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Sunday, February 5, 2023

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SDSU's Aztec Mentor Program growth rate has exceeded administrators most optimistic projections. SDSU's Aztec Mentor Program growth rate has exceeded administrators most optimistic projections.

Aztec Mentor Program Hits Major Milestone

More than 10,000 students have been paired with supportive professionals to help launch their careers.
By SDSU News Team

Growing participation by students and alumni has pushed San Diego State University’s Aztec Mentor Program (AMP) past a new milestone, SDSU Career Services administrators announced. Between its inception in 2013 and the end of the recently completed 2018-19 academic year, the program has matched 10,066 students with mentors.

In just six years, the program that pairs students with supportive and experienced professionals has ballooned from 345 matches in 2013-14 to 3,126 matches this past academic year. 

Since AMP began, the number of student-to-mentor matches has increased by at least 20 percent annually. It’s a growth rate program administrators say was beyond even their most optimistic projections.

“I thought we would get to 10,000 matches in probably eight or nine years,” said Career Services Executive Director James Tarbox

“It was definitely faster growth than we could have anticipated,” said SDSU Associate Director of Experiential Learning Heather LaPerle, “especially with only having 100 students during that very first semester in 2013-14.”

At its beginning, the program was largely made up of business students. It has now expanded to all colleges on campus and seeks mentors representing all professions.

Strategic Planning 

Tarbox and LaPerle credit strategic planning for AMP’s astonishing growth. They set goals incorporating collaboration with other divisions and individuals throughout campus.

AMP has worked with the Office of New Student and Parent Programs, SDSU Alumni, and others to help facilitate the growing number of matches. “It is absolutely a campuswide effort,” said LaPerle, who added that faculty are also encouraging students to be part of AMP and in many cases are becoming mentors themselves.

Tarbox said feedback from mentors – both positive and negative – has helped shape and refine AMP’s growth. 

Currently, AMP has almost 1,800 active mentors in the program. This fall, a record number of students eager for a connection are expected to sign up.

“I want alumni to know how grateful these students are for the time they get with mentors,” Tarbox said. “It really is making a difference and students are appreciative of the opportunities that alumni make to help them launch their careers.”

Aztec alumni and friends of the university from a wide variety of careers and all geographic locations are encouraged to volunteer with the Aztec Mentor Program.

Additional information about the program can be found at or by contacting SDSU Career Services at