On September 17 citizens of the United States of America will celebrate the 226th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. When the Constitution was signed in 1787, the population of the United States was 4 million people; today it is nearly 314 million people. Thomas Jefferson, founding father, and third President of the United States said that in order for the country and its citizens to maintain their freedoms, people need to be educated and informed.
As an educational institution, Rio Salado College not only prepares students for successful careers, but helps them learn about the government and their role as citizens.
“Responsible civic engagement can only be achieved with an in-depth understanding of the contents and foundational political concepts that are imbedded in the U.S. Constitution,” said Rio Salado College Social Sciences Faculty Chair Patricia Case, Ph.D.
She went on to say that while the media plays an important role in keeping people updated on what is going on, it is necessary to have a firm understanding of the Constitution and how government works.
The college offers political science classes focused on the U.S. Constitution. It also offers courses in U.S. government for students who want to better understand the history of the United States.
Being actively engaged in something, whether it is politics, the community, or a cause can bring a sense of fulfillment to individuals and it can also lead to positive change, according to John Bastian, coordinator for Student Life & Leadership at Rio Salado College.
The Constitution guarantees that people are free to assemble for a cause, free to speak and express themselves, and to work for the improvements they may seek in their own life or in their community.
Students might want to “express their views and to give voice to those beliefs and ideas that are important to them,” Bastian said.
He said that through classes, campus groups and initiatives students can learn how to be engaged in a democracy. Education about the Constitution and the U.S. Government can strengthen any student or citizen regardless of what degree they seek or academic discipline they have chosen.
In support of Constitution Day, Rio Salado College will also make available pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution for pick up at all of its locations throughout Maricopa County while supplies last.
Written by Matt Loper