Madison College’s Goodman South Campus Set to
Open September 3rd
A Once in a Lifetime Moment
|Left: Madison College South Dean Valentina Ahedo (l-r) and Madison
College South Administrative Planner Nancy Yang.
Above: The Madison College Goodman South campus is nearing
completion. This is the view from
Centro Hispano’s parking lot across the street.
By Jonathan Gramling
The last time that Madison College opened a new permanent campus was back in 1987 when the Madison College Truax campus opened for business. And
now the new Madison College Goodman South campus on the corner of S. Park Street and W. Badger Road is slated to open for business on September 3rd.
It has been quite an undertaking, almost as much as it took — and as long — to get a permanent Madison College presence in South Madison.
“When we started out, it was really to provide access because our downtown campus was going to go away,” Said Valentina Ahedo, dean of the Madison
College South campus. “At that point, Truax was significantly a long distance away. And because we are open access and because of the types of offerings
that we had available, the people who could really stand to benefit, we would be leaving behind. It was a group of leaders within the college — Maria
Banuelos and Edwardo Arangua, Dr. Sito and Dr. Richard Harris were some of them — as well as Pat Schramm and Dale Hopkins and Jim Cavanaugh from
the Labor Temple who supported the concept and we were able to get some programming started until we evolved into the place here at The Villager. But we’
ve always been a point of access, a place to get started.”
And if Dr. Jack Daniels III hadn’t been appointed president of Madison College back in 2013, the new South Madison campus may not have happened.
“I am not just grateful for the support of the community that has been very generous with some specific organizations in particular, but also for Dr. Daniels
and his top team,” Ahedo said. “He had the vision. He understood. He was able to come in and understand how things were playing out and where the
greatest need was in terms of what we bring and what we contribute. He was able to come in and do that and steer and gather goodwill to make it happen.”
Not only will South Madison gain a new building and campus, but it will also gain a vast array of programs and services that will make it a “complete”
“Students will be able to come in, start a program and finish the program at that location,” Ahedo said. “And programs, quite frankly, are what have currency.
That’s what allows you to earn more money, to provide yourself and your family with other options for jobs or further education or to meet a need in the
workforce. You’ll have that currency. You’ll have that ability to start and end a program there. The other piece, which goes hand-in-hand with that are student
services, things like advising, disability resource services, counseling, and financial aid. That’s huge. We serve as an open-access institution. Community
colleges educate half of the students who go to college in this country. And that is true with us. Our students come to us at different time points. We have the
traditional age high school students. We are seeing a lot more of those students, which is why we run some of the programs that we have, which target that
population. But we also have returning adults who already have work lives, who have families and things that they need to balance. We provide that
opportunity for them to come in. But it isn’t easy. Accessing us is one thing. Completing and staying through and doing the work day after day that you have to
do in order to be in that seat, to be able to get the work done and work towards your goal is a whole other thing. Many of our students who come in are
struggling financially. Applying for financial aid and being eligible for that is a tough process. It’s not an easy process. It’s the federal government’s process.
It’s a little bit worse than doing your taxes and much more ambiguous. So for the first time in the history actually of the college, we’re going to have a
financial aid office at this campus. We will have people who are connected to and trained with the financial aid office at Truax. People will be able to have
The campus will also have a limited-in-scale bookstore, a cafeteria and a community services office where students will be able to access legal and other
services offered by community agencies. It will be open seven-days-per-week and weekday evenings to allow people with daytime/full-time jobs to attend
And as a new building/campus, Goodman South will be wired for the digital age.
“We have a new modality out there called Web X,” Ahedo said. “They are calling it Classroom Live. It’s very similar to Facebook Live where you are in class
live, but you can connect in from anywhere. Our criminal justice program is going to be delivered that way. The instructor could be in his living room. You
could be in your car dropping your kids off to practice and as long as you have an Internet connection, you can participate in class. We’re experimenting a
little bit with the modalities. This past spring semester when we were closed for weather — we had those cold days and snow storms — those classes had
zero absences because they could attend from wherever. It was really mind bending when you think about the possibilities. But you have to have the digital
But most importantly, the South Madison campus will have a larger array of programs that lead to careers with livable wages.
“On the health side, we’re going to have the nursing assistant and practical nursing,” Ahedo said. “Practical nursing is the second rung and nursing
assistant is the first rung on that career ladder. And we offer up to the associate’s degree in nursing right now. That’s out at Truax and a couple of our
regional sites. But we will have those two. We’re also going to have medical assisting. Right now, we offer a day option at Truax. This is going to be an
evening option at Goodman South. And then in the human protective services and social services area, we’re going to have EMT, emergency medical
technician, which is also an on-ramp for many people who are going into the health care area. We have criminal justice, human services and early childhood
education. We’ll have those programs in their entirety.”
The campus will also have the Liberal Arts Transfer Program. It also will have bridge programs that will get a student started in a field at Goodman South, but
will then require further study at Truax to take advantage of all of the training for that particular industry. It will include programs like IT.
“We’ll have the bridge into the industrial maintenance program,” Ahedo said. “That is going to be weekend-only. That’s a really fantastic opportunity for people
who are working during the week, but want to move into that area. This is why I strongly encouraged us to consider this program for Goodman South. The
equipment is portable, so we have equipment that we can move around and set it up where we need to. And it’s an area, particularly in Dane County and our
region, where there is over 1,000 jobs, lots of jobs and it’s the one area where if you can do the work and if you are committed and showing up and you are
accurate and care about what you are doing, you can get a job. You are working on machines that work machines. You are making sure that those
manufacturing lines or systems and buildings are on track and everything is working. They don’t care about your background so much or what your history is
or the color of your skin. They want to know that you can come in and you are trained and you are showing up and doing your best work. And they pay well. It’
s one of the few industries and areas out there that pays well and is willing to consider you regardless of what your past may have been.”
Right now, there are 1,000 students — 800 of them in courses for credit — signed up to take over 2,000 classes at Goodman South. Madison College is
pushing to have 1,500 course-for-credit students enrolled by the time it opens. It’s important that students register now to ensure that they get the courses
they want at the new South Madison campus. Some courses are almost full.
“We are running these Start Smart sessions that are effective ways for people who want to get started at the college and know, more or less, which program
they want to do and they need help getting connected and get those basic foundational pieces done,” Ahedo said. “We’re running two in July and I think three
in August to help us get ready. People can register now for the fall at madisoncollege.edu. And we are open seven days per week here, but not nearly as
extensive as the hours we will be open at the new campus. People can register on line or in person. You can register by phone. Absolutely it’s available for
people to take action.”
Take action now to take the next giant step in your academic and professional career and also be a part of history. Register now for classes at Madison
College’s Goodman South campus. Your future awaits you!