This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Female: 19 (including 3 female panelists) B. Male: 6 C. Unknown: 1 II. Panelists: A. Julianne Hing – Reporter and Blogger for Colorlines B. Tiffany Dena Loftin – Vice-President of the United States Student Association C. Tressie McMillan Cottom – Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Emory University III.Notes A. Tiffany Dena Loftin 1. Shared story about her path to UC Santa Cruz which involved: i. College counselors that tried push her into two-year colleges ii. Lack of familiarity with college entry process as a first-generation college applicant iii. Luck as she met amazing student mentors at Santa Cruz that helped her to find her niche at school iv. Frustration that the college entry process was systemically disenfranchising students like herself v. Energized to change some of the institutional shortcomings that limit college access/retention/education/and graduation to students from low-income communities of color 2. Access to entry into college is different from access to retention/education/and graduation B. Tressie McMillan Cottom 1. Mo’ Degrees, Mo’ Problems 2. Welfare-to-work i. Frustrated that upon working as a case worker in a Welfare-to-Work program, she had clients who either had trouble finding jobs because they lacked the proper credentials and would no longer be eligible for welfare, or who would enroll in college and take out massive loans that would result in a debt trap but would enable them to continue receiving welfare benefits as students ii. She felt unethical advising clients to choose one of these options that ultimately limited socioeconomic mobility
3. Commodification of aspirations i. Large increase in for-profit colleges that target low-income communities of color ii. People seek to borrow from their future earnings, with the assumption (as is marketed to them by both non-profit and for-profit higher education institutions and the government) that a degree will lead to economic stability and upward mobility iii. People that buy into this scheme are caught in debt traps (see notes for overcredentialization below), and those that don’t are often ineligible for credential-requiring jobs, and/or seen as lazy for not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps to go to college 4. Enrollment in higher education i. 1990 to 2000: enrollment in higher education grew by 11 percent ii. 2000 to 2010: enrollment in higher education grew by 37 percent iii. Student loan debt = One trillion dollars iv. Expansion of opportunity does not match the rapid expansion of higher education a. Leads to a over-credentialed, under-employed, massively indebted population b. Degrees create jobs = huge lie c. Because we currently lack the political will to revamp the economic system, we try to revamp our education system; because of the economic superstructure, however, our education solutions do not align with our values (education as – to borrow from Freire and hooks – ingenuous to epistemological curiosity, transgression, freedom) and instead resemble a neoliberal model that alienates students from the joy and challenge of learning/discovery, and instead makes education about acquiring a product (an expensive degree) external to the work of learning itself 5. Over-credentialization i. For example: some jobs now require their security guards to have degrees in security administration; a degree in security administration costs upwards of $45,000, whereas the wage of a security guard may be $8.50 an hour. ii. People become over-credentialed and less upwardly mobile because of tremendous debts they are unable to repay iii. Manufactured demand and commodified aspirations lead to socioeconomic immobility iv. Ranking the institutions that provide these commodities = the process of institutionalizing inequality 6. Types of responsibility in higher education i. Public responsibility – for example, government-funded job training during the New Deal ii. Corporate responsibility – for example, Verizon-funded job training programs for new customer service representatives iii. Personal responsibility – bootstraps model where people are expected to buy into the flawed system of commodified aspirations and manufactured
demand 7. Questions i. Why does Obama only push personal responsibility? ii. What are solutions to this problem? iii. Why is the NAACP silent about this issue?