Teachers for Urban Schools

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 initiative to recruit, prepare, and place more teachers of color in LBUSD classrooms. The Teachers for Urban Schools Initiative prepares teachers who are committed to improving life outcomes for students in urban schools and who reflect the demographics and shared lived experiences of students in our local schools. 

The Teachers for Urban Schools Initiative is composed of targeted outreach and recruitment efforts, the Mary Jane Patterson Scholarship for teachers in preparation, and wrap around supports.

This initiative was launched to address the nation-wide shortage of teachers of color, particularly African-American teachers, who teach in PK-12 schools. While 77% of California’s PK-12 students are children and youth of color, only 34% of the state’s teachers are teachers of color (Ed Trust West, 2019). Students of all races are known to learn better and build closer connections in school when they have race-matched teachers. Race matched teachers serve as a role models, demonstrating a deeper understanding of the student’s circumstances while pushing the student to succeed. Black students who have had a Black teacher prior to 3rd grade are 7% more likely to graduate from High School and 13% more likely to enroll in college. 

Though this initiative, we have begun to recruit underrepresented teacher candidates in cohorts of six to ten students (freshmen, transfer, post-baccalaureate), providing the following financial supports and wrap around services to ensure their success and retention in the program:


  • Scholarships through the Mary Jane Patterson Scholarship
  • Part-time employment as an College Aide in LBUSD during their program
  • Financial Literacy training
  • Support for required test fees

  • Program Advisement
  • Instructional Support
  • Academic Coaching

  • Faculty Mentor, both individual and small group
  • Cohort study and social activities

  • Community Mentoring
  • Professional Conference Attendance


Patterson Scholars
2019-20 Patterson Scholars along with Teachers for Urban Schools Committee Members


For more information on this program, please contact Hayley Miller, Assistant Director of Development at hayley.miller@csulb.edu / (562) 985-2069