Watertown campus awards scholarships to local students

On Friday, Jan. 8, Watertown campus held its 32nd annual scholarship awards reception. Eighteen local students were awarded $16,000 dollars donated by area businesses and community groups.

Jennifer Bakke, dean of the East Region, hosted the event with guest speaker Dr. Keith Cornille, Senior Vice President of Student Development and Success.

Recipients enjoyed the luncheon event with family members, faculty and staff with sixty-seven in attendance at the Windwood Country Club in Watertown along with staff members of the Madison College Foundation.

The event was also featured in the Watertown Daily Times.

Published January 15, 2016.

Workload feedback requested for Academic Council

The workload issue was assigned to the Academic Council from the College Assembly as a priority issue. The Faculty Responsibilities and Workload Framework is the culmination to date of 18 months of work by the Contract Alternative Committee (CAC), sub-teams and the Academic Council—work that has been done by full- and part-time faculty, administrators and PSRP.  It has been exciting and tough work, as this is one of the first major systems being reimagined in light of a shared governance culture based on the driving interests of flexibility, inclusion, quality, transparency, honoring the unique talents of all faculty and a belief in driving decisions to the appropriate level. 

As the Academic Council leads an extensive loop-out process they invite you to share your thoughtful feedback about what you likewhat causes you concern and what is missing. This feedback will be considered as the model is strengthened in the coming months, and the myriad of implementation questions and related ideas are captured as the Academic Council works to make the spirit of this framework a reality.

View the online presentation from the Academic Council and provide feedback via email or Survey Monkey.

You can also get more detailed information regarding the plan by visiting the Academic Council website.

Feedback will be collected through Friday, Jan. 22.

Published January 15, 2016.

Faculty, staff asked to encourage student participation in online surveys

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, Madison College will conduct two anonymous and voluntary online surveys for all degree credit students. Faculty and staff are asked to remind students of the importance of sharing their voice to affect positive changes for their benefit, and to encourage their participation. 

From Jan. 19-28, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the accrediting agency that comprehensively evaluates Madison College, will survey all degree-seeking students about their experiences while studying here. Student feedback is important, as a summary of their responses will be provided to the team of representatives from the HLC who will visit the college this March. HLC requests that institutions not offer any incentives to students for completion of this survey.

On Monday, Feb. 22, Madison College will release the bi-annual Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI).  Results inform key college initiatives and improvement efforts for  the advantage of our students. Past surveys have led to improvements in textbook rentals, online student services, flexible scheduling and more. In addition to influencing changes that enhance how we serve our students, those who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to win prizes, including a $500 scholarship and a Microsoft Surface Pro 3!

If you have any questions regarding these student surveys, please contact Institutional Research and Effectiveness.

Published January 13, 2016.

Ten tips to prepare Blackboard for the Spring 2016 semester

The Blackboard Mentors have developed a top ten checklist to help faculty with the accessibility, customization and organization of your Blackboard site.

Look through the Blackboard Mentors' recommendations to learn more about browser compatibility, copying course content, managing content and more. Whether experienced or a Blackboard beginner, the list is a valuable way to guarantee your website is meeting everyone's needs and expectations.

Need assistance? CETL provides Blackboard workshops throughout the year. To register for a workshop, go to the CETL Registration Page. For individual help, contact CETL at (608) 246-6646.

Published January 13, 2016.

Start of term: grade entry and recording of nonattendance

Faculty play an integral role in the accurate and timely reporting of ‘Never Attended’ or ‘Stopped Attending’ grades. At Madison College, this is accomplished by issuing a grade of ‘N’ for students who never attended your class and ‘F1’ for students who attended at least one class but stopped attending.

To help reduce the number of students who receive aid they are ineligible to receive, it is important to report non-attendance in a timely and accurate manner. Students who receive financial aid and/or veterans benefits but never attend or stop attending may be required to return, or pay back, all or part of the aid they received.

Other reporting agencies also require accurate enrollment records; timely entry of grades allows these agencies to provide our students up-to-date self-service records for housing, insurance and other critical areas.

When to report:

Faculty are asked to post ‘N’ grades during the second week of class. Many students complete schedule changes during the first week of class; therefore, entering grades the second week allows students the ability to easily make these changes.

Faculty are asked to post ‘F1’ grades after the second week of class. This grade should be entered when a student has stopped attending and would be unable to successfully return and complete the class.

How to report:

The Faculty Center Overview has complete how-to instructions. The overview is published on Blackboard > Learner Success > Resources and Forms>Faculty Center Overview.

Frequently asked questions regarding the topic of nonattendance and grade reporting have been compiled and are available for your reference on the forms database.

If you require further assistance, contact the following resources:

  • Faculty Center: CETL, Truax Room B2208, at (608) 246-6646
  • Financial Aid: Kate Sopha, Financial Aid Advisor, at (608) 246-6194
  • Records/Registration: Lori Sebranek, Registrar/Dean of Enrollment, at (608) 243-4185

Published January 13, 2016.

"Quilt Making: A Modern Practice" exhibit

With almost fifty quilts on display, “Quilt Making: A Modern Practice” highlights the contemporary aesthetic of quilt making by artists from our community as well as Illinois, Oregon and Missouri.

Quilts can be functional or beautiful works of art that are meant to hang on the wall. Quilts can be political, document pop culture or be a bit controversial. All of this is represented in our current show.

Visit the Gallery at Truax's website for open hours.

Meet many of the artists at our evening reception, which is free and open to the public.

