Graduation speaker nomination form available

Send in nominations for a graduate to speak at the 2017 Midyear Commencement. The deadline to nominate is Friday, Oct. 27. 

The Commencement will be held Thursday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the H. Douglas Redsten Gymnasium. 

Questions? Please contact Student Life Administrative Coordinator Brenda Farrell

Published October 11, 2017.

Degree-credit calendar finalized

The 2018-2019 degree-credit calendar has been finalized and updated on the Academic Calendar web page. It is also attached as a document.

The calendar establishes the various terms, days of no classes and important academic deadlines including the refund deadlines and the deadline for submission of grades.

Published October 11, 2017.

Virtual desktops to undergo maintenance

Technology Services will complete upgrades to the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environment on Saturday, Oct. 21, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Virtual desktops will be inaccessible during this maintenance.

If you have a persistent Employee Virtual Desktop, please be sure you have no unsaved work open as it may be lost. Please log off all virtual desktops before leaving on Friday.

Instructors who believe this will negatively affect them or their students are asked to contact the Help Desk, ext. 6666, as soon as possible. 

Please note that access to other services will be available.

Published October 9, 2017.

Blackboard to receive menu update this spring

To align with the Focus on Focus practices to improve student course success the Blackboard Course menu has been restructured to include design notes to support instructors with populating their Bb shells. The menu also continues to mirror Quality Matters best practices for online learning and ease of student navigation in Blackboard, which was a focus in the 2014 redesign.

The new default template will be applied to all spring 2018 courses, will look as follows:


The main course navigation menu on the left side of the Blackboard screen includes the following items:

  • Announcements: This menu item includes updates and reminders about the course from the instructor. This may be a good place to post a course welcome letter, Focus on Focus activity.
  • START HERE: This menu item includes specific resources and assignments to help students get started in the course. 
  • Home Page: The Home Page allows students to customize modules that they would like to easily access. This menu item is hidden by default.
  • Instructor Contact: This menu item includes instructor contact information, including office phone, email address, office location, and office hours. 
  • Syllabus and Rubrics: This menu item includes the course syllabus, rubrics, schedule, and other important course information. The posting of a syllabus is a Focus on Focus activity.
  • Textbook Info: This menu item includes information about the textbook used in the course.
  • Calendar: This menu item links to the Blackboard Calendar tool.
  • Weekly Content: This menu item includes the content related to the course.
  • Submit Assignments: This menu item carries all assignments for the course.    
  • Discussions: This menu item includes the discussion forums and threads for the course. 
  • Send Email:  This menu item enables students to email the instructor and other students in this course from within Blackboard. 
  • My Grades: This menu item allows students to check current grades and review instructor feedback on performance on assignments for the course. The posting of student progress is a Focus on Focus activity.
  • College Resources: This menu item is available to provide ready access to information about a variety of college resources that aim to help students succeed at Madison College.
  • Blackboard Help: This menu item links to Blackboard Student Help pages.
  • Tools: This menu item includes a variety of tools that are helpful to complete this course. This menu item is hidden by default.

An added feature in the 2018 menu release is the inclusion of design notes for each menu item to help faculty get started using that area.

As always, faculty will be able to add, delete or move any of the course menu buttons or design notes to meet individual class needs.

For help with using the course menu, designing your Blackboard class, or accessing document templates, contact CETL at 608-246-6646.



Published October 9, 2017.

Truax hosts employer visits

The Career and Employment Services announced the upcoming employer visits at the Truax Campus.

Stop by the Truax Atrium Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Krysta will be available to give more information.

Caravel Autism Health
Stop by the Truax Atrium Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Jamie will be available to give more information.

Stop by the Truax Atrium Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. tp 2 p.m.
Stephanie will be available to give more information. 

Spherion Staffing Services
Stop by the Truax Atrium Thursday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Joshua will be available to give more information. 

Please pass this information onto your students. 


Published October 9, 2017.

Honors Workshop information provided

To supervise honors projects, faculty must complete the four-hour Madison College Honors Program Workshop. The upcoming workshops are held: 

  • Thursday, Oct. 19, from 3 – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 18, from 1 – 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 8, from 11 – 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m.  – 1 p.m.

Registration for workshops can be found on the CETL website. The workshop counts toward the FQAS Continuing Professional Development categories of Student Success, Currency and Content Expertise or College and Strategic Interests. 

Questions? Please contact Julia HaseleuHonors program director, at 608-243-4715. 

Published October 6, 2017.

STEM Center offers October Speaker Series events

The STEM Center has assembled a speaker series with presentations every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Truax Room C1450. No reservations are required.

Speaker series events in October include:

October 4
Dr. Ilia Guzei, UW-Madison Director of Crystallography
The Significance of Crystallography

October 11
Tina Lippiatt, Human Resources, Electronic Theatre Controls
Employment Opportunities at Electronic Theater Controls 

October 18
Melissa Wittkowske, Wisconsin State Crime Lab
An Introduction to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory

October 25
Clayton Fellman et. al. UW Madisons’ Hyper Loop Team: Badger Loop
Badgerloop: A Look Into the Design of Hyperloop Pods 

Check the current STEM flyer for upcoming events.

For further information and future programs contact the STEM Center or 608-246-6285.

Published October 6, 2017. Updated November 1, 2017.

TRiO progress reports due next week

The first round of required progress reports for TRiO is due in the next week. Please be prepared for TRiO students asking to meet with you to have these filled out. 

Progress reports are a great way for students to initiate conversations with instructors and to gain a clear understanding of where they stand in a class. They also provide the TRiO program advisors with a way to create and implement an academic success plan with students when there are identified content areas students are struggling with. 

The progress reports have an area for instructors to list strengths and one where they can list needed areas of improvement. There are also places for attendance, timeliness, participation, assignments, quizzes and tests.

This is a way for students to connect with instructors to see where they are at in a class. If they are in need of assistance in any areas they can come see TRiO, where they can help create an academic plan for them.



Published October 6, 2017.

CETL hosts online training for Blackboard Grade Center

The Grade Center is more than just a way to record students' grades. It is a dynamic and interactive tool, allowing faculty to record data, calculate grades and monitor student progress.

In the Grade Center, faculty can provide and manage students' grades for a variety of assessments including:

  • Assignments
  • Tests
  • Discussion board posts
  • Journals
  • Blogs
  • Wikis

Faculty can also create grade columns for any activities or requirements that require grading but do not require submission through Blackboard, such as special projects, participation or attendance.

Sign up in Thrive for one of the following sessions:

  • Monday, Oct. 16, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Questions? Contact CETL at 608-246-6646.

This session is offered online using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. You will be sent a link the day before the session begins and can join from wherever you are.  

Published October 6, 2017.

Faculty begin to assess students in Core Workforce Skills

This fall marks the time when students are assessed in soft skills that local employers tell us are important. Driving the project is the Universal Rubric, validated by industry in 2014 and 2017. 

Over 97 percent of respondents, representing a variety of industries, indicated these skills were important or very important:

  • Listening
  • Ethics
  • Critical thinking
  • Social interaction
  • Self-management

Faculty are invited to assess their students in a course this semester:

  1. Assess student assignments such as a paper, skill demonstration, or project.
  2. Record whether student performance adequately shows evidence of the skills or not.

Results, gathered through December 21, are then compiled across the college.

Faculty can sign up to participate here.

Core Workforce Skills example spreadsheet

For information contact Robin Nickel or call 608-246 – 6413.

Published October 4, 2017.