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.
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!
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
- VPAC Performances
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.
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 Year||Program Overall Retention||Campus Overall Retention||Traditionally 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 818-677-3968.
Staff Profile and Contact Information
The CSUN Mentorship Program is run through the Office of Student Involvement and Development. Should you have any questions regarding the program, please feel free to contact the office at (818)-677-3968 or reach us at our Mentorship Email.
Gabrielle Danis is responsible for the direction, coordination and event planning for the CSUN Mentorship Program. Ms. Danis has worked for the university professionally since 2016. She attended California State University, Northridge (CSUN) for her undergraduate degree and first worked in the Office of Student Involvement and Development as a student assistant. Ms. Danis received her Master's in Education, with an emphasis in Postsecondary Administration, from the University of Southern California in 2018. She has experience in developing programs for 500+ students, staff, and faculty through her work with New Student Orientation. Continuously impacting student lives across campus, she is also a part-time faculty member for CSUN's department of Educational Psychology & Counseling. Ms. Danis is well-versed in all it means to be a CSUN Matador. Her professional philosophy is "to be a resource for all students I serve, both as a mentor and advocate, and assist them in their right to a quality education."
Hello everybody! My name is Lindsey Lazo, and my pronouns are they/them/theirs. I recently graduated from CSUN with my BA in Child and Adolescent Development, and now I am a first-year graduate student in the Master of Science, Counseling program with my specialization in College Counseling and Student Services (CCSS). I chose CCSS because I know how crucial it is to have programs that serve "the whole student" which just means that we honor, celebrate, and support every part of our students' identity and recognize that there are unique needs among our diverse student body. My dream for the future is to partner with CSUN's Pride Center to develop an LGBTQ+ center at a local community college so that there is a continuity of care and services from community college through to the university they choose for transfer. But, my goals and aspirations are just a fraction of my world. When I am not studying or working, I love to hang out with my siblings, listen to podcasts, read a good book, research with my friends, and cook. For me, I always know that there is something new I can be learning to widen my perspective, to be more aware and active as an ally, and to just be a better person in general. I hope to share my experiences and stories with everyone, serve as a guide to any and all who need mentorship, and to be an example of resilience and success. Feel free to reach out at any time!