Date: Thursday, Jan. 28, from 4-7 p.m.

Gallery @ Truax | Madison College
1701 Wright St. A1005
Madison, WI 53704

Questions? Contact Wendy Franczak at (608) 246-6369.

Published January 11, 2016.

How to enroll in the Employee Scholars Program

Did you know that Madison College employees can take up to two credit-classes per semester at a very low cost? Full-time and part-time faculty and staff are eligible to participate in the Employee Scholar Program. Take advantage of this great benefit and be a student!

1. Find a credit-class you are interested in taking.

Make sure you are eligible to take the class by checking the prerequisites and other requirements. If the class is full, choose another class. Do NOT put yourself on the waitlist if you wish to be part of the Employee Scholar Program.

2. Starting the Friday before the first day of class, register for the class.

For most Spring classes, this will be Friday, Jan. 15. You’ll need an active student account so make sure you have this set up. You must complete the registration process yourself. Print out verification of your registration. If you register before the Friday before the first day of class, you are not part of the Employee Scholar Program and must pay the full tuition.

3. Complete the Intent Form found on the Employee Scholars webpage.

Attach verification of your registration and send to the Enrollment Center. In about three weeks the Program Fee will be removed from your student account billing. You are responsible for all other student fees.

Questions? Contact Teresa Werhane at (608) 243-4236.

Published January 11, 2016. Updated August 22, 2016.

TRiO Open House welcomes faculty and staff

From Tuesday, Jan. 19, to Friday, Jan. 22, TRiO/Student Support Services will host an open house. Refreshments will be served.

Stop by Truax room C1471 anytime during the week to meet staff, students and peer mentors. Learn about TRiO's mission in the classroom, services offered and how to refer students to the program.

The federally-funded TRiO program provides academic support, including study strategies, academic advising, transfer information and student success workshops.

Questions? Visit TRiO's FAQ page for more information.

Published January 11, 2016.

Fundraiser for Dental Hygiene Service Trip

Oral B 5000 powered toothbrushes are being sold once again for $65. Purchasers will receive a $20 rebate form to mail in for a final cost of $45 ($175 value). Two rebates allowed per name or address. 

The package also includes a travel case, mouth rinse, toothpaste and various brush heads.

Funds raised will be used to defray the cost of the trip for the students. Final sale date is Monday, Feb. 1.

Interested? Contact Sue Kloosterboer at (608) 258-2472 or Heidi Petersen at (608) 258-2473 to place an order. 

Published January 11, 2016.

Retention tips for a successful semester

The first day of class may be one of the most important days of the semester as it is your time to set the stage for a positive and rewarding experience for your students. Here are some tips for a good start from the Tips on Teaching section of the University of Oklahoma Program for Instructional Innovation website:

Involve students quickly

Let your students know right from the get-go that active participation is the name of the game. This can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Have everybody introduce themselves
  • Create some individual thinking and writing time
  • Conduct class and/or small-group discussions

Identify the value and importance of the subject

Not all students come to class with a clear idea of the significance of your subject. You may need to help them grasp its importance. The quicker this is done, the quicker students will begin investing time and energy into the learning process.

Set expectations regarding:

  • The amount of study time required to do well in the course
  • Homework deadlines and the consequences for not meeting them
  • In-class behavior rules and the consequences for not observing them
  • Parameters of student/teacher interaction
  • Anything else you consider important

The first day also offers an opportunity to explore the expectations of your students.

Establish rapport

You will enjoy your teaching experience a great deal more if you communicate effectively with your students. This applies to your students as well. They will enjoy learning a great deal more if they know that communicating with you is going to be easy. Get to know each other a little bit.

Reveal something about yourself

Students often learn in proportion to how well they relate to their instructors; when they see them as more than just an authority figure or subject matter expert; when they see them as human beings with similar experiences. Share some personal stories with your students and learn to laugh at yourself. It will help establish rapport with your students and put them at ease while getting to know you as a person.

Establish your credibility

Your students deserve to know your professional background. Depending on the class you’re teaching, this may be assumed—your credibility a given—but not always: don't take it for granted. Inform your students about your prior experience: work, travel, research, publication credits, and anything else that might be important. You want to instill in them a sense of confidence in the idea that you know what you’re talking about.

Establish the "Class Climate"

Different teachers prefer different classroom climates: intense, relaxed, formal, personal, humorous, serious, etc. Whatever climate you prefer, you must establish it at the beginning. It sets the tone for the whole semester.

Provide administrative information

Go through your syllabus with your students. Make sure everybody knows what’s in it. Information they will need include:

  • List of textbooks and other required reading
  • The kind and quantity of homework involved
  • Your office hours, address, phone and email
  • Grade stipulations and the procedures by which they will be determined
  • Classroom policies: attendance, late papers, make-up exams, etc.

Present an overview of the subject

  • What is it?
  • What parts of the subject will be covered in the class you’re teaching?
  • How are those parts connected?
  • How are they connected to other subjects, courses and types of knowledge?

Final Note:

Remember this imperative: Whatever it is you want your students doing on a regular basis, have them do it on the first day of class as well.

If class or group discussions are going to be a regular activity, have a class or group discussion on the first day. If you want them working in small groups throughout the semester, put them in groups on the first day. If you want them writing regularly, have them write immediately.

For more retention tips and ideas, contact Tina or Nancy in CETL.


University of Oklahoma Program for Instructional Innovation. (n.d.). The first day of class: What can/should we do? In Ideas on teaching.  

Published January 11, 2016.