College Awarded $250,000 Over Two Years to Serve 440 Students

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced nearly $10 million in FY2017 Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program awards to 45 public and private nonprofit organizations across the country, including a $250,000 grant to Montgomery College, the only Maryland recipient.

The College is receiving the two-year grant under the Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services, and will provide citizenship preparation classes, assimilation activities, and naturalization legal services to least 440 lawful permanent residents. Students will have beginning to low intermediate English level proficiency skills and will come from more than 60 countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, China, Peru, and Ethiopia.

The College’s Citizenship Preparation Program uses the Enhanced Integration Tasks (EIT) model to help students integrate quicker into their community. Using a series of tasks, group activities, and volunteer opportunities, students learn what it truly means to become a citizen of the United States.

Montgomery College will continue to partner with Catholic Charities, which provides Immigration Legal Services (ILS) to residents in Montgomery County and the Greater Washington region. ILS will offer naturalization services to approximately 320 students, and assist at least 240 to apply for citizenship over the next two years. The College will also work with local libraries to enhance the community’s knowledge of available naturalization services.

“We are grateful to USCIS for its continued support of our Citizenship Preparation Program,” said Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard. “Since 2010, we have served 2,269 students through this grant-funded initiative, helping to train students to understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Montgomery College is proud of its role in supporting these new Americans, whose contributions enrich the multicultural character of Montgomery County.”

The Washington, D.C. area is fourth in the nation as an immigration destination for permanent residents, ranked only behind New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Maryland’s foreign-born population of 857,804 represents 14.5 percent of the total population of Maryland. Montgomery County is home to 331,355 of these residents.

The Citizenship Preparation Program is part of Montgomery College’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education division. For more information, contact Nancy Newton, senior program director, at 240-567-8169 or nancy.newton@montgomerycollege.edu.

Since 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program has awarded $73 million to help more than 190,000 lawful permanent residents prepare for citizenship. The new grants will assist an additional 25,000 for people to receive citizenship preparation and naturalization services.

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