Bookstore reminds faculty of textbook adoption, affordability

The Bookstore and the Student Affairs Council are working together on the issue of textbook affordability. Many students are struggling financially and yet the cost of textbooks continues to rise. Please consider the cost burden on students when adopting books.

Spring 2018 textbook adoptions are due to the Bookstore by Wednesday, Nov. 1. If you have not yet received your teaching assignment, for example, part-time faculty, then we ask that you submit your adoption as soon as possible after your classes are confirmed. Your timely textbook adoptions help to better serve our students’ needs.

Timely adoption helps reduce the high cost of textbooks for students.

  • Buyback: Timely textbook adoptions help to ensure a title’s inclusion in our end-of-term buyback period. The quantities we are able to buyback from our students, as well as the value we are able to pay for them, are directly affected by the timely adoptions.
  • Rentals: Offering this popular option to our students also requires timely adoptions. Many factors need to be considered before we decide which books make the best rental candidates, and a big factor is how many adoptions we receive.
  • Used Books: Used book vendors operate as first-come, first-served. The sooner we can get orders placed for used textbooks, the better chance we have of securing used copies for students.

Timely adoption helps to keep things running smoothly at the Bookstore.

  • Enrollment dates: Continuing student registration begins Nov. 1. Once registration opens, we receive inquiries from students about what books and materials will be used for their classes. The sooner we can have this information, the more helpful we will be to the student body.
  • HEOA: When textbook adoptions are submitted to the Bookstore, the text information is shared with Madison College’s website and posted to the course schedule. This information is then readily available for students, and insures the college and the bookstore are in compliance with HEOA regulations with regard to the textbook provision.
  • Returns: We are also clearing our shelves of fall term books. Knowing what is being reused helps to determine what gets sent back to publishers and what is kept on the shelves for spring.

Please use the Online Textbook Adoption System by visiting the following links:

Paper adoptions are still accepted, just fill out a blank form. Please send the completed form through interdepartmental mail or email.

Questions? Please contact Administrative Specialist Mike Panten.

Published October 18, 2017.

Think you have the cutest pet?

Do you have a pet you want to brag about and show off to your classmates or colleagues? Please share! It’s all for a good cause. Last year, the Cutest Pet contest raised $475 for the Combined Charitable Campaign and we hope to double that number this year.

Beginning Oct. 16, enter your furry, web-footed, slippery or feathered pal for the Cutest Pet contest to raise proceeds for the Combined Charitable Campaign. Deadline for submissions will be until 5 p.m. on Oct. 27, with voting to follow.

How to enter:

Submit a photo of your pet, past or present, via email. Got more than one? Submit as many pictures as you’d like. Entry fee is $5 per pet by cash or check made payable to E.C.C. Send all entry fees via internal mail to Chelsey Bowers at Truax Campus. No online payments are available.

When submitting photos, please follow some guidelines for fairness:

  • Only one pet per picture/submission per $5 entry fee
  • No digital enhancements or costumes. We want to see your pet only
  • No humans in the picture

How to vote:

Vote as many times as you want between Oct. 30 and Nov. 10. Each vote costs $1. Photos will be uploaded as they are submitted and can be found on our internal SharePoint page. Posters that list all pets will also be available at designated voting locations, including regional campuses.

Published October 16, 2017. Updated October 18, 2017.

Madison College receives $3 million Department of Education grant

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $3 million research grant to Madison Area Technical College to improve advising services to students and increase college degree completion or transfer. The college is among 10 institutions receiving the Title III grants.

Currently, a little more than half of Madison College students are retained from their first fall semester to the next fall semester, which is minimally better than the national rate of slightly less than 50 percent. Many students do not take advantage of advising and career services offered by the college. As a result, they don’t know which courses will best help them meet their goals.

“We want to connect with students earlier to help them identify their career path and make sure their courses are aligned for efficient progression to graduation,” said Jack E. Daniels, III, president of Madison College.

The five-year Pathways to Success grant will help the college implement strategies to address advising needs of all students, including those who lack basic skills. Proposed methods include online tools, connected data systems and increased training for faculty advisors. Successful approaches will be shared with other higher education institutions.

Plans include a unified portal to assist students in planning their educational and career path, and linking them to advising and other services to support their progress toward their goal. The college will also increase the number of well-trained faculty advisors and create a series of short videos and other online resources that address common topics at various points in a student’s progress to graduation.

