October 13 Speaker at the online university forum to discuss the current economic and societal impacts of college education

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Tue 06/10/2020 – 2:09 PM | By: David Tisdale

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Online Academic Forum Series continues Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. with one of the nation’s top journalists and experts on the state of U.S. higher education, Paul Tough, who will discuss the results of those who graduate from college today, unlike years past.

Tough is the author of How Children Succeed, a review of why some children do well in elementary school and others don’t. It remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year. Most recently, he authored The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us, also the title and subject of his College Forum talk, in which Tough examines whether a college education offers the same opportunities for social mobility than for previous generations. Americans, and also asks tough questions about who serves higher education – the rich and the poor, and offers advice to educators, students and parents.

As a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Tough recently examined the effects of COVID-19 on student opportunities and aspirations, and previously wrote about the New Orleans school system, the No Child Left Act. Behind and charter schools. He has written for the New Yorker, Atlantic and Esquire and is also a former reporter and producer of the public radio show “This American Life”, and is the founder of Open Letters, an online magazine.

“Since World War II and the GI Bill of Rights, Americans have viewed their education system as the great equalizer,” said Dr. Andrew Haley, associate professor of history and director of the University Forum. “Today,” says Paul Tough, “higher education does not offer the same opportunities for social mobility as it once did. As elite universities become more elitist, regional schools are struggling to pay the bills. Anyone interested in the future of American education and the future of American democracy will want to heed Tough’s warning. ”

Presented by USM Honors College, the University Forum is free and open to everyone. For information on how to participate in the Fall 2020 University Forum events online, visit www.usm.edu/forum.


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