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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Brad Brown, Pioneer Adult Center

Citizenship Prep -- self-study

  • Type of Practice: Curriculum Development
  • Targeted Population: Citizenship Students
  • Program Area(s): Adult Basic & Secondary Education, English as a Second Language & Citizenship
  • Consortia Involved:
    Mt. San Antonio Regional Consortium for Adult Education: Baldwin Park Unified School District, Bassett Unified School District, Bonita Unfied School District, Charter Oak Unified School District, Covina Valley Unified School District, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Mt San Antonio Community College District, Pomona Unified School District, Rowland Unified School District, Walnut Valley Unified School District

The Challenge

Candidates for U.S. citizenship are often quite busy with lives balancing family, jobs, and study. Conventional classes once a week or more often - regardless of the time of day - are frequently hard to get to because of that regimented scheduled time/date. Classes are sometimes missed because of emergencies, trips or other occurrences. Class attendance is often erratic because of this.

Class populations are often quite varied in language, level, and age. In order to serve all students and serve them well, conventional citizenship preparation classes often have to slow down instruction to accommodate students who may have to miss classes or whose language level is not sufficient for complete understanding of the material.

An instructional model was required to be developed to address INDIVIDUAL student needs

The Solution

Pioneer Adult Center developed a self-paced citizenship preparation program.

It was an opportunity to allow students to work when they could on their preparation ... including those students who needed to accelerate their preparation.

It was also an opportunity to alter the delivery / pedagogy of the course so as to allow students a more full understanding (and therefore retention) of the material. That is, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) candidate interview questions are published in materials and online are not categorized and therefore learning is often rote from those sources.

Pioneer Center has grouped questions in logical, learn-able categories.

Teacher support is available.

In addition, we have added a mock interview.


Graduates say that the process Pioneer Center has developed is "just right" for what they needed and for what they had a accomplish.

Particularly, the students mention that the guided self-study with teacher support made it easy for them to attend and maintain their time in seat and on task.

As well, students appreciated the segmented and grouped study that gave them feedback on progress along the way and made retention/recall much easier.

Of great specific value, they say, is the mock interview which closely mimicked their true USCIS experience and allowed them to reduce stress because, they had "already done that!"

The Data

All students who completed our citizenship preparation became citizens.

A majority of these students needed to be asked only six of the potential ten questions, since they got these first 6 correct. ("[A]pplicants are required to answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly." USCIS)

* PLEASE NOTE -- all of our citizenship preparation materials are available upon request.

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