First-year photo students exhibit work

College employees are invited to the First-Year Student Photography Exhibition — Group 2 at the Sunroom Café and Gallery, 638 State St., Madison. The show is currently running and ends Sunday, June 23.

The exhibition comes from the Photography Program and will be juried by Ya-Ling Tsai and Steve Rhyner.  

Student exhibitors include: Lauren Bronder, Mee Hyang Choi, Emily Diamond, Ryann Duncan, Mischa Fox, Tracy Guetzlaff, Alek Krueger, Holly Menne, Marissa Meredith, Tessa Morhardt, Andrew O’Donnell, Amy Pasch, Hayley Pauli, Giovanni Perez-Pineda and Britini Pettit. 

All photographs are for sale at $200 each.

Published May 17, 2019. Updated May 20, 2019.

Older courses to be removed from Blackboard

As part of the Blackboard course retention policy, the college will be removing courses older than Spring 2017 on June 15. Anyone who has an exception is asked to contact the Help Desk at 608.246.6214.

Published May 17, 2019.

Faculty asked to review gradebook

As the semester winds down, faculty are asked to take a moment to review a few gradebook “housekeeping” items:

  • If you are using a “Grading Schema” in your Blackboard gradebook (e.g., a “Final Grade” column with an applied grading schema), be sure to review your “Grading Schema” in your Full Grade Center, to ensure that letter grades are being displayed correctly for your students. In particular, if you are using the “Default Schema,” it will need to be edited to display the correct grade, since the default schema likely will not match your syllabus. Not sure how to do that? Consult our Directions for Editing Your Grade Schema
  • Doublecheck the Blackboard grade center to make sure the grading calculations match what was outlined in your syllabus.
  • Make sure your final grade or total grade column is visible to students, as these columns are initially hidden in the Blackboard shell when it is first created.
  • “Zero out” any missing/non-submitted work from students for Blackboard to accurately compute final grades.

Need additional help or a one-on-one walk-through of your gradebook (or any other Blackboard area)? Call, stop by or schedule an appointment with CETL today.

For more information, please email David Leo at or 608.246.5210, or call the CETL office directly at 608.246.6646. 


Published May 15, 2019.

Employee Trust Funds offers webinars

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is offering a series of live, interactive webinars designed to increase understanding of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) benefits. Individuals can ask questions at the end of each session.

Visit the ETF webinar page to register and learn more about the following May and June sessions:

  • Beneficiary Designations – What Happens to My Account When I Die?

This webinar reviews the importance of having a beneficiary designation on file and keeping it updated as life events occur. There will also be a review on how to correctly complete a designation form, what it means if one is not on file with ETF and how to request a copy of the current form. 

  • How to Use ETF’s Online Calculator to Estimate a Retirement Benefit

The webinar covers ETF’s online retirement calculator. It allows users to calculate an unofficial projection of their WRS retirement benefit at any point in the future. Participants will learn where to find and how to use the calculator, specific information required and how to interpret results.

  • Preparing for Your Retirement

Employees will learn about the steps to retire with the WRS. The event can be attended in person or by live webinar. Employees will learn about the impact of contributions and investment returns on their account, when they can retire, WRS annuity options, returning to work after retiring, what happens to their account after death, health and life insurance and more. Questions are welcome during and after this event.

  • Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits

This session discusses key things employees can learn about their WRS benefits by reading and understanding their WRS annual Statement of Benefits. Some topics being reviewed are:

  • How much employee and employer have contributed to the WRS pension
  • Employee vesting status and years of service
  • Employee beneficiary designation – what happens to an account if the employee dies before taking a benefit
  • Employees should have their statement in hand while attending this webinar.

  • WRS Annuity Adjustments and Effective Rates

This session reveals the process of how account effective rates and annuity adjustments are calculated, starting with the investment return reported by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Also covered are explanations of both the Core and Variable Trust Funds and the calculations specific to each fund for effective rates and annual adjustments.

Published May 15, 2019.

