Madison College News

The path of liberal arts transfer to career success

At the age of 16, Garth Beyer fell in love with Madison, Wis. Moving from high school to community college during his junior year of high school, Beyer completed his associate degree from Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill. When he made his dream of living in Madison a reality and toured the University of Wisconsin-Madison three times, he discovered he had another dream: Attend UW-Madison and get a job at advertising agency Hiebing.

Madison College Social Media Specialist Maureen Alley sat down with Beyer to discover how he made his dreams a reality by attending Madison College as a liberal arts transfer student.


Maureen Alley: Why did you decide to go to Madison College?

Garth Beyer: Unfortunately I didn’t get accepted at UW-Madison the first time I applied. After talking to a UW counselor, he suggested I take a few courses at Madison College to make me a better candidate. During the summer of 2012, I decided to take a handful of courses at Madison College, particularly the basic courses.

MA: Did you always want to do liberal arts transfer?

GB: I actually never thought of it until I was denied acceptance at UW-Madison the first time I applied. As I talked with Madison College counselors, I realized the liberal arts transfer path was for me. While I understood there was no guarantee I’d get accepted into UW-Madison, it sure felt like my chances greatly increased.

MA: Experience at Madison College?

GB: Most of the professors cared and wanted to connect with students (me!). I’m actually still friends with a handful of the professors I had there which goes to show the type of people employed at Madison College.

I was also a student who wanted to make the most of every course I took, so I was always seeking out other students who were there to learn, grow and challenge themselves. I’d connect with them on projects outside of class.

In addition to the core classes I needed to take to get into UW-Madison, I also took classes that would help me down the path of being a journalism major and benefit me regardless of career path: writing courses. I loved the assortment of classes Madison College offered so I could take classes I truly enjoyed.

MA: Advice to others considering liberal arts transfer?

GB: If you’re just starting to out, do liberal arts transfer and figure it out along the way. The classes are challenging yet doable.

It makes sense to do liberal arts transfer especially if you know you want to go to UW. Sure, there’s no guarantee you’ll get accepted to UW but you still need to show up, do the homework and show your dedication to your schoolwork. At the minimum, you can save up to $11,000 per year and get grounded in what it takes to succeed at UW all while increasing your chances of acceptance.

MA: When did you transfer to UW?

GB: I transferred to UW in Spring 2013. I actually kept taking classes at Madison College after I was accepted and before I started because ... well, why not? I was enjoying the courses, the professors, the flexibility, everything.

 MA: How was the transfer process?

GB: The transfer process went smoothly from a credit standpoint because of the active and open communication between Madison College and UW. The transfer program at UW was remarkable; they made sure you had the opportunity to know other transfer students. There was a solid onboarding process and it made the transition seamless.  

MA: Why did you dream to work at Hiebing?

GB: While at UW, I enjoyed writing and sharing human-interest stories and realized public relations was where I wanted to focus. So I decided to tour a handful of advertising agencies in the Madison area, which included Hiebing. Everything I had learned about them resonated with my personal values. I fell in love with the people at Hiebing and dreamt of working there.

MA: Advice for others who are considering liberal arts transfer as a pathway to employment?

GB: Know what you want even if you don’t totally know what you want. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely spent 18 years of your life learning what you like and don’t like; reflect and figure out what careers align with the things you like, then jump, decide, do it. You can always change later. What matters is that you laser in on a goal now.

Once you know what it is you want – I decided early on it would be Hiebing or bust – be proactive both in your actions to get there as well as your communications about where it is you want to go. I would never have gotten a job at Hiebing without the help of so many people including those within the agency. If the world is small, Madison is even smaller – people know people and word travels fast, but the word needs to start somewhere and that’s with you.


Learn more about Liberal Arts Transfer program or meet with a Madison College counselor to learn more about opportunities that best fit your goals. 

Published February 16, 2017.

Local restaurateur Tory Miller shares secrets of success

Chef Tory Miller, owner of L’Etoile, Graze, Sujeo and Estrellón restaurants, will present “Four Seasons, Four Restaurants” at Madison College’s new demonstration kitchen Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is part of the college’s Center for Entrepreneurship Chef Series.

Miller specializes in dishes made from locally grown, sustainable, organic ingredients, executed in part through a rigorous “put-by” system, in which he preserves summer produce for use year-round. He has earned two James Beard awards for Best Chef, Midwest and is an active member of Slow Food USA and the Chef’s Collaborative.

The Series focuses on the entrepreneurial journey of each of the guest chefs and the challenges they overcame along the way. The chefs will also share methods of preparation they use, offer a cooking demonstration and serve appetizers they have prepared.

This presentation is free to Madison College students and a limited number of tickets are available to the public for $25.

Future events include:

  • Thursday, March 23, “The Heritage Farm Story,” presented by Chef Dan Fox, owner and executive chef of Heritage Tavern
  • Wednesday, Apr. 19, “The Making of Pig in a Fur Coat,” presented by Daniel Bonanno, chef of Pig in a Fur Coat
  • Wednesday, May 10, “Sardine, Marigold Kitchen, Gates and Brovi,” presented by Phillip Hurley and John Gadau, owners and co-executive chefs of these Madison restaurants

Published February 8, 2017. Updated March 6, 2017.

