College Forward (Co-Fo) is an Austin-based nonprofit organization whose intensive, culturally-appropriate mentoring programs propel students from underserved backgrounds to collegiate success and remunerative careers.

Co-Fo originally offered services in both college access and college completion. In 2014, College Forward launched two new initiatives to begin a transformation journey towards a shift service offerings:

  • Success Partnership – established to redefine the way post-secondary institutions support student success.
  • CoPilot – a student information system connecting students with expert practitioners to transform the college completion industry.

In order to improve student outcomes, Co-Fo aimed to distill ‘best practices’ into highly-efficient program models and develop critical data for longitudinal research.

They needed an actionable plan to achieve their strategic objectives:

  • Establish core brand identity
  • Increase number of Success Partnerships
  • Demonstrating and gaining recognition for College Forward’s expertise
  • A transition from direct services to a consulting model


Over the course of six weeks, Sense Corp conducted discovery sessions, a marketing, and positioning analysis, and wrapped up with a value-feasibility analysis to prioritize recommendations into an actionable roadmap.

We started with establishing College Forward’s key differentiators:

  • deep expertise in the student experience
  • proprietary technology that uses data to drive action
  • personalized student-services model – proven to be effective in increasing college completion rates

Next, we developed a marketing strategy that leveraged Co-Fo’s re-branding to expand its reach to more post-secondary institutions. In order to help Co-Fo better tell their story, we outlined opportunities for taking a consistent message across all mediums – from social media to conference presentations.

Then, we developed an actionable roadmap of marketing and programming initiatives and transitioned foundational tools to enable the internal Co-Fo team to jump-start each initiative.

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