Information for Faculty

What resources are available for Miami students?

The Rinella Center is designed to encourage the holistic development of Miami's students. The Center staff work to enhance student engagement in the learning process, encourage higher levels of academic performance, heighten critical thinking skills, and promote student self-authorship in the classroom. We serve as one of the primary advocates for the student body and help them successfully matriculate the university system.

To this end, we serve students through the Tutorial Assistance Program & Supplemental Instruction, which allow students to develop the skills needed to study effectively for specific courses. We also offer individual academic counseling and coaching sessions to help students develop the skills they need to be successful as a student overall. Rinella also supports students with learning disabilities, and provides support for students who are admitted to the university through the Scholastic Enhancement Program.

In addition to these programs, Rinella offers students the opportunity to lead their peers. All tutors and supplemental instruction leaders are undergraduate or graduate students at Miami University, and most coaches in the academic coaching program are graduate students from departments around campus. Tutors, supplemental instruction leaders, and coaches all receive ongoing training and support from Rinella Center staff. URO, a program for students admitted through the Scholastic Enhancement Program, allows students who otherwise may not consider research as an option to actively engage with faculty on research projects through a structured, stimulating program.

Who uses the Rinella Learning Center?

  • Successful students interested in higher levels of academic performance.
  • High achieving students who easily excelled in high school and are interested in gaining stronger learning strategies for college.
  • Students who put forth considerable effort studying, but do not see desired results.
  • Students who are experiencing academic difficulty.
  • Students who are uncertain about what the "problem" is but know that something is amiss.
  • Students who want help with structure and organization.

What signs indicate that a student may be at academic risk?

As a faculty member you should be aware of the following warning signs displayed by students who may need extra support. If you observe these student behaviors you should intervene. A consultation with a Rinella Learning Center Specialist may also help you to address this situation.

  • Low or failing test and quiz scores
  • Incomplete or late assignments
  • Problems with organizing time
  • Poor writing skills; incomplete lecture notes
  • Problems comprehending textbook materials.
  • Misunderstanding of oral and written instructions
  • Easily distracted; short attention span; restless; anxious
  • Inappropriate class behavior
  • Inability to express ideas in speech or writing

What is supplemental instruction?

Supplemental Instruction is an academic enrichment program that was developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1973. This program is one of five units of the Bernard B. Rinella, Jr. Learning Center within the Division of Student Affairs. The goal of the SI program is to improve student academic performance and help students acquire the necessary study skills.

The SI program provides regularly scheduled out-of-class, peer facilitated sessions in classes identified as historically difficult. SI Leaders who run the sessions are students identified by faculty who have successfully taken the course before and are familiar with its requirements, material-covered, and appropriate learning strategies. SI sessions are NOT substitute lectures and do NOT cover additional material.

SI sessions focus on integrating review of course content with appropriate learning strategies. SI Leaders help current students identify what-to-learn and how-to-learn in order to acheive one's academic goals. SI sessions are free and available to all students enrolled in the course. The number of courses covered by the SI changes every semester, as well as the times of the session, so be sure to check the schedule of SI sessions for the current semester.

What is the workshop series?

Each semester Learning Specialists offer workshops on a variety of study strategy topics. Each hour-long workshop has been designed to give students an introduction to the topic and strategies for approaching the topic. All students interested in improving their academic performance and organizational skills are encouraged to participate in these workshops.

A link to a list of current workshops is available here.

What is the URO program?

Through URO, we offer a unique opportunity for SEP students to live in a common first-year residence hall. The focus of this learning community is to provide first-year students with an opportunity to work on a research project with a faculty sponsor. Registration for URO is optional. More information about this and other living learning communities is included in the university housing option materials.