On May 25, 2012 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History launched "Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship," a Web-based learning tool designed to help immigrants prepare for the civics portion of the naturalization test. This interactive resource features videos and multimedia activities that showcase artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution’s collections and exhibitions.
“Preparing for the Oath is an invaluable addition to the citizenship preparation materials we offer to aspiring citizens,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “Using the Smithsonian Institution's extensive collection, this online tool will help individuals learn about the founding principles of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a meaningful way.”
Designed as a self-study tool to prepare for the civics portion of the naturalization test, Preparing for the Oath is based on the 100 civics questions and answers from which USCIS draws when administering the test. Preparing for the Oath is organized into themes related to
history, government and
civics, with a short video and self-test on the content of each civics
question. Many questions prompt users to explore an artifact from the
Smithsonian collection; others have accompanying interactive learning
activities. A section for teachers provides materials and strategies to use Preparing for the Oathin a classroom
Preparing for the Oath was launched during a special naturalization ceremony on May 25, at the National Museum of American History, featuring keynote remarks from former Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine K. Albright. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Allegiance to 12 new citizens from 12 countries, including three members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“The naturalization ceremony and release of Preparing for the Oath highlight the strong partnership between USCIS and the Smithsonian. During the past four years, the two entities have worked together to provide immigrants, adult educators and the public with a better understanding of American history and the naturalization process,” said Marc Pachter, interim director of the museum.
The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history.