Madison College South Slated to Open for Classes September 3rd
|Dr. Jack Daniels III, president of Madison College, has
facilitated the 4-5 year process of many MATC staff,
organizations and community members to build the new
South Madison campus.
And then there was the staff.
“We also have tremendous staff who have been involved,” Daniels said. “One who has moved on is Keith Corneille, now a president in Illinois. He played a huge
role in the south campus. When I think about finances, I can’t leave out the Mark Thomas’ who did a lot of work with that. WTCS has been very supportive, Morna Foy
and her staff and the board of WTCS. I continue to walk down these pathways, be it from administrators, faculty and staff, they have all been tremendously
supportive. Tina Ahedo is taking on the role to make sure this happens and transition from downtown. We close DTEC in 30 days. What is that like? Her plate has
been full. But she has been able to move it along.”
The third leg of the stool that has made the building possible is community.
“The community stepped up in a big way,” Daniels said. “I can’t say enough about the Goodman Foundation. Their commitment to our community is tremendous. They
are represented by their gift. Great Lakes Foundation — which is now Ascendium — stepped up because they understood the necessity of focusing in on this
community and the success of this community. American Family is another who stepped up. And there are multiple folks along the way who have given gifts
knowing that we’re going to be changing lives, changing the community for the better and be a catalyst for economic change.”
The campus will be a full-service campus with all of the support services needed to help students be successful. While it won’t have the total class offerings that
the Truax campus has, it will offer a broad array of classes that will allow the students to enter the workforce upon graduating or enroll at a four-year campus.
“Can you get your liberal arts degree there, yes,” Daniels said. “Will you be able to have all of those on-roads to the health areas, yes? There will be 4-5 different
health care occupational types of programs. There will be IT programs. You have all of that mixture within that campus. The building has 21-22 classrooms, four
science labs, three computer labs and an eating area, full-service cafeteria. There is a counseling area where agencies can come in and meet with students. And
the building will be open seven days per week. We’ll have programs on the weekends. So when you think about the innovation, it’s not necessarily innovative, but it
is innovative for here and how we’re going to actually do some of the strategies that we’ve learned from other colleges across the country.”
The interior design of the building will also reflect the rich cultures of many of the communities that have called South Madison home.
“What the building represents is our commitment to this community,” Daniels said. “I think that is tremendously important and goes without saying. I think once
individuals go within that building and find out what is going to be there, the state of the art equipment and classrooms and a comprehensive college campus, they
will be in awe. Here we sit at the head of the gateway and the gateway being the S. Park Street corridor, I marvel at the fact of what we have done and how it is
going to impact this community. One of the things that I wanted to ensure was that we represent the rich culture of South Madison in the building. As you well know,
we’ve had a whole RFP process and folks are now working on their artistic design that will be placed within the building. I think that is going to be huge for them to
see that this is their college. It’s one of the things that depict their college that they recognize and they are a part of that. As you think about each one of our
communities — African American, Latino, Hmong and Native American/Ho-Chunk — it’s just a wonderful opportunity to engage those cultures, but also have those
cultures engaged in the school.”
The South campus will also include innovative programming like the MMSD/Madison College collaboration that will allow cohorts of high school students to college-
“We are in the final stages of finalizing the cohort that will start in September,” Daniels said. “As you know, we started the pilot at Truax in September and those
students are doing extremely well. After the first semester, the cumulative GPA was 3.62 on a 4.0 scale. And they are taking college-level, college-transfer classes.
When I went to an orientation about a month ago, there was excitement there about what this can do. I think at this point in time, they probably are 75 percent through
determining who is going to be in that cohort. The new cohort of 100 students will be juniors. They come from all six of the Madison Metropolitan School District high
schools including Central and Shabazz. They will still maintain their relationships with their high schools.”
By its mere presence and its offerings, the new Madison College South will have an economic impact that will ripple up Park Street.
“The other key part about this will be The Entrepreneur Center,” Daniels said. “A portion of our center will be there. And we’ll be serving the entrepreneurial needs of
the community, which really means not just improving upon the small businesses, but also providing facilitated focus on them. If you have to take a vision of what
we are doing, a look into the future today, my expectation is that the Park Street corridor becomes full of businesses that are surrounded by very good residential
properties. And it will just grow and grow. When that projected growth happens, how are you going to manage that growth? We see in this city how E. Washington
Ave. is growing. I expect the same thing happening on Park Street.”
Registration for Madison College’s fall semester has already begun. Remember that you have to register for classes that are offered at the South campus.
“If you want a basic English class, if you look at the schedule, you will see where they are located,” Daniels said. “They may be a Truax, but they may also list the
South campus. Registration is open right now. We are registering people as we speak. Last count, we have enrolled roughly 90 FTE students. A FTE student takes 12
units, which averages out to about four classes. Most students don’t take a full load. And so with the 90 FTE students, we have probably already enrolled close to
300 students. If you look at The Villager last year, we only generated 100 FTE students. We’re making progress.”
Daniels smiled with pride as he gazed at the new building on Badger Road. Thirty-five years ago, a comprehensive Madison College campus in South Madison was
a dream. Soon it will be a reality when it opens its doors on September 3rd. Now that’s progress.
By Jonathan Gramling
Since the mid-1980s when then Madison College staffers Dr. Maria Hernandez Banuelos and Dr. Richard
Harris led the community effort to establish a Madison College presence in South Madison, the south
side community has yearned for a full-service campus.
The catalyst for that dream coming true has been Dr. Jack Daniels III, the current Madison College
president, who has facilitated a 4-5 year, data-driven process, which is resulting in the opening of a
75,000 sq. ft. facility at the corner of S. Park Street and Badger Road on September 3, the first day of the
Daniels attributes the building of the new campus to a cast of about 2,400 people who made this dream
a reality. There were board members Shawn Pfaff, Carolyn Stoner, Joe Wynn, and Marcia Wittington who
will not be on the board when the building is dedicated. And there have been current board members
Frances Huntley-Cooper, who was chair when the building was approved, Joe Hasler, Randy
Guttenberg and Shiva Bidar-Sielaff.