The College of Arts & Sciences will host an Eye of the Hawk Lecture, “An Evening with Tressie McMillan Cottom on the Future of Education” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11. Please pre-register for the Zoom link.
Join us as Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist, writer, and public scholar, discusses the future of education. McMillan Cottom works across multiple platforms, ranging from academic scholarship to essays and social media engagement, to combine analytical insights and personal experiences in a frank, accessible style of communication that resonates with broad audiences within and outside of academia.
In her book Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (2017), McMillan Cottom explores the rapid growth of these institutions in the context of rising inequality in the United States. She examines the industry from multiple perspectives, including her experience as an admissions counselor at a for-profit college and the motives and goals of students from a variety of backgrounds who attend these institutions. Her analysis identifies the systemic conditions supporting the predatory marketing behavior in the for-profit college industry, including the limited accessibility of public institutions, discrimination in credit markets, and the increased necessity of academic credentials for securing a prosperous future. The book has reverberated amongst educators and policymakers and has influenced recent policy debates about the racial, gender, and class inequalities of educational institutions.
Tressie McMillan Cottom is an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science and senior research faculty in the Center for Information, Technology and Public Life at the University of North Carolina. She has been a faculty affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University since 2015.