New program makes college possible for low-income students

Scholars of Promise, a new Madison College program, provides financial aid, advising, support and lots more.

High school juniors and seniors in the Madison College District may be eligible for payment of a portion of their tuition and fees for up to six consecutive semesters at the college. To apply you must submit the Madison College Admissions application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a written essay by April 1. Fall applicants will be notified by the end of June or early July.

Contact Javier Neira Salazar at (608) 246-6036 or email to find out more about this exciting opportunity.

Published February 6, 2017.

New full-service salon opens at Truax campus

Madison College Cosmetology students will show off the spacious new Trustyle Salon with an open house on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at the Truax campus. The salon features shampooing stations, hair styling chairs, manicure and pedicure stations and private rooms for facials.


To learn more about the Cosmetology technical diploma and the Cosmetology Apprenticeship visit the web site.


A complete list of services and prices for the salon is also available on the college web site. All services are performed by students and supervised by licensed instructors.


Call 608-246-6068 to schedule your appointment and ask about monthly specials.

Published February 3, 2017.

CNC machining graduates in high demand

Andre Herritz, a Reedsburg resident and graduate of the Madison College Machine Tool Technics program, also earned a certificate in computer-numeric controlled machining that led to a successful manufacturing career.

Herritz is now a manufacturing engineering supervisor for Milwaukee Valve Co. in Prairie du Sac. His story was included in a recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal about this high-demand field that starts with a technical college education.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, demand for workers in the CNC machining field will continue to grow, especially for CNC programmers.



Published February 1, 2017.

Entrepreneurship Center's Chef Series begins Jan. 31

Nationally known chef and owner of HotChocolate restaurant in Chicago, Mindy Segal, will present first for the Madison College Center for Entrepreneurship’s Chef Series. The series will kick off Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. in the Truax demonstration kitchen. Segal will talk about her journey as an entrepreneur and demonstrate some of her award-winning pastry skills.

Chef Joe Gaglio, Culinary Arts instructor, talked with Channel 3 reporters about the upcoming event providing more information about the Chef Series.

Before opening her own restaurant, Segal plied her trade in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants including Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2012, Segal was named the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Pastry Chef” after receiving five nominations in previous years. She is the author of the bestselling cookbook “Cookie Love.”

Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network and in Food and Wine, Bon Appétit and The New York Times. 

“Cookies and Cream with Mindy Segal” is free (limited seats available) to Madison College students. A limited number of tickets are also available to the public for $25 on Eventbrite.

Future events in the series include:

  • Monday, Feb. 22, “Four Seasons Four Restaurants,” presented by Tory Miller, owner and executive chef of L’Etoile, Graze, Sujeo and Estrellón
  • Thursday, Mar. 23, “The Heritage Farm Story,” presented by Chef Dan Fox, owner and executive chef of Heritage Tavern
  • Wednesday, Apr. 19, “The Making of Pig in a Fur Coat,” presented by Daniel Bonanno, chef of Pig in a Fur Coat
  • Wednesday, May 10, “Sardine, Marigold Kitchen, Gates and Brovi,” presented by Phillip Hurley and John Gadau, owners and co-executive chefs of these three Madison restaurants

Published January 20, 2017. Updated January 27, 2017.

Growth of renewable energy brings jobs

Ken Walz, Madison College instructor, talked with Channel 3's Dave Delozier about the increase in renewable energy usage in the U.S. and Wisconsin at the 6th Annual Renewable Energy Summit held in Madison.

"There was more electricity installed this past year from wind and solar than from any other sources," Walz told Delozier.

Madison College offers certificate programs in Renewable Energy, Photovoltaics and Wind Energy Technology.

Published January 20, 2017.

Entrepreneurship workshops scheduled for spring

Business Planning Series and the Center for Entrepreneurship will offer several workshops this spring at the Truax Campus.

  • "Dreaming of Becoming an Entrepreneur" will be held Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 6-8 p.m.
  • "Business Model Canvas" will be held Wednesday, Feb. 15
  • "Protecting your Intellectual Property" will be held Wednesday, Mar. 1
  • "Marketing and Social Media for Startups" is set for Wednesday, Mar. 8
  • "Business Organizations, Tax, and Legal Status" will be presented Wednesday, Mar. 22
  • "Financials for Startups" will be held Wednesday, April 5

Registration details and information on all workshops may be found on the Center for Entrepreneurship site.


Published January 20, 2017.

Reedsburg & Portage Closed 1/17

Due to inclement weather, the Reedsburg and Portage campuses will remain closed on Tuesday, Jan. 17. 

Published January 17, 2017.

Extended service hours offered

At the start of the Spring semester, most Student Development and Success service units will offer extended service hours until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 – Thursday, Jan. 19. 

Check each service unit's webpage for more details on hours. 

Published January 17, 2017.