frequently asked questions


how is the u.s. civics/citizenship program structured?

Our U.S. Civics/Citizenship program has an established curriculum which runs for fifteen weeks, totaling 45 hours of instruction ( with the exception of the summer cycle which is condensed, with classes lasting twelve weeks rather than the average fifteen weeks). Class size is generally small, with anywhere from two to thirteen students in a classroom. Our classes are taught using either one primary teacher or two teachers engaged in team teaching. This structure allows teachers to break a medium sized class into smaller groups based on ability level. This structure also allows teachers to support one another in planning and facilitating class dynamics. 

 

how do you measure the succes of students enrolled in the u.s. civics education program?

Instructors perform an assessment evaluation on students enrolling into U.S. civics education classes. We have students complete an initial assessment evaluation to gauge their knowledge of civics material including U.S. history, U.S. government structure, and U.S. symbols and holidays. At the end of class, we evaluate students for a second time, comparing the results of both assessments to measure progress. Additionally, we rely on periodic pop tests, and midterm/final exams grades.

Moreover, progress is measured when students successfully pass the U.S. civics portion of their USCIS examination. 

 

what are some of the ways your programs/services make a difference in the lives of immigrant community members?

By enrolling in our TLYL U.S. Civics/Citizenship program, immigrants who hold U.S. residency gain deeper insight into the political structure of American government, allowing them to become better informed members of society. In obtaining U.S. citizenship, they gain skills that lead to improved social inclusion, civic participation and economic mobility. Also, an improved understanding of English and civics allows students to better understand American culture and customs, thereby integrating into American society with greater confidence. A few benefits that result from acquiring citizenship include:

  • the right to vote
  • obtainment of a U.S. passport
  • ability to bring their family to the U.S.
  • possibility of obtaining U.S. citizenship for their children
  • eligibility to apply to certain grants and scholarships
  • obtaining government benefits 
  • eligibility to apply for jobs requiring U.S. citizenship

 

what differentiates your organization from others in a similar sector?

Our services are not revolutionary; similar programs exist in Virginia. However, those who do offer U.S. civics/citizenship often teach only the 100 USCIS questions for the exam, without teaching any of the relevant history or background. Additionally, some organizations charge a fee to enroll, which considering the low wages of our demographic is a major hindrance. Our programs are absolutely free of charge. We help those who want to help themselves.

 

can a student enroll in a class at any point? 

Classes are semester based, operating at a fifteen week or twelve week cycle. Therefore, each class covers a specific lesson plan for a given week that cannot be made-up by an absent student. Students are encouraged to enroll before the start date of class and attend regularly throughout the semester. That being said, we always welcome students regardless of how late they join our classroom. As long as a student has a basic understanding of English and a desire to learn, they are encouraged to join us. 

 

Do you offer immigration legal assistance?

No, TLYL does not offer legal services. 

 

DO YOU OFFER ESL LANGUAGE COURSES?

No, TLYL no longer offers ESL language courses. We are instead focusing our efforts on our existing programs and services, which include U.S. Civics/Citizenship classes and Application for Naturalization (Form N-400). 

 

How CAN A PROSPECTIVE PARTNER CONTACT YOUR ORGANIZATION?

We value our partnerships and depend on local partners to help us secure classroom space and outreach resources. We encourage all prospective partners who wish to collaborate with TLYL to visit our Contact page and click under "Request Information" so that TLYL staff can respond accordingly.