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Mary Jane Patterson Scholars - Future Teachers Committed to Excellence in Urban Education

Published November 12, 2019

The College of Education (CED) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), in partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), has launched a multi-year Teachers for Urban Schools Initiative to recruit, prepare, and place more teachers of color in LBUSD classrooms.


Patterson scholars, donors, and College of Education Staff and Administration
Mary Jane Patterson Scholars with their donors, along with College of Education Administration and Staff.


The Mary Jane Patterson Scholarship was established in 2019 as part of the Teachers for Urban Schools Initiative. This recruitment scholarship was created to support elementary, secondary and special education credential students in the College of Education at CSU Long Beach who are committed to teaching children and youth who have experienced educational and socio-economic disadvantage.

Members of the Teachers for Urban Schools Committee along with supporters of the initiative, were invited to meet the first cohort of Mary Jane Patterson Scholars at a reception on campus on September 27. Our seven 2019-20 Patterson Scholars are postbaccalaureate credential students who will receive a generous scholarship for up to four semesters while they earn their teaching credential. The cohort will meet regularly with faculty mentor Dr. Jolan Smith, to discuss issues pertaining to teaching educationally disadvantaged students in the urban context, and will be matched with a community mentor. They are eligible for part-time employment as substitute teachers/instructional aides at the Long Beach Unified School District.

The scholarship was named after Mary Jane Patterson (1840 – 1894), who in 1862, was the first African American woman to earn a bachelor’s degree from an established four-year college in the United States. A daughter of fugitive slaves, Patterson became a teacher at the age of 22 in Philadelphia at the Institute for Colored Youth. By age 31, she had become principal at the nation’s first public high school for black students, Preparatory High School for Colored Youth, located in Washington D.C. Throughout her career, Mary Jane Patterson exemplified excellence, leadership, and a commitment to high quality education in the historical context of a segregated society.

Mary Jane Patterson Scholars at CSULB receive financial, academic, socio-emotional, and professional supports to ensure their success and retention in the program.

To help support this scholarship, please declare your support.