The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia is stepping up to help prepare legal permanent residents, also known as green-card holders, for the naturalization test required for American citizenship.
The eight-week evening course pairs an educator with the museum's exhibits, artifacts and narratives as a means to strengthen immigrants' understanding of the nation's history.
“We provide the connective tissue,” said educator Dana Devon, who teaches the class with assistance from museum specialists. “These people want to be stakeholders. They want to know more than the three branches of government.”
But don't just take the teacher's word for it. The students enrolled in the course also recognize the benefits of learning at the museum.
One of the course's students is Juan Giarrizzo, a migrant from Venezuela and a Children's Hospital project manager living in South Philadelphia. Giarrizzo says of the museum's course, "It makes the learning more permanent. It gives you a context of emotion, of history. It reminds you that this country is made up of all different people.”
It is estimated that 9 million people are eligible to become naturalized citizens in the United States. But to do so, they must pass two tests: one test on English proficiency and another on civics (American history and government).
Curious about what the process for taking the civics test is like?
The civics test is administered orally, with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) officers selecting up to 10 questions from a list of 100.
In order to pass, applicants must score at least 60 percent. But that pass rate can be harder to achieve than it seems. According to a survey by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship, only four in 10 Americans can actually pass the test.
If you're considering taking your student group to Philadelphia, make sure to add the Museum of the American Revolution to your itinerary. And be sure to check out our SCHOOL TRIP SPOTLIGHT: The Museum of the American Revolution for our experienced and licensed tour guide's personal tips and advice for visiting the museum.