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San Diego State University

Commuter Life

Casa Azteca

logo: Casa Azteca

Casa Azteca is a student success program designed specifically for students living at home or off-campus, referred to as “commuter” students. The goal of Casa Azteca is to support you as a commuter student by creating a small community of students where you can make new friends, receive academic support, create relationships with faculty and staff, and connect to a broad range of student organizations and activities. These connections are invaluable to your success as a student at San Diego State University.

The program focuses on helping both parents and students transition into a dynamic university environment.

Casa Azteca is a collaborative effort between SDSU and Casa Familiar – a community resource center in the San Ysidro area.

Students in the Casa Azteca program will:

  • Have access to a mentor who is a current student who will guide and advise you as you transition into college. This mentor will provide academic help with your math and writing courses in an individual or small group setting
  • Participate in activities on campus with your peers
  • Give back to the community
  • Learn about the many student organizations and clubs on campus
  • Make new friends
  • Meet faculty and staff on a personalized basis
  • Establish a network with SDSU that will assist you with your academic and personal success as a student

Casa Azteca Components

  • GEN S 100B Casa Azteca University Seminar (1 unit)
  • A General Education (GE) course (3 units)
  • Discussion and Analysis course (1 unit) which will give you additional academic support with your General Education class
  • GEN S 250 University Seminar: In-College-Shape, which will take place the week before the fall semester starts (1 unit)

Student Success

The Casa Azteca program provides you with the necessary support and resources enabling you to make connections with the university. This plays a huge role in Casa Azteca students’ ability to continue at the university past their first semester. In fall 2011, 100% of the students continued to their second semester and 93% finished their first semester in good academic standing. Casa Azteca students are performing better academically compared to other commuter students.

Student Testimonials

“Casa Azteca is a great program! Not only did we receive help from the tutors and advisors, but also made new friends.”
- Fall 2010 Casa Azteca student

“Casa Azteca is something every freshman should be a part of!”
- Fall 2011 Casa Azteca student

“Getting help like this makes a huge difference!”
- Fall 2011 Casa Azteca student

“Casa Azteca provided me the tools I need at San Diego State University to achieve success.”
- Fall 2011 Casa Azteca student

For more information please contact Melissa Gonzalez at (619) 594-1033 or at

Photos from Casa Azteca

photo: Casa Azteca party
Fall 2011 class at the final Casa Azteca seminar class

photo: Casa Azteca students
Fall 2010 class at the Casa Azteca Reception

photo: students
2012 Latina Aztec Power Lunch with Norma Hernandez

photo: students working in a community garden
Fall 2012 class building a community garden at the Casa Familiar Youth Center in San Ysidro

photo: students
At the final Casa Azteca seminar class (Fall 2011 class)

photo: student tutor
Helping each other with class assignments (Fall 2011 class)

photo: middle school students
Ice breakers at the Fall 2012 Casa Azteca Reception!

photo: Laura Contreras
Laura Contreras at the 2012 Leadership and Diversity Summit

photo: Casa Azteca students
Casa Azteca student and her mom at the Fall 2010 Casa Azteca Reception