs, Noodles, Greens and Roll for lunch near the ‘We Proudly Serve' Starbucks Café. There will also be limited salad bar and grab and go options available.






Published June 28, 2019. Updated July 8, 2019.

Independence Day notice

All Madison College campuses and district buildings will be closed Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. Services will resume on Friday, July 5.

Online resources are available 24/7 at via askMadisonCollege. Access to registration, to-do list, payment and other resources are available to students in their myMadisonCollege student account.

Published June 26, 2019.

What's on the menu?

Here's a look at the Atrium Cafe lunch menu for June 24-28.

Monday: Lasagna, Greens with House-made Vinaigrette, Garlic Bread Stick

Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff, Egg Noodles, Veggie and Roll

Wednesday: Fried Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Veggie and Buttermilk Biscuit

Thursday: Beef & Bean Burritos, Spanish Rice

Friday: Beer Battered Cod, Coleslaw, Fries and Marble Rye Bread

Published June 24, 2019.

How common is a workplace impairment?

Impairments affecting employees take various forms. The links below provide practical information and help with workplace impairments:

For additional information, contact Manager of Risk Management/Environmental Health and Safety Joshua L. Cotillier or call at 608.246.6291.

Published June 24, 2019.

CourseArc training sessions announced

Madison College and its instructors have always been at the forefront of adopting new instructional technologies to support learner success. The college has selected CourseArc, a modern, responsive content design tool, as Soft Chalk’s successor beginning July 1. 

CourseArc is a user-friendly, web-based authoring tool that allows easy creation of outstanding and responsive online courses and course content. CourseArc’s also offers templated design blocks and built-in quality assurance features. This allows control of course content and ensures instructional design best practices. CourseArc content seamlessly integrates with Blackboard Learn.

The schedule for CourseArc Training Sessions are listed below:

  • Tuesday, July 16, 12:30-2 p.m., Room B3230, with Zoom Conferencing for remote attendees (link to be provided).
  • Friday, July 19 1-2:30 p.m., Room B3230, with Zoom Conferencing for remote attendees (link to be provided).
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21, 10-11:30  a.m., Room B3230, with Zoom Conferencing for remote attendees (link to be provided).
  • Friday, August 23 10-11:30  a.m., Room B3230, with Zoom Conferencing for remote attendees (link to be provided).

These training sessions include information about activating a Madison College CourseArc account, automatically adding a CourseArc lesson to a Blackboard course, migrating SoftChalk content to CourseArc and learning the ins-and-outs of creating course content with CourseArc.

Recommendations on how to prepare for this transition or the training are listed below:

  • Register for a CourseArc training session at Madison College Learn CourseArc Training
  • Before SoftChalk expires Sunday, June 30, download a ZIP package of any SoftChalk lessons. Important: An exported Zip file of any of your SoftChalk lessons is needed in order to take advantage of the SoftChalk-to-CourseArc conversion. The conversion process requires a Zip file.
  • Check out the CourseArc sample courses for inspiration.
  • Currently, any Soft Chalk user can download a SCORM package of their course content (see p. 123 “Package a Lesson and Open a Packaged Lesson” to back-up and/or import a packaged Soft Chalk lesson into Blackboard.) While this package will still work in Blackboard, editing access ends Monday, July 1. Consider downloading a back-up copy of your Soft Chalk lessons and also ways in which the converted content might take advantage of Course Arc’s innovative features. 
  • To learn more about exporting a Soft Chalk Lesson and importing the SCORM file into a Blackboard master shell (or any Blackboard course), see page 24 of this online guide: Package and Upload a SCORM Lesson into Blackboard

Contact CETL with questions.




Published June 21, 2019.

Technology Services reveals new Blackboard tool

The new Blackboard Section Merge Tool for Madison College's faculty will be available Thursday, June 27. For information on how to use this Tool, check this Blackboard Section Merge Tool document.

Published June 21, 2019. Updated June 24, 2019.

Email security change

The Technology Services Cybersecurity team continues to research and develop new tools to protect Madison College. There is always a danger to opening links within emails, even if they are from trusted senders. The links may download malicious software or may direct the user to webpages that attackers want him/her to use to give them valuable information such as password or other PII (Personally Identifiable Information). 

A new feature called Office 365 Safe Links will be enabled within Madison College's email system to help safeguard faculty and staff against known malicious attacks. This will only help to protect against links malicious clicked on within emails and will not help to block malicious websites during a normal web browsing experience.

In terms on the email experience, when the user hovers over a link, they will start with a Safe Links URL. The user will keep the ability to review the link to see if it is suspicious, although it will come after the primary Safe Link URL. 





If a link is clicked that attempts to go to an unsafe destination, the following warning will appear:



















If a destination considered valid is blocked, contact Technology Services Help Desk at 608.246.6666 or via email to report a problem so that it can be investigated further and remedied. 

Published June 21, 2019. Updated July 10, 2019.