CSUN Mentorship Program

Success Is... Yours


 Mentors and Graduate Assistants posing together  



The CSUN Mentorship Program is a peer mentoring program that promotes student success at Cal State Northridge. We aim to help students more easily navigate university life by exploring various campus resources and engagement/involvement opportunities. Our Mentors are committed to sharing their own experiences, motivating their fellow CSUN students, and helping them set goals to ultimately be successful. 

How do we define success?

  • Support in academic and personal goals
  • Make connections on campus and learn about available resources
  • Experience campus events
Read on below to find out how this program can benefit you!

What is this program about?

College can be an overwhelming experience. Perhaps the campus feels too large to navigate or you don’t quite know which resources to go to for help. Choosing a major or campus organization to be involved in may seem difficult. Figuring out how to be successful during college could seem like a hopeless task.

To help students more easily navigate university life, the CSUN Mentorship Program aims to assist students' adjustment to the college environment through campus engagement and peer mentorship. These connections aim to empower students to fully experience all that CSUN has to offer, allowing them to chart their own path to success from one year to the next. 

Interested? Sign up today! Fill out the Mentor Pairing Application to begin your journey to success. 

Would this program be a good fit for me?

The CSUN Mentorship Program is available to students who would like guidance on university resources and engagement opportunities to help aid in their overall success. Our Mentors help participating students navigate campus resources, assist with academic and personal success goals, and encourage students to connect with peers through university-sponsored events and involvement opportunities.

Peer Mentorship

Our program matches successful continuing students (Mentors) with new students (Mentees), connecting them as partners during the year. Our undergraduate Mentors represent a multitude of majors, student organizations, and backgrounds. Depending on what you would like our program to help you with, we have a Mentor for you! Mentors have the opportunity to connect students to university resources, while serving as a personal support system, in an effort to promote educational success. Throughout the year, Mentors guide students to university resources and involvement opportunities of interest to them, so students can build a successful path to graduation.

Mentors meet with their students at least twice a month to personally support them by making referrals to campus resources and engagement opportunities. Meeting with a Mentor twice a month is all that is required. All other activities are optional.

Meet our team of Mentors!

Campus Engagement

Along with personal support, participating students will be exposed to a variety of university sponsored events to help them embrace the academic, social, and cultural environments of the university. Mentors will be attending campus events throughout the semester and inviting their Mentee students to go! Participating students will have the ability to meet other people in the program and get to know different student groups and resources offered on CSUN’s campus.

To bookend this program there is a Meet & Greet and Culminating Banquet, as well as various engagement opportunities throughout the year. All participating students will meet and get to know their Mentor at the program's Meet & Greet event. The program's Culminating Banquet celebrates the successful completion of personal goals created by participating students.

Mentors will work with students to attend other campus event opportunities to engage academically, socially, and culturally. Events attendance is optional, but Mentors highly encourage their group of mentee students to engage with the campus through these opportunities. These events will be hosted at least twice a month by each mentor; it will be up to the discretion of the participating Mentee student to attend.

Examples of campus-sponsored events new students can attend include:

  • University Athletic/Sports Club Events
  • Unified We Serve Events
  • Matador Nights
  • AS Farmer's Market
  • USU Noontime Concerts
  • Soraya Performances

Program Expectations

The CSUN Mentorship Program is designed to supplement the student experience and not compete with other obligations. This program supports participating students throughout an academic year; it begins in late September and ends in early May. Mentors are expected to meet with their Mentees twice a month, on or off campus. Students are expected to actively engage and be responsive to their Mentor's communications throughout the academic year.

This program is designed to be a flexible program for both its Mentors and student participants, with Mentors and their Mentees creating their own guidelines for participation. Monthly events are planned to connect participating students with other individuals in their Mentor's group and to expose students to opportunities on CSUN’s campus.

Mentee Testimonials

Read testimonials written by participating students in our program:

“[My mentor] has encouraged me through all of my academics and events that I’ve been a part of. I love her!!!”

“This program has helped me not drop out of CSUN. The same week I signed up I was planning on dropping out since I felt so done and the classes were just way too hard for me. By attending this program, it made me realize I can pass and my mentor was the main one to help me out through this journey. I honestly couldn’t be any more thankful to have her.” 

“I love the CSUN Mentorship Program because it kept me on track of my grades and school events, all at once!” 

“The CSUN Mentorship Program has played a crucial role in helping me achieve academic goals by introducing me to a mentor that would answer any questions I had. Since I had a mentor that informed me about student resources that I did not know about I was able to achieve my academic goals. This program is a great opportunity to build connections and become more connected with the university. I would recommend this program to my friends and especially incoming freshman.” 

