Fall departure, conversations to have about break, and Winter Term
Fall departure, conversations to have about break, and Winter Term

Miami Family,

Thanksgiving Break begins at the end of next week, which means that the end of fall semester is also drawing near. This issue of Miami Family Focus focuses on departing from campus, "the Crunch" that happens after Thanksgiving, setting expectations for while your student is home, and making the most of Winter Term in January.
Find previous issues of Miami Family Focus on our Newsletters page
Love and Honor,
Mark W. Pontious, Ph.D. '19
Director, Parent & Family Programs

Campus housing: Fall departure and Spring return

Below are details about leaving the residence halls, Winter Term housing, and the return process for spring.

End of fall semester housing
Residence halls close at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25. To facilitate a socially-distanced departure, students can leave any time from November 20 through Wednesday, November 25. Students recently received an email with additional information and a form to complete with their planned departure date.  

Students who need to remain in campus housing after November 25 must submit an End of Fall Semester Housing request through their housing portal. There are no housing charges for November 25 - December 8, but students must be approved to remain in housing. Students on campus after December 8 will be charged a daily rate. Students will need to review the provisions and indicate which date they plan to move out of their room for the break. Students do NOT need to remove their belongings from their room, but were given guidelines for leaving for break.

Winter Term housing
Students who need campus housing for Winter Term (January 1 - 24) need to submit a Winter Term Housing request in the housing portal. Students taking a Winter Term course who want to remain in housing during this time will be billed a discounted housing rate of $466. Students not taking a Winter Term course who are approved to remain in housing will be billed their daily cohort rate for the entire Winter Term period. Students completing the housing request should review the provisions and indicate yes or no regarding taking a Winter Term course.
Spring semester move-in/return
Similar to the fall semester, students will be assigned a move-in date and time during the week of January 18-24. Students are NOT permitted to move in prior to January 18; plan accordingly.  Students who arrive in Oxford prior to January 18 need to make off-campus housing plans either at a hotel or with an off-campus friend until they are able to move in on January 18.  

"The Crunch" - Navigating the days leading to Final Exams

The Crunch is the time between Thanksgiving and the end of fall semester, when your student will devote more time to studying than anything else. With students arriving home earlier than usual this semster, you can help them sustain academic success at home. 
Easing the Crunch
If you find your student buried in school work, encourage them to take frequent short breaks and approach the material with a study plan and clear goals. Here are some thoughtful tips to keep in mind:
  • At the beginning of the week, encourage your student to plan what they will work on each day.
  • Encourage your student to create a designated study space at home- that isn't the couch!
  • Consistency is key, encourage your student to study at consistent times during the week.
  • The Rinella Learning Center assists your student through The Crunch by providing extra help, including digital resources on topics like study strategies, organization, and exam preparation.
Balancing this new transition back to home with the end of the semester can be difficult, give your students grace and trust they are doing their best. 
Logistics of Final Exams at Miami
The Fall 2020 Remote Final Exam period is December 2-8 (no exams scheduled on Saturday, Dec. 5-Sunday, Dec. 6). Exams do not always occur at the same time as when the class met during the semester. View the Fall 2020 Final Exam schedule and encourage your student to consult the syllabus for each course, which typically lists the exam date and time. There are also policies for conflicting exams and excessive exams (three exams in one day or four exams in 24 hours).

Setting a positive tone for Winter Break

Campus Sun Dial iced over in Winter
With an extended winter break arriving early this year, now is the time to start a conversation about expectations. Below are three common sources of tension worth discussing during the early part of the upcoming break.
New Rules and Old Rules
Your student has likely gotten used to making many of their own rules and may expect different house rules than when they left. If the rules are the same, make that clear. Another option is to give your student substantial freedom and watch how they handle it. A third is to slightly adjust the rules that were in place before they left for Miami. As always, you know your student and family, and what's best for you will likely fall somewhere in the middle.
Family Time vs. Friend Time vs. Down Time 
Your student may already have plans for reuniting with old friends. Ask your student how much time they plan to spend with friends and how much time with family. Make your expectations for time commitments clear and offer your willingness to be flexible on friend time in exchange for time with family. Try not to overschedule your student for the time they are at home. While you may want them to see family members, it is also important for them to have down time during their break. 

Homeward Bound
Additional topics to finalize may include:

  • What about their car, if they have one on campus?
  • How are they getting home? Or to the airport?
  • What should they bring home? (Hint: everything they will need for Winter Break)
Students who have a car on campus are able to leave it in any of the parking lots for which their permit is valid. Fall semester parking permits expire on January 24. We recommend that students who typically park in the Millett Hall West and Chestnut Fields lots leave their car in the Ditmer Field lot (adjacent to the Miami University Police Department) while they are away over break. Students who wish to leave their vehicle in a campus parking garage over break should contact parking customer services in the Campus Services Center (513-529-2224) to purchase garage parking. 

Winter Term

Making the Most of Winter Break and Winter Term

Winter Break and Winter Term are great times for students to take advantage of opportunities not as accessible during fall and spring semesters. Options include shadowing professionals in a potential career field, volunteering, taking a class, and more. This year, all but a couple Winter Term classes are online. Students can progress toward their degree, no matter their location. Family and friends can connect students with people in careers of interest. Even a day of shadowing or an informational Zoom interview can be useful and enlightening.
The Center for Career Exploration & Success (CCES) offers many career planning resources for students and parents. These resources include overviews of career paths, assistance preparing for a job search, and careers currently in demand. We want students to think early and often about their intentional career development. We believe that Success Starts with a Plan and have tasks for students to complete each year they are at Miami. Winter Term is a great time to explore these resources.
Miss an issue of Miami Family Focus? All past issues are on our Newsletters page.
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