OTC to offer free citizenship classes in fall

OTC to offer free citizenship classes in fall

Monday, August 19, 2013

Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of media relations (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

Do you know the answers to the following?

What are the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution called?

What economic system is used in the U.S.?

How many justices are on the U.S. Supreme Court?

If you don't know the answers, you might not pass the U.S. citizenship test that local immigrants study for at OTC every year.

The free classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. on the OTC Springfield Campus in Graff 121. The classes run through Oct. 23. Orientation and enrollment will be held Sept. 9 and Sept. 11. No enrollment will be allowed after Sept. 11.

"Our students want to do this and become citizens," said Ramona George, director of OTC's Adult Education and Literacy program. "We take them through all the elements required in the process."

Wenyan Drake of China recently became a citizen after attending classes at OTC. She is now taking an English as a Second Language class at OTC.

It took nearly six years for her to receive her permanent residency card from the U.S. in order to be eligible to take the test.

"I wanted to be a citizen," said Drake, who is married and has a 24-year-old daughter attending Drury University.

One of her favorite parts of being a citizen? Voting.

"Voting is part of being a citizen. It's the people's right to vote. In China, you can't vote for who you want. Here we can choose."

Fran Giglio, who teaches the citizenship class, said it costs about $900 to become a U.S. citizen and it's hard to get the green card necessary to become a citizen.

"Many get married to a U.S. citizen but you still must prove they are actually committed to the marriage through photographs, names on bills and a joint bank account," she said.

George said possible changes in the immigration laws could trigger an increase in the number of people attending the citizenship classes.

"Citizenship will be required under many of the new proposals so we should see an increase when that happens," she said.

By the way, the answers to the above questions: Bill of Rights, capitalist or market economy and nine.