Softball National Tournament T-shirt available for purchase

When Madison College teams qualify for Nationals, the Athletic Department creates a T-shirt for the teams and fans. A Softball National Tournament T-shirt is being created, those interested in purchasing T-shirts must place all orders online and pay for through the site. The cost is $15 each and the link remains open until Thursday, May 16, noon. All players and coaches will receive a T-shirt. 

Contact Kris Mills at 608.245.2103 with questions.


Published May 15, 2019.

Truax blood drive set for June 11

A summer blood drive will take place at Madison College Tuesday, June 11, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in Room D1630 B/C at the Truax Campus.

There’s no way to predict when or where an accident will happen — but thankfully, blood donations can help ensure that trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured patient arrives.

Give patients in need another reason to be thankful — call 1.800.RED.CROSS (1.800.733.2767) or visit  Use the sponsor code MATCMadison. 

Save up to 15 minutes by using RapidPass. Visit for more information.

This event is co-sponsored by the Student Nurses Association and Student Health Education.

For more information, contact Missy Wimer or Kelsey Volenberg.

Published May 15, 2019.

Results of Robotics Competition revealed

Saturday, May 11, the Electronics Department hosted the 12th Annual Wisconsin Technical College System Robotics Competition, which featured seven teams from three campuses. The department congratulates each team and applauds the Robotics Club for a third place win along with the Engineering Project Principles class (605-116) for their first place win. The competition tasked students with creating a robot to compete in four missions, which included: 

  • An autonomous race with a speed bump
  • An autonomous “Candle Run”
  • An autonomous “Robo-Buckets”
  • A driver-controlled slalom event

Published May 15, 2019.

CourseArc succeeds Soft Chalk

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

Madison College’s contract with Soft Chalk with conclude on June 30. CourseArc has been chosen as its successor. CourseArc is a modern, user-friendly web-based authoring tool that allows easy creation of engaging, interactive, accessible and responsive online courses and course content. Instructors love CourseArc’s templated design blocks and built-in quality assurance features, which allow control of their course content and ensure instructional design best practices. CourseArc content seamlessly integrates with Blackboard Learn.

As part of this transition, Course Arc will be providing a migration utility to transfer any current Soft Chalk user content into their format. In the interim, Soft Chalk users can always download a complete SCORM package of any of their Soft Chalk presentations. Users can utilize the conversion feature when it becomes available, so as to preserve the ability to edit their content, as well as bring it into a modern, responsive and eloquent design.

What comes next?

  • As mentioned, Soft Chalk will be sunset June 30.
  • Currently, instructors may back-up, package and download their Soft Chalk content, prior to the sunset of Soft Chalk.
  • Later this summer, instructors will be given access to a conversion tool that will convert Soft Chalk content into the CourseArc format.
  • Training workshops and asynchronous sessions will be offered by CETL and the vendor—watch for those announcements.

How should I prepare? 

  • Check out the CourseArc sample courses to juice your inspiration! (If you did not use Soft Chalk, why not check out this new, innovative tool.)
  • 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, or see attached instruction sheet.) While this package will still work in Blackboard, editing access will end on July 1st. Consider downloading a back-up copy of your Soft Chalk lessons, and also begin consider ways in which your converted content might take advantage of Course Arc’s innovative features.
  • If you would like to export a Soft Chalk Lesson and import the SCORM file into a Blackboard master shell (or any Blackboard course), please see the attached guide: Package and Upload a SCORM Lesson into Blackboard
  • Watch for upcoming training and access to the conversion utility.
  • Watch for an upcoming announcement as to when CourseArc will be available to all instructors!
  • Contact CETL with any questions!

Published May 15, 2019.

Holiday hours announced

All Madison College campuses and district buildings are closed Saturday, May 25–Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. Campuses re-open Tuesday, May 28.

Published May 15, 2019.

Student Services summer hours announced

The summer hours for Student Services takes effect Monday, May 20– Friday, Aug. 2. Most student Service offices are closing daily at 4:30 p.m. for the summer. Refer to the Department Directory to verify hours by individual department.

Published May 15, 2019.