Approved by: Office of Student Affairs
History: Revised July 13, 2015
Related Forms, Procedures and References: U.S. Department of Education link for Constitution Day resources
For Questions Contact: Office of Student Affairs | 651.690.6778 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Purpose: The legislation requires that all educational institutions that receive federal funds implement educational programs relating to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year.
The late Senator Robert C. Byrd, a former West Virginia Democrat and the United States Congress unofficial constitutional scholar, believe that American primary, secondary, and post-secondary students lacked significant knowledge regarding the United States Constitution. In December 2004, Senator Byrd offered an amendment that was passed by both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in attempt to increase constitutional knowledge.
The legislation requires that all educational institutions that receive federal funds implement educational programs relating to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year. September 17th was selected as the date for celebration due to the fact that on September 17, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the United States Constitution and presented it to the American public.
The United States Department of Education, charged with implementation of this legislative requirement, intentionally left the implementation language vague. With no specific curriculum or interpretation of the United States Constitution provided by The U.S. Department of Education or Senator Byrd, academic institutions are free to provide a wide array of programming for their students (from the National Student Personnel Administrators Constitution Day Implementation Guide).
We encourage all students, faculty and staff to learn more about the Constitution of the United States by participating in the educational programs offered throughout the year in support of Constitution Day. University community members are welcome to participate in the annual Constitution Day, held September 17. Programming includes free copies of the U.S. Constitution and other related materials. Look for specific information on the Daily Update. Also, refer to the departments of Political Science, History and Philosophy for course offerings throughout the academic year that provide additional educational opportunities to learn about the United States Constitution.