advising staff discussion with student

"The Peer Advisors have been through the SJSU system. They have a first hand experience in navigating this campus."

Academic Advising

Survival at SJSU requires more than academic skills: It requires motivation as well as a commitment to learning. Our advising staff provides support in clarifying goals and finding solutions to personal concerns. We work cooperatively with other campus services to help students obtain information about requirements, course selection, financial aid, career planning, and other resources. Our advising services also include:

  • Major/Career exploration
  • Scheduling classes
  • Student advocacy
  • Scholarship Search
  • Assistance with resume writing
  • Support in finding solutions to personal concerns and academic problems for all ASPIRE students
  • Making appropriate referrals to other SJSU resources
  • One-on-one sessions with an advisor; 1 hour appointments; three times per semester or as needed for all ASPIRE students.
  • Information on campus resources, policies and procedures for all ASPIRE students.

Peer Advising

The ASPIRE Peer Advising component is among the most significant pieces of the program. Peer Advisors are service minded, upper division and graduate students who play a key role in assisting ASPIRE participants become acclimated to the campus and the demands of the collegiate life. The Peer Advisors assist through one-on-one and group meetings with their advisees. They are an important on-campus resource for ASPIRE students and work as vital members of the program counseling team.

Meet our Advisors!

Sonia-Melitta Montoya-Academic Advisor Sonia Montoya headshot Sonia-Melitta Montoya is a first generation college graduate from the Bay Area, she grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. Sonia graduated from San Jose State University in 2004, she received her BS in Public Relations from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and minor in Women’s Studies. She’s is a proud Spartan and McNair Scholars Fellow that inspired her academic and career endeavors in higher education. Sonia received her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies with a research emphasis in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. She has over ten years of experience in student affairs developing student leaders in social justice student spaces. Sonia is a queer femme Xicana/Latinx womxn of color who is proud of her intersecting identities. Outside of SJSU, Sonia is currently writing her first book for publication, she traces the healing journey of generational trauma rooted in her family history in labor union organizing in the 1950-60s. This fall Sonia will embark in a eight-month Yoga and Meditation teacher certification training program for people of color to increase diversity in wellness practice to marginalized communities. With the rest of her free time you can find her cultivating joy and happiness in life! Sonia is passionate to support and advocate for ASPIRE (SSS) students in their academic and professional endeavors, and most importantly student’s personal development and wellness in their college experience, she is excited to work with SJSU community!


Linette Martinez-Peer Advisor Linette Martinez Linette is a first generation college student from Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 2015 and received her BA in Psychology. Linette was a Peer Advisor for the psychology department at UCSC during her senior year which inspired her future endeavors to become an Academic Advisor within the higher education system. After graduation, she worked as a Mental Health Worker for an eating disorder center and moved on to become a Patient Care Coordinator at a private therapy office in Los Angeles. Linette decided to pursue her Master’s in Counselor Education at San Jose State University in 2017. During her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going for mindful walks, traveling and learning about different cultures. As a first generation college student, Linette understands how finances and the imposer syndrome can negatively affect students’ academic performance and success. Linette wants to help close the graduated gap, see students succeed, and is excited to work with the ASPIRE community.


Jose Manzo-Peer Advisor Jose ManzoJose was born and raised in Humboldt County six hours north of San Jose.  He recently graduated this past spring 2017 from San Jose State University (SJSU) with a BA in Psychology and minor in Kinesiology.  Immediately following graduation, he jumped right into the Counselor Education Graduate Program at SJSU to pursue his passion of serving students along their educational journey. During his undergraduate experience, Jose worked with the EOP program at SJSU as a Peer Mentor and Resident Assistant helping fellow first-generation and low-income students. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, as well as traveling to his parent’s roots in Michoacán, Mexico.  He is ecstatic to continue working with first-generation students in the ASPIRE community and looking forward to help you in any way he can on your journey at SJSU.

His favorite quote is:

“It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us, our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson