Homesickness and involvement, academic resources, and dining FAQs
Homesickness and involvement, academic resources, and dining FAQs

Miami Family,

We're thrilled that many of your students are now in Oxford, with more arriving soon. Whether your student will be on campus or complete the semester remotely, there are steps you can take to support their transtion, and many Miami resources available. This newsletter includes information about helping with homesickness, academic resources, dining on campus, and a new podcast for families of first-year college students.
Find previous issues of Miami Family Focus on our Newsletters page
Love and Honor,
Mark W. Pontious, Ph.D. '19
Director, Parent & Family Programs

Academic resources at Miami

Many students experience difficulty managing their time, figuring out how to study complex course content, effectively preparing for exams, staying motivated, and being the type of student they want to be. Miami provides numerous academic supports to help students achieve their academic goals.
The Rinella Learning Center is the primary academic support center at Miami. Rinella offers support through academic counseling and coaching, tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and workshops on academic topics. Students schedule virtual tutoring appointments through Rinella’s website. Rinella is also the testing center for students with testing accommodations through the Miller Center for Student Disability Services. 
Additional academic support resources: 
  • Faculty office hours: Students can discuss topics such as course content, research interests, and career options in that faculty member's field. 
  • Howe Center for Writing Excellence: Supports students in all phases and types of writing, including all courses, graduate school applications, course presentations, group projects, and student organizations.
  • Academic advisors: Assist students with understanding progress in their major, including scheduling courses for spring semester.
  • The Miller Center for Student Disability Services: Provides support services, accommodations, and resources to students with diagnosed disabilities to ensure equal access to education, employment, and University life.
Students who do not know where to start, but are struggling academically, can complete the "I Am Struggling" form, linked from the Rinella website.
Remind your student to seek help early, before they are in real trouble in a course. These resources are also not just for students who are experiencing academic difficulties, but for students looking to turn that B+ into an A!

Two outside resources for YOU

New podcast for families of college students

As the midpoint of fall semester arrives, students and families navigating the challenges and joys of college life. To assist in the challenges and celebrate the joys, Wise Action and AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education have partnered to create the College Ready 2020 Podcast
Through interviews with leading family engagement professionals, crucial topics such as remote learning, social life, and money management will be addressed, along with best practices you can use with your student this semester. If this is your first student attending college, or you are looking to learn something new, tune in to College Ready 2020.

Article about supporting a student experiencing homesickness

Homesickness is a common experience for most students as they leave home and start a new chapter of their lives at college. No matter the comfort level of the student, homesickness can manifest in different ways, especially in this isolated time.
Despite this challenge, families can support their students and find new ways to connect in order to decrease the effects of homesickness. Written by a college senior working in residence life, the following article provides tips to support your student through their first semester and how to make your student feel connected from afar. Read more about helping with homesickness in a pandemic »

Getting involved on campus

With all that is going on in the first half of the semester, finding friends and feeling connected to Miami is most likely also high on your student's list. Student Activities is hosting multiple events, activities, and virtual gatherings to ensure that there is always something to do on campus. The benefits to getting involved are endless; research has shown that students who are involved on campus are more likely to graduate and have higher GPAs than their peers. Encourage your student to get involved by directing them to the Student Activities page and exploring the Hub, Miami Late Night programming, and Upcoming events.
You can hear more specific plans from Student Activities during our upcoming Parent & Family Webinar, Involvement on Campus: 2020 Edition, scheduled for October 8, 1pm Eastern. Head to our Webinars page to register.

Dining options at Miami

Dining Services is excited to welcome you and your student to the Miami Family. Below are several questions that students and families commonly ask:

“How is campus dining changing because of COVID-19?"
Dining on campus will look different than any previous year. There are many changes designed to keep our community safe and following state and local guidelines.

"What dining locations are near my student's hall?” With 30+ dining locations on campus, there are a variety of options. Use the dining map to navigate to the nearest venue and view descriptions of each location.

“What is being served today?” You can see the current menu and up to 4 days in advance for any buffet or a la carte location. This is helpful when planning a meal with friends or seeking a certain menu item.

“Where can I see what’s open?” Current hours of operation are posted outside of every dining location, on the Dining website, and on social media: Instagram and Twitter (@MiamiUDining) and Facebook at MiamiU Dining.

“Where can I get a cup of coffee?” For some, those early classes come with mornings that only can be accompanied by a good cup of coffee. There are many locations on campus to get a favorite brew:
  • Starbucks at Withrow Hall (opening for the fall on October 5) and the Shriver Center.
  • Cafe Lux in Armstrong Student Center is a good place for the days when students want to switch it up and try a specialty coffee. 
  • King Cafe located inside the King Library is the go-to place to take a break from studying to grab a quick meal or recharge with caffeine. This location offers a quick and easy way to purchase food, coffee beverages, or smoothies. King Cafe also serves Starbucks coffee and offers drinks ranging from black coffee to frappuccinos.
“I have general questions about eating on campus.” Your first stop should be the dining website. It is filled with information on the overall department, as well as individual locations. Can’t find your answer? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram: @MiamiUDining or on Facebook: MiamiU Dining.

“I have meal plan questions!” For more information about the details of a meal plan and what it provides, contact the Campus Services Center at 513-529-5000.

Transitioning to winter break and Thanksgiving transportation

As the second half of the semester begins and students living on campus start thinking about plans for coming home, here is some information about leaving their residence hall. 
Friday, November 20 is the last day of classes for fall semester and residence halls officially close on November 25. Students will receive communication from Residence Life about specific end-of-semester procedures. They DO NOT have to move all of their belongings back home, but they should bring home valuables and anything else they may need over the break. 
For transportation away from campus, many students find shared rides either to the airport, to a city midway between Oxford and home (then you only have to drive halfway), or all the way home. Many times, students sharing the ride will pay for the gas for the trip. There are multiple options to find a shared ride, including your student's "Class of 2024" Facebook group, the unofficial Miami Univ (OH) Student Ride Share Facebook group, and the Ride Share board in myMiami, in addition to informally finding a ride through friends and classmates.
Miss an issue of Miami Family Focus? All past issues are on our Newsletters page.
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