Retention and Student Services

Truax C1434
1701 Wright Street
Madison WI 53704

CALL: (608) 243-4270


Monday - Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Wednesday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Hours May 14 – August 6
Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Closed: Friday, May 18

Retention and Student Success Services

Our mission is to help you realize your full academic potential by connecting you with programs and services, as well as providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions. 

Our experienced and caring staff serves as student advocates and are dedicated to helping improve your experience at Madison College from the first day through graduation. Retention Service advisors work in conjunction with advisors in other units and academic support services to provide full support to students. Through proactive support services, we strive to:

  • Help you clarify your educational goals
  • Guide and assist with problem solving
  • Develop strategies for academic and personal success
  • Help you become aware of and connected to resources 
  • Provide guidance and support to keep you from falling behind or withdrawing from your classes


  • Retention Advising

    Retention Services advisors work with all Madison College students by helping them achieve their academic and career goals through advising, individual support and referrals to college and community resources. They also monitor the Early Alert system and work closely with faculty and academic support systems (such as  tutoring, the Student Achievement Center and career services). Retention advisors provide personal support to students who:

    • Are struggling academically
    • Are on probation or have a term GPA less than 2.0
    • Dropped one or more classes
    • Need to appeal their financial aid suspension
    • Are at risk for dropping out of school

    What is a retention advisor?

    A retention advisor is a specialized advisor that provides advising and case management services to students who could benefit from individual support and encouragement in achieving their educational and career goals at Madison College.

    What is the difference between an academic advisor and a retention advisor?

    Both academic and retention advisors provide quality academic/career advising and exploration services to students and assess progress to degree completion. Retention advisors monitor the college Early Alert system, specialize in working with at-risk students and offer possible solutions when appropriate to help students stay or get back on track.

    Do I have to be struggling or on academic probation to see a retention advisor?

    No. All Madison College students can make an appointment to see and work with a retention advisor, especially if you feel the additional support can help in your academic success.

  • Academic Improvement Plan

    The Academic Improvment Plan (AIP) is a self-assessment used by Madison College retention advisors to encourage students to seriously reflect on possible challenges or barriers to academic success. The exercises are designed to help students explore what may be standing in the way of academic success and ask you to define specific actions that can be taken to overcome those obstacles.  Academic Improvement plans are available from your retention advisor.

  • Early Alert Program

    Student success (retention, persistence and completion) are central to the mission of Madison College. Sometimes, things happen that make going to school more challenging. Research shows that early intervention with students at risk of failure does make a difference.

    Madison College uses an early alert system and encourages faculty to make timely referrals to improve learning and performance outcomes for students showing signs of academic difficulty and who have been unresponsive to previous inquiries from faculty. Through the Early Alert notification system, faculty work with retention advisors to intervene and establish contact with students to explore strategies to improve classroom performance and get back on track. Such timely interventions may assist in student retention and persistence to graduation.

    What is an Early Alert and why did I get one?

    An Early Alert is submitted by faculty who express concern about a student’s performance in class and previous attempts to connect with the student have been unsuccessful. Once a student is referred to the Early Alert program, the assigned retention advisor will attempt to contact and work with the student in an effort to improve the student’s academic performance and opportunity for success at Madison College.

    What should I do if I receive an Early Alert?

    Immediately contact your instructor and/or retention advisor to discuss the problem, determine what improvement is needed and learn more about support resources at the college.

    My instructor has not submitted an Early Alert, but I feel like I am struggling in class. what should I do?

    You should have a conversation with your instructor to discuss your class progress and/or contact a retention advisor for suggestions to get back on track.

    What are some of the reasons why an instructor would submit an Early Alert?

    An instructor might submit an Early Alert if you have had poor classroom attendance, have low exam scores, are missing assignments or have not responded to concerns from your instructor.

  • Scholars of Color Mentoring Program

    The Women of Color Scholars Program (WCSP) and the Mentoring Males Minority Scholars Program (3MSP) make up Madison College’s Scholars of Color Mentoring Program (SCMP). SCMP is a learning community of first-generation students of color in which student participants are paired with college community leaders to form meaningful relationships. The mentors provide guidance in building strong academic, career and personal goals through a supportive learning environment. For more information, email or call (608) 616-3547.


    Program requirements

    • Be a first-generation student of color
    • Qualify for the Pell Grant or have low-income status
    • Enroll in six degree credits
    • Minimum of 2.5 G.P.A.
    • Participation in biweekly scholar meetings
    • Commitment to academic success

    Can I still participate in the Scholars of Color Mentoring Program if I am unable to attend the biweekly scholar meetings?

    Attendance of at least 60 percent at the biweekly meetings is required. Attendance requirements are considerably higher in order to be eligible for a program stipend or textbook award, if applicable.

    Do I have to join the Scholars of Color Mentoring Program in order to be a mentor at Madison College?

    At this time, only the Scholars of Color Mentoring Program pairs mentors to students. Other opportunities to connect with student leaders or organizations may be available through the Center for Student Life.

  • AVID/TOPS Alumni Retention Program

    This program has been developed for Madison College students who participated in the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County’s AVID/TOPS program while in high school. The program encourages AVID/TOPS alumni to establish peer support with other AVID/TOPS students and connect with knowledgeable Retention Services staff for advising, career exploration and other academic support services to help in their successful transition to college. Through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, Madison College has created an opportunity for a unique and dynamic learning community to provide specialized support to AVID/TOPS alumni. Send an email for more details.

    What are the services I can expect to receive from this program?

    AVID/TOPS alumni receive individualized advising support, attend monthly meetings to remain connected, participate in opportunities to increase college success and engagement, and may be eligible for book stipends or participation awards.

    Do I NEED to see the dedicated AVID/TOPS advisor?

    No. As a Madison College student, you can see any advisor of your choice. But the AVID/TOPS retention advisor is familiar with your academic profile.