Reading _Lower Ed_: Credentials, Jobs, and the New Economy

by VanessaVaile

ICYMI catch up with reading and discussing Tressie McMillan Cottom’s #LowcrEd with Bryan Alexander’s FTTE Book Club. Haven’t adjuncted at a for-profit (most likely online)? You still can’t miss sometimes disturbing parallels (and contrasts) with community colleges.

Bryan Alexander

We continue our reading of Tressie McMillan Cottom‘s Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (publisher; Amazon). Here we’ll discuss Chapter 6, “Credentials, Jobs, and the New Economy.”

I’ll begin with a short summary, followed by questions.  As a quick reminder, you can find all posts in this reading right here.

Chapter 6, “Credentials, Jobs, and the New Economy.”

Lower Ed being heldHere Cottom continues to explore reasons why people would enroll in for-profit colleges, focusing on the context of a new labor market.

The author returns to her earlier theme: that for-profits target poor people, shown, for example, by the connection between government assistance programs and for-profits (157-8).  Poverty’s constraints on decision-making and choices further nudge people into lower ed (163).  The labor market’s demand that individuals, rather than companies, provide education further encourages such enrollment: “the expectation now is that workers will…

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