Information for Faculty

The Rinella Center is designed to encourage the holistic development of Miami's students. The RLC 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 navigate the university system.

To this end, we serve students through our Academic Support Programs (including our Tutoring Center and SI Program, and our Academic Counseling and Coaching Services), which allow students to develop the skills needed to excel academically. Rinella also supports specific students through Enrichment Programs (including the Scholastic Enhancement Program and the Access Fellows program).

Finally, 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. Undergraduate Research Option (URO), a program for students admitted through the Scholastic Enhancement Program, allows students who may not have otherwise considered undergraduate research to actively engage with faculty on research projects through a structured 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 (SI) is an academic enrichment program that was developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1973. The goal of SI is to improve student academic performance and help students acquire the necessary study skills, and the Rinella Learning Center houses a robust Supplemental Instruction program covering a wide variety of courses and subject areas.

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 achieve 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 The Rinella Learning Center offers 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.

What is the RLC Testing Center, and how can I use it?

Faculty are welcome to use the RLC Testing Center to proctor exams for students who have approved accommodations through Student Disability Services. Faculty should be aware of center policies and procedures before using our services to proctor exams for these students.

General Policies

  • Students cannot schedule an exam through the RLC Testing Center without the Alternative Testing Agreement/Contract being completed by faculty in the SAM (Students Accessing Miami) system.
  • In the Alternative Testing Agreement, Faculty should inform students and the RLC Testing Center of what materials are allowed to be brought into the examination room (i.e. calculators, notes, books, computers). Generally, the Rinella Learning Center does not allow students to take any items into the exam room beyond writing utensils and the exam.
  • Students are encouraged to schedule their exam with the RLC Testing Center at the same time as the normal class testing time. If the student cannot take the exam at that time due to extended time accommodations and class conflicts, the student will be encouraged to schedule the exam as close to the normal testing time as possible.
  • In order for us to serve students effectively, exams must be received by 12pm (noon) the day before the scheduled exam. If the exam is not received by this time, it may be necessary to reschedule the exam for a different day or time.
  • Exam rooms are monitored and recorded via camera at all times. If our staff observes any potentially dishonest behavior, we will note the behavior on the exam return envelope. We do not evaluate student behavior, only document and report any potentially dishonest behavior to the faculty. Additionally, if we observe any materials that the student is not allowed to have in the exam, we will return these in the envelope with the exam if possible. Faculty members are also allowed to view the tape of the student taking the exam if he/she suspects academic dishonesty.

Before Student Schedules an Exam

Please inform your students that they are required to schedule exams through the RLC Testing Center at least two full business days prior to taking the exam. Students can schedule their exams in the SAM system or by calling the RLC Testing Center (513-529-8715). When calling the Testing Center, students will be asked to provide pertinent information when scheduling an exam (see below).

  • Name
  • Miami email address
  • Name of the class for the exam
  • Instructor’s name
  • Instructor’s email address
  • Which of their approved accommodations they are using for the exam
  • Any additional accommodations needed (reading assistance, etc.)

After Student Schedules an Exam

After a student schedules an exam, the Students Accessing Miami (SAM) system will generate an email to the faculty to obtain the exam. You will receive a separate email for each student and require that you submit your exam separately for each student that uses our services. The email will contain a link to upload the exam into the SAM system. You can also (if you choose) submit the exam to the Testing Center email By uploading the exam into SAM or sending the exam via email, you are verifying that the student has your permission to take the exam through the RLC Testing Center. In addition to submitting the exam, we will also need the following information from you:

  • Any special instructions for this exam (outside of the information provided in the Alternative Testing Agreement/Contract already submitted in SAM).
    • Special instructions could include open-book or open-note, special files needed for the exam, computer or calculator access needed, etc.
  • Once we receive the exam, we will be able to proctor your student’s exam. As noted above, students are generally responsible for returning their exams to you.
  • Faculty members are required to send exams to the RLC Testing Center by 12:00 PM the day before the student is scheduled to take an exam. If the exam is not received by this time, the exam may need to be rescheduled for a different day or time.


If a student contacts us to reschedule an exam, we ask them for confirmation that they have cleared this change with you. You will also receive an email from SAM alerting you that the exam scheduled has changed.

After the Student Takes the Exam

Students will return the exam to you in the manner which you specified in the Alternative Testing Agreement/Contract (or additional information provided when you submitted the exam to us). We strongly recommend that the student returns the exam to you in our sealed, tamper-evident and confidential envelope. As noted above, we cannot be responsible for personally delivering or mailing completed exams.