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OSD Coffee Chat: Combatting the Enrollment Cliff - An Integrated Cross-Cultural Approach

The upcoming "enrollment cliff" is a concern for many higher ed institutions, including the University of Minnesota. In this environment, attracting and retaining non-traditional students will be key to boosting enrollment. 
In the Office for Supplier Diversity's first virtual coffee chat for 2024, we are pleased to present José Villa, Founder and President of Sensis, a certified BIPOC-owned company. Mr. Villa will discuss how the University of Minnesota can leverage an integrated cross-cultural marketing model to enhance enrollment in higher ed (particularly in continuing, professional, and online education programs).
Sensis has developed SensisEDU, a specialized higher ed marketing practice built on 22 years of higher ed marketing experience. SensisEDU excels in developing top-tier brands and highly effective enrollment marketing programs with quantifiable results. They have worked across the entire higher ed spectrum – including traditional 4-year universities, 2-year community colleges, continuing, professional, career/vocational schools, executive, and online education programs. Their team of higher education marketing specialists brings a deep knowledge of student journeys, particularly traditionally underserved and underemployed audiences. SensisEDU has a 20-year track record working with top universities, colleges, and