“This program has been beneficial for me in making new friends and raising my grades.” 

“I did not expect to get as much out of the program as I have. I have had a great time being apart of the program... My mentor has done a great job being supportive of me and always makes time to talk, answer questions, and study. He also helped me become better at talking to new people and has made me want to be more involved and attend more campus events. He’s been a great mentor and friend and I appreciate everything he and the program have done for me”

“Having a plan, a support system, and advisement from my mentor was what helped me achieve all my goals.” 

Program Points of Pride

Our program was created in 2016 to increase the retention and persistence of first-time freshmen students from their second to third semester. Since the genesis of our program, we are proud to say we have continuously improved the persistence of students involved in our program - particularly students who are traditionally underserved and are first-generation. Our program retention rates are consistently higher than the overall campus retention rates; see our recent data results below!

Academic YearProgram Overall RetentionCampus Overall RetentionTraditionally Underserved (Program)Traditionally Underserved (Campus)First-Generation (Program)First-Generation (Campus)

*Data collected/provided in collaboration with CSUN Institutional Research 

Why this matters

Students involved with the CSUN Mentorship Program have higher rates of persistence after involvement with our program during their first year on campus. Our students complete their first year and feel confident enough to continue their academic career with the university, demonstrated by enrollment rates in our students' third semester. We attribute our program's success to the hands-on experience provided by our mentors - individual meetings providing resource referrals to meet each student's particular needs, support in finding involvement opportunities, goal-setting and action plans which include how to seek services past engagement with our program, specialized events for members of our program, and the sense of community provided by our mentors and participating students.

We are doing longitudinal analysis of our student cohorts to document the effectiveness of our program in correlation with program participant graduation rates; this information is still pending our first cohort's graduation results. 

Begin your journey to success - Sign up now!

Fill out the Mentor Pairing Application to take a step closer to accomplishing your goals! 

We admit new participating students at the beginning of each academic year until we reach the program capacity. You will receive an email within a few weeks of applying with updates on the status of your application. Should you not receive an email, please feel free to contact us. 

For any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at or call us at 818-677-5383.

Staff Profile and Contact Information

Program Coordinator

Lonni Lyons


Lonni Lyons is the activities coordinator for the CSUN Mentorship Program. She has been in this position since Spring 2022. Lonni transferred to CSUN from Pierce College, graduated from CSUN with a bachelors degree in psychology, and a masters degree in counseling with a specialization in college counseling and student services. Ms. Lyons was a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Involvement and Development during her graduate studies to grow as a student affairs paraprofessional. She also gained experience working in a mental health center at Glendale Community College where she provided clinical counseling services to a diverse clientele. Working in higher education is her passion and connecting students with campus services and resources through transitional and family programs is fulfilling work that Lonni feels honored to do. Visit her in her office during hours of operation for support.

Graduate Assistants

Cristal Valdez and Natalie Rendon

Hello, my name is Cristal Valdez, I am one of the Graduate Assistants of the CSUN Mentorship Program. I am in my third year of the School Counseling Master’s program at CSUN and a first-generation Latina college student. I have grown up in the San Fernando Valley all my life, and it was my goal to graduate from CSUN. My college experience has been a bit different than most. I attended Los Angeles Mission Community College for several years, and earned my associated degree, then transferred to CSUN, where I received my bachelor’s in psychology. As a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I was unable to experience all that CSUN had to offer during my undergrad, but until now as I have become a part of the CSUN Mentorship Program, I have not only learned so much, but gained an immense amount of appreciation for this campus. I am excited and incredibly overjoyed for this opportunity, and hope that all Matadors can and are able to experience CSUN and all its glory.

Hey there Mentee,
Welcome to the Mentorship Program! I am Natalie Rendon, and I am the Graduate Assistant for the CSUN Mentorship Program. I am a First-generation student who was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. I started off my first two years of undergrad in Los Angeles Valley College where I earned an associate degree in social and behavioral Science. I then transferred to CSUN my last two years where I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology. During my time at CSUN, I joined The Blues Project as well as another mentorship program called Community for Achievement in Psychological Sciences (CAPS). I truly enjoyed my experience at these two different mentorship programs as well as working on campus, being able to build a community and interact amongst other students who were like me. Therefore, I decided to continue my education at CSUN, and I am currently in my first year of my graduate program of College Counseling and Student Services. My career goal is to be able to efficiently assist students and making the transition to higher education a smooth process especially first Generation, transfers, or international and Exchange students. I would love to provide students with the necessary resources they need to be successful students in all aspects of their life aside from just their academic life. I can’t wait for you to join the team and meet you!