Published: Oct. 2, 2013

Novelist James Patterson expands MSU scholarships

Contact(s): Nicole Geary Education office: (517) 355-1826, Sarah Wardell University Advancement office: (517) 355-8400

Best-selling author James Patterson has doubled his commitment to support students in the College of Education at Michigan State University.

Patterson recently decided to grow a scholarship program he created last year for students enrolled in the Urban Educators Cohort Program, a specialized teacher preparation track for students committed to teaching in urban schools.

The original eight freshmen named as James Patterson Teacher Education Scholars will receive an additional year of funding during 2013-14, and a new group of students will receive scholarships starting this fall. Each of the 16 students will receive $7,500, for a total gift of $120,000 from Patterson.

Patterson has been impressed by the quality of the Teacher Preparation Program at MSU, and by the experiences of his scholarship recipients during their first year on campus. He recently featured them on, a website he set up to help parents, teachers and librarians find the best books for kids and to help them get kids excited about reading.

All candidates for the scholarship must demonstrate potential to become leaders in urban education and select English or Language Arts as their teaching major or minor.

"I'm gaining ideas about what goes into becoming a successful teacher and am excited for the opportunity to be one," said elementary education sophomore Maxx Marano. "Being a Patterson Scholar ... gives me the motivation to always strive for my best work."

UECP is designed to prepare students for the unique challenges of working in urban areas. Cohort members spend their first two years at MSU (before entering the formal teacher preparation program) visiting urban classrooms and taking specialized courses together.

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