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Cotter named new TRiO director

Mark Cotter has been named new director of TRiO Student Support Services at Pellissippi State Technical Community College.

TRiO programs are designed to help economically disadvantaged students, first-generation college students and students with disabilities, at both the secondary school and college level.

Cotter has experience in both teaching and counseling; six years of his counseling experience was with the TRiO program at The University of Tennessee.

Based on his knowledge of TRiO, Cotter said the Pellissippi State program has a strong foundation for an exciting future.

“My goal is to be proactive with students and get them deeply involved in TRiO,” he said. “I also hope to reestablish a leadership team, which is a group of students and student tutors who will help us determine some of our future cultural and educational activities.”

Cotter earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1976 and his master’s degree in educational psychology in 1993. In 2001, he focused on collaborative learning for an Ed.D. in educational psychology. He completed all of his postsecondary education at UT.

Congress established TRiO programs in 1965 to help low-income students enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America’s economic and social life. While many student financial aid programs help recipients overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRiO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers.

Pellissippi State’s program provides students with academic success plans, career development, college planning, leadership opportunities, success seminars and transfer assistance for those continuing on to a four-year institution.

TRiO programs are funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.


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