College of Education

About P-16

Tech’s College of Education Launches P-16 Diversity Partnership

The College of Education at Tennessee Tech is initiating a collaborative partnership providing diversity-specific resources for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educators, mentoring programs for high school junior and senior students, professional development opportunities, and awards for university students supporting diversity in education professions.

“The College of Education is very pleased to be a part of this new outreach program, the P-16 Diversity Partnership,” said Dean Lisa Zagumny. “Our community, regionally and on campus, has grown into a richly diverse population with valuable cultural input. We are focused on providing these educators, school children, and college students the materials, professional development, and support needed for creating exceptional experiences and opportunities.”

The college’s partners include Putnam County Schools, IMPACT, Tech’s College of Business and Office of Multicultural Affairs, Tennessee Chapter of the National Association of Multicultural Education, and the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

"The schools of Putnam County have a long history of successful partnerships and programs with Tech’s College of Education,” said Jerry Boyd, Superintendent of the Putnam County School System. “This collaboration is a positive, timely initiative that will offer additional access and support for our teachers and students.”

The partnership was officially launched on August 25 during a special event hosted by Professor Carl Owens, Director of the college’s Learning Resources Center. A global menu was provided by Chef Chad Combs of The Putnam Room and a craft beer tasting was offered by Hix Farm Brewery. The kick-off event was generously supported by Mr. Tom Jones.

“It goes without saying that education is the key to success in life, but not every child in a school system benefits from the resources available in the community or understands their potential impact,” reflected Quinton Cancel, M.D. and President of IMPACT. “The P-16 partnership is a perfect example of what can happen when we ‘connect the dots’ and invest in our children in a coordinated community effort.  When we uplift those that are most vulnerable, it strengthens everyone,” Cancel continued. “We are thrilled to partner with Tennessee Tech, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Putnam County School System in this game-changing initiative.”

“There is true benefit to diverse talent and it is evident in the emerging global workforce,” said Jasen Knight, IMPACT Vice President. “As the Cookeville area grows, we need to be prepared to welcome and support our diverse and inclusive community.”

Tennessee Tech and other long-time community partners, including the regional Highlands Initiative, are committed to broadening the scope of access to education and training programs.

“We are elated to participate in the P-16 Diversity Partnership,” related Lillian Hartgrove, Vice President of Workforce Development and Education for the Highlands Economic Partnership and the Cookeville-Putnam Co. Chamber of Commerce. “The program is parallel to our regional efforts of career training and job-ready employees prepared for high-skilled opportunities.”

For more information about the P-16 Diversity Partnership, please contact the College of Education at 931-372-3124 or email