CIU couple graduates with “help” from their fourth grader

December 19, 2018

By Bob Holmes

For two years, Jairo de Oliveira and his wife Vania took most of their classes together at CIU as they both worked on a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). They graduated together in December, but along the way there was one big challenge.  The Brazilian couple’s classes were scheduled during the afternoon at the time their son Mateus was finishing his classes for the day at Ben Lippen School, CIU’s Pre-K to 12th grade Christian school on the CIU campus.

“We considered this issue with our TEFL professors and discussed the possibility of keeping our son in class with us for an average of one hour every week,” Jairo de Oliveira said. “They were very empathetic and allowed our son to sit in class with us. While in class with us, he would behave very well and spend most of his time reading or doing homework.”

The family considered this team work and an achievement. So, the parents bought Mateus graduation regalia to wear on graduation day so he could feel he had significant participation in the process. 

They also printed a certificate for him with the honor: “Master in Companionship, Patience, and Good Behavior.”

Jairo de Oliveira joked with Professor Joe LeTexier that if Mateus enrolls at CIU in the future to work on an M.A. in TEFL, he will already have some school credits.

Excitement is building on the CIU campus with a dramatic increase in enrollment and on-campus expansion including the $20 million William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center and CIU’s first baseball program to begin in 2019.