Service-learning students arrange naturalization ceremony at SCC

Published: 03/15/2017

SCC students organized and hosted a naturalization ceremony, a ceremony in which immigrants take the Oath of Allegiance to complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. The planning and execution of the event were part of a service-learning project spearheaded by professor Ron Pettus’ State & Local Government class. Students involved in the project were tasked with organizing the March 10 event where around 50 people became U.S. citizens.

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Around 50 immigrants became U.S. citizens at SCC’s naturalization ceremony on March 10.

Through the process, they practiced management and leadership skills, learned the intimate details of this rite of passage to citizenship and exposed those in attendance to an event that they might otherwise never have attended and people they might otherwise not have met. 

“We listed all of the things needed from pricing and ordering sheet cake and punch to decorating the auditorium, to arranging for a color guard and coordinating with campus police,” Pettus said. “The class handled almost every element of the program, and everyone in the class was involved.”

The first naturalization ceremony was hosted at SCC in 2014 when Virginia Guneyli, SCC professor of English, mentioned to a colleague that her husband, who is from Turkey, was about to be naturalized and wished it could happen on SCC’s campus. 

Pettus presented the idea of hosting a naturalization ceremony to his State and Local Government class. Just like that, the ceremony has been held every year since. 

For more information on the naturalization ceremony, contact Ron Pettus at or 636-922-8466. 

St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit

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