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  1. #1
    John Bear is offline Senior Member
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    New book on for-profit universities: "Lower Ed"

    Lower Ed: the troubling rise of for-profit colleges in the new economy.

    Just published. Gets a long and very good review in NYTimes (""With great compassion and analytical rigor, Cottom questions the fundamental narrative of American education policy, that a postsecondary degree always guarantees a better life..”) The author, sociologist Tressie Cotton, worked as a recruiter for two online colleges. I haven't seen it yet, but plan to.

    From one of the many Amazon reviews: "This book is a page-turner. McMillan Cottom deftly interweaves personal narrative and rigorous social science research in her exploration of for-profit schools. For my nerds out there, this book is data rich, well argued, and nuanced. But that's not all! This book is engaging and empathetic, two qualities that many social science investigations lack. This book is not a one-note condemnation of for profit schools, but instead reveals the myriad social factors which led to the emergence of the for-profit education industry."
    Author/co-author:15 editions of Bears Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning,
    Degree Mills: the billion-dollar industry that has sold more than a million fake diplomas, Finding Money for College, Send This Jerk the Bedbug Letter, Computer Wimp, How to Repair Food, and dozens more. BA, MJ, University of California Berkeley; PhD Michigan State University

  2. #2
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    The author, sociologist Tressie Cotton
    ...and because of that, I'm out.
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://stevefoerster.com

  3. #3
    decimon is offline Registered User
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    The Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Lower-Ed-Trou.../dp/1620970600

    The NYT review excerpt reads like an infomercial and so do the editorial reviews and some of the customer reviews.

  4. #4
    Phdtobe is offline Registered User
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    Cottom questions the fundamental narrative of American education policy, that a postsecondary degree ALWAYS guarantees a better life
    Is this what you call a straw man? I can't recall anyone with common sense making that statement. There is no need to shoot down that silly claim with with great compassion and analytical rigor. One sentence should have done it. There are two options for being a bum, an educated bum or an uneducated bum.

  5. #5
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    ...and because of that, I'm out.
    but great title though.
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

  6. #6
    TomE is offline Registered User
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    I have a long plane ride coming up soon. I'll bite the bullet and (hopefully) report back in a timely manner. Certainly looks like an interesting book on a topic that is very popular around these parts!

  7. #7
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomE View Post
    I have a long plane ride coming up soon. I'll bite the bullet and (hopefully) report back in a timely manner. Certainly looks like an interesting book on a topic that is very popular around these parts!
    It is a cute title. I'll look forward to the review.
    American College of Sports Medicine

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  9. #8
    Steve Levicoff is offline Registered User
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    I wouldn't bee too fast to dismiss Tressie Cottom. I recently heard an interview she did on NPR and she was quite solid.

    Cottom holds her Ph.D. in sociology from Emory U. and is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth U. Not too shabby.

  10. #9
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    I've seen what she says in other media. If she's your cup of tea then by all means, enjoy the book.
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://stevefoerster.com

  11. #10
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Levicoff View Post
    I wouldn't bee too fast to dismiss Tressie Cottom. I recently heard an interview she did on NPR and she was quite solid.

    Cottom holds her Ph.D. in sociology from Emory U. and is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth U. Not too shabby.
    Degrees and titles mean little; Bill Cosby has his Ed.D. from UMass-Amherst, but I wouldn't trust him around any of my female friends or relatives.
    --
    Bruce Tait
    A.S. (Criminal Justice) Quincy College
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  12. #11
    heirophant is offline Registered User
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    Judging from some of the other things she's written, the woman certainly seems to have an agenda:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/author/t...millan-cottom/

    I'm not impressed.

  13. #12
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Degrees and titles mean little; Bill Cosby has his Ed.D. from UMass-Amherst, but I wouldn't trust him around any of my female friends or relatives.
    Neither would I. But it doesn't follow - even from Cosby's horrible example - that degrees mean little. If they mean so little, why do so many work so hard to attain them? Yes, behavior can ultimately speak 'way louder than credentials, but that doesn't translate into a general disparagement or minimizing of education itself. There are thoroughly bad people with good educations -and vice-versa.

    Degrees do mean plenty, Bruce. Yours included.

    Respectfully,

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 04-22-2017 at 10:03 AM.

  14. #13
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    In other villainous news, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe holds seven earned degrees - two earned while in prison. Also 11 honorary degrees plus three revoked.

    Not even Mugabe - or Cosby, for that matter - will alter my view on the desirability - or significance - of higher education . Nothing - including education - will redeem either man, but as to higher education itself... Well, I have to believe in it, no two ways about it.

    J.

  15. #14
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    Neither would I. But it doesn't follow - even from Cosby's horrible example - that degrees mean little. If they mean so little, why do so many work so hard to attain them? Yes, behavior can ultimately speak 'way louder than credentials, but that doesn't translate into a general disparagement or minimizing of education itself. There are thoroughly bad people with good educations -and vice-versa.

    Degrees do mean plenty, Bruce. Yours included.
    You're missing my point; Steve had put forth that we shouldn't dismiss this Tressie Cottom because she has a Ph.D. from a respected school and is a tenured professor at another respected school. Those 2 things alone mean absolutely nothing; I had a professor with a Ph.D. from Harvard who I wouldn't trust with sharp scissors, and another Ph.D. (I forget from where) professor who was one of the biggest anti-white (I should say anti-everything but black) racists I've ever met.

    Degrees and titles aren't pictures into someone's character, their words, writings, and actions are those.
    --
    Bruce Tait
    A.S. (Criminal Justice) Quincy College
    B.A. (Criminal Justice) Curry College
    M.A. (Criminal Justice) University of Massachusetts-Lowell
    M.A. (Forensic & Counseling Psychology) Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
    Certificate (Investigative Psychology) CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice

    MOOC's
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  17. #15
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    The issue isn't "degree or no degree". It's not even "Does she have an agenda?" (Everyone has an agenda) or even whether you agree with her or not. The issue is the quality of her writing and research.
    American College of Sports Medicine

  18. #16
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    You're missing my point...Degrees and titles aren't pictures into someone's character, their words, writings, and actions are those.
    Agreed - sorry, Bruce. I did miss your point. I took your statement "Degrees and titles mean little" too literally. They do, as you say, mean very little, if anything, about someone's character. And Kizmet is right - everyone has an agenda. Even yours truly.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 04-22-2017 at 11:07 AM.

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