Published October 11, 2017.

Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1

Open Enrollment for health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance and flexible spending accounts (FSA) is Nov. 1-15. During the last week of October, eligible employees will receive a printed enrollment packet at their home address.

All eligible employees must log into Workday during Open Enrollment on Nov. 1-15 to either elect or waive coverage. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, eligible employees will receive a Workday Inbox item titled “Open Enrollment Change.”

Full-time employees are eligible for:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts (medical and dependent care) 

Part-time PSRP are eligible for:

  • Vision insurance
  • Dependent care flexible spending account

On the Insurance Benefits web page, you will find links to:

  • Videos explaining this year’s changes
  • Rate sheet for 2018
  • Network and provider options in each plan

How to enroll, waive coverage, or switch plans:

  • Eligible employees must log into Workday between Nov. 1-15, 2017
  • Complete the “Open Enrollment Change” task in Workday
  • No printing required 

When will the rates and coverage change?

  • Our new plan year runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018
  • Payroll deductions for health insurance will change in December 2017 (one month in advance)

Questions about Workday access?

Contact the Help Desk at 608-246-6666.

Questions about benefit plans?

Contact HR at 608-246-6900.

Published October 6, 2017. Updated October 18, 2017.

View the Sept. 27 Assembly Recap

The College Assembly gathered Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Co-chair Keith Cornille announced that the role of the co-chair is changing. The co-chairs will run the meetings and will utilize IBPS facilitation only on topics as needed.

Lori Sebranek, registrar, presented an Educational Spotlight on enrollment status for the college. Madison College’s current applicant to enrolled rate is approximately 55 percent. As of Sept. 11, 2017-18 enrollment for degree credit FTE was 4,408 with a target of 8,800.

New enrollment initiatives for Spring ‘18 include:

  • Targeted enrollment windows by cumulative credits
  • Enhance messaging to build awareness; potential pilot of our Blackboard Connect texting Solution
  • Enhanced Advising/Registration - registration lab in person experience
  • Outreach/engagement plan for pre-petition buckets
  • Faculty engagement and training plan – tie in to Focus on Focus
  • Online A/R for second semester students (A&S/BAA)
  • Percent complete messaging/timeline
  • How to register – published material
  • Financial messaging
  • Admin/Staff awareness enrollment messaging/update 

Action Items

The Employee Relations and Professional Development Council presented changes to the Outsourcing Policy and Layoff Policy for first readings. These policies apply to PSRP and administrative employees. 

Questions were raised about previous language indicating no employee would be terminated in the event of outsourcing. Jeff Reeves, co-chair of the ERPD Council, stated that the college is not able to guarantee that. Members of the Assembly also questioned the use of the word “reasonable” to describe efforts to find a suitable vacant position rather than laying off and employee.

Similar questions were raised about use of “reasonable” in the Layoff Policy. Reeves pointed out that layoffs are ultimately decided by the college president. Laura Osinski, College Assembly co-chair, requested complete Interest Analysis Sheets for both proposed policies. Second reading for these policies will occur at the next Assembly meeting.

Members of the Academic Council presented the Course Feedback Policy for second reading. The revised version included specifying “anonymous” feedback and use of the word “term” rather than “semester”. Discussion involved how the feedback will be carried out for short-term courses and all agreed instructors will decide what is appropriate in those cases. The Assembly thumbed the policy 

The Finance Council presented the Annual Budget Calendar and the following issue statement: How can we improve the education/input/participation of all stakeholders in the annual budget process? This was a first reading for the statement.

Student Senate report

Student Senate President Tina Marshalek informed the Assembly of recent Senate activities. The Student Hunger Survey is underway and continues until Oct. 9. So far 700 individuals have responded. In response to misinformation and fear related to the President Trump’s action regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Senate sponsored a livestream presentation. The Cabinet will meet with the Senate to learn more about recent activities.

Next meeting

The College Assembly will meet again Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in room C2402. Planned agenda items include: Updates on South Campus Initiative, Budget and Facilities 3 Year Plan, as well as second readings for the Layoff and Outsourcing Policies.

Published October 6, 2017.

Caradine named Interim Manager of Student Recruitment Office

Effective September 25, Torvic Caradine has been named Interim Manager for the Student Recruitment Office.

Torvic has been with Madison College as a Recruitment Coordinator and admission advisor since 2012. He has a solid, cross-functional background in human resources and labor relations, coupled with extensive knowledge in project management and program implementation. These skills along with his extensive knowledge of Madison College and the district make him a great fit. He has also created a working relationship with academic advisors and high school counselors to provide support for students looking for post-secondary education options. We appreciate your patience and coordination to put students (and prospective students) first as we evaluate the direction of the Student Recruitment Office.

If you have questions, please contact Lucía Nuñez or by calling 246-6183.

Published September 29, 2017. Updated October 2, 2017.

Professional development funding available for WTCS faculty and staff

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for International Education invites faculty and lecturers from the Wisconsin Technical College System to apply for funding towards professional development activities supporting internationalization of the curriculum, taking place in Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018. Funding for these activities is provided by UWM’s US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers grant. Awards will be a maximum of $2,000 with the average award amount closer to $1,000.


Funds may be used for costs associated with faculty and lecturer activities including the following:

  • Participation in conferences, workshops, and other professional development events that will lead to the creation of new courses or revision of existing courses with international content;
  • Travel for study abroad course development;
  • Sponsorship of guest lecturers, webinars, program evaluators, etc. that contributes to the internationalization of the curriculum on your campus;
  • Development of shareable resources that support campus internationalization.

We are also interested in supporting the creation of courses that align with the Global Studies BA degree program at UWM (www.global.uwm.edu), to build potential pathways for transfer students. For example, technical colleges faculty have developed courses in Sociology and Economics that transfer to UWM as the equivalent of Global Studies 101 People and Politics and Global Studies 201 Economics and the Environment.

Allowable expenses include travel, lodging, meals, conference or workshop fees, and supplies such as books, audiovisual resources, etc. All travel must comply with State and Federal regulations. The US Department of Education requires that international travel must comply with the Fly America Act and must be preapproved at least 30 days in advance by the NRC program officer. Expenses that cannot be prepaid will be reimbursed through the UWM reimbursement process. Please email Larry Borchardt if you have any questions about these requirements.

Application Instructions

Download application

Please submit a single PDF document containing all the required materials to the NRC Professional Development Project Review Committee via Jeremy Booth, Center for International Education.

  • Subject Line: NRC Professional Development Award
  • The PDF document should be titled as follows: yourlastname.yourfirstname.pda1718.pdf

Published September 29, 2017. Updated October 2, 2017.

View the Sept. 13 Assembly Recap

The College Assembly gathered Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Jeff Reeves, vice president for Human Resources, presented educational spotlights on the Transfer and Promotion Policy and the Recruitment and General Hiring Policy. He explained some recent changes to the policies that will reduce delays in the hiring process and will provide equal opportunity for current part-time and full-time employees to apply at the same time as external candidates. 

Reeves stated this was for information only. Some members of the Assembly questioned the procedure of presenting the policies as final before the Assembly had a chance to thumb them. 

Tina Marshalek, Student Senate president, gave an update on Senate activities. This year the Senate will focus on a full rental textbook program, improving academic and retention advising, student hunger and homelessness. The executive council is working on an issue statement. 

She noted Textbook Affordability Awareness Week will take place Oct. 16-20.

Course Feedback Policy

Members of the Academic Council presented a Course Feedback policy for first reading. Chris Page stressed that the purpose of the feedback was not for faculty evaluation, but for course evaluation and improvement. The policy also provides for a repository of resources for faculty. Student Senate also identified this as a priority issue. While Madison College is required to request student feedback by our accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, that is not the main reason we do so.  The main reasons to gather and reflect on student feedback are to honor our students’ interests in being active collaborators in course effectiveness and to respect faculty desire to improve our core purpose – teaching and helping students learn.

The Council will have further discussion and make modifications according to suggestions from this loop out so the policy can be presented for thumbing at the next Assembly meeting. 

Campus Climate Issue Statement

Nicole Soulier, Diversity and Community Relations Council co-chair, presented a new campus climate issue statement for second reading. She explained that the statement had to be narrowed as a beginning to the process and the council can only measure using data collected by the college in the Student Satisfaction Inventory. 

The issue statement was thumbed as follows: How will Madison College assess Campus Climate and respond to any inequities in assessment findings across racial/ethnic groups of students?

Each council gave an update on topics they are addressing this year.

Kevin Foley reported that Student Affairs Council is going to focus on:

  1. Textbook affordability
  2. A tuition payment plan
  3. How Madison College purposefully guides students through their academic careers
  4. How Madison College supports students who don’t have English as their first language 

The Facilities and Investment Council spent the summer touring all college facilities and is busy collecting information and input for the development of the Facilities Master Plan (FMP) which should be presented in late spring 2018. They will continue loop-ins with college stakeholders including students and will be working with consultants on FMP drafts and options. 

The ERPD Council will focus on employee career pathways.

The Diversity and Community Relations Council will continue their work on campus climate, how the college can hire more diverse staff members and academic achievement for all students.

The Academic Council will take up some operational issues next if course assessment is thumbed, then Workload. We may have a sub group work w/Student Affairs Council to discuss the prerequisite course issue of what to do when students fail the first in a sequential course series such as English 1 and English 2. The council will also address issues with course syllabi and Blackboard. 

The Finance Council has four issues they are considering:

  1. Policy on use of contingency funds
  2. How often academic, student services and administrative units should be assessed to determine if funding spent is achieving goals of the unit and the college
  3. How to improve education, input and participation of stakeholders in the annual budget process
  4. What impacts to consider when determining the target personnel cost percentage of the operating budget, while allowing for consideration of innovation, new programs and the impact of fixed costs

The Institutional Effectiveness Council is working on a policy for assessing major college initiatives, and is in the process of looping that out. 

The Information Technology Council will address a policy and standards for software management throughout the college and an information security policy. 

The College Assembly will meet again on Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 2:30 – 4:30 in room C2402. Planned agenda items include an Educational Spotlight on recruitment/retention and possible thumbing of the Course Feedback Issue and first read of several ERPD policies. 

Published September 22, 2017. Updated September 27, 2017.

Chef Kim to kick off Chef Series

Award-winning Chef Bill Kim will kick off the Fall 2017 Chef Series in the Truax Demonstration Kitchen Thursday, Oct. 19, from 6-8 p.m. Attendance is free for students and $25 for non-students. Register on the Chef Series Eventbrite page.

Kim is a pioneer in the movement of fine dining casual concepts. In 2008, he opened Urbanbelly, a bustling, communal-seating restaurant featuring creative and soul-satisfying noodle, dumpling and rice dishes. Kim opened BellyQ, a modern Asian barbecue concept on Chicago’s Randolph Street, in August of 2012.

After five successful years of operating Urbanbelly, Kim expanded the menu and relocated the restaurant to reside alongside BellyQ in the West Loop. A second Urbanbelly opened in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood in early 2016.

Kim's first cookbook, "Korean BBQ: How to Master Your Grill in 7 Sauces" will be released in April of 2018 by Ten Speed Press.

Published September 20, 2017. Updated September 25, 2017.

Website redesign shows positive results

The Madison College website is our most important recruiting tool for new students, as well as being the single source of information for continuing students. Its value is immeasurable. Keeping this tool accurate, up-to-date and relevant is an ongoing, many-person job.

The website was completely overhauled in 2016 so that we could continue to attract students, provide the information they need and help them locate and register for classes.

The intentions of the redesign:

  • Establish a clean and modern look
  • Vet writing for search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Reduce information source to one rather than duplicating in multiple places
  • Bring page count down from 12,000 to around 850
  • Allow target audience to find the information needed more quickly and with fewer clicks

Since the new site launched in Aug. 2016:

  • Page views have increased 78 percent on non-program pages and 24 percent on program pages
  • Visit Us page views have gone up 194 percent

These dramatic increases tell us that we not only made the right moves with the redesign, but that all areas of the college are seeing the benefits.

The Web Strategy Group (WSG) is the governing body for madisoncollege.edu. As the site continues to evolve, the work of WSG has gone from redesign to crafting and upholding the standards and polices that keep the website healthy and secure. (Watch for an upcoming Matters article) The group has grown to 12 members representing technology services, learner success, learner development and marketing. Each area has a stake in the website and brings forth their interests as we develop standards and policies that will guide new web features and content.

The WSG will continue to reach out to the college community to inform you of website changes and updates, as well as the standards and policies as they are finalized.

If you have specific questions or concerns, please email Web Strategy Group or contact one of the WSG members listed below.

Tim Casper
Mark Lausch
Donna Marconnet
Nicole Miller
Reggie Mosher
Mir Qader
Vicki Saffran
Kelly Schulte
Geraldo VilaCruz
Teresa Werhane
Monica Ziebell
Stephanie Beirne Leuer

Published September 18, 2017. Updated September 20, 2017.