MC Secures Grant to Continue Citizenship Classes
Montgomery College recently received a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grant under Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services. The College will provide at least 500 lawful permanent residents (LPRs) citizenship preparation classes, activities to support integration into American civic life, and naturalization application services.
USCIS announced $22 million in FY2023 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program awards to 65 public and private nonprofit organizations across the country, including a $450,000 grant to Montgomery College.
“The citizenship process is quite an investment, both in time and money,” says Dr. Donna Kinerney, dean of instruction at the College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education unit. “Having this free program makes the path to citizenship that much more accessible.”
Learners will have beginning to intermediate levels of English proficiency and will come from 80 different countries including, but not limited to, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, Iran, India, and Ethiopia. A cadre of trained MC instructors teach the class in English, but they are fluent in other languages.
The College’s Citizenship Preparation Program uses the Enhanced Integration Tasks (EIT) model to help learners integrate into the receiving community. The program also works with local libraries and community-based organizations to enhance LPRs' knowledge of available naturalization services.
Montgomery College will continue to partner with Immigration Legal Services of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, which will provide naturalization application assistance to nearly 500 LPRs. They will help more than 240 LPRs apply for naturalization over the next two years.
“Since 2010, Montgomery College has served more than 3,300 learners through this grant-funded program, helping individuals increase their knowledge of English, as well as U.S. history and civics in preparation for becoming U.S. citizens. The College is proud to support these immigrants, who enrich the culture and communities of Montgomery County,” says Montgomery College President Jermaine F. Williams.
The Washington, D.C., area is fourth in the nation among immigration destinations for LPRs, behind New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Maryland’s foreign-born population of 922,441 represents 15.3% of the total population of Maryland. Montgomery County is home to 346,586 foreign-born of these residents.
The Citizenship Preparation Program is part of Montgomery College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education unit. For more information, please contact Dr. Donna Kinerney at firstname.lastname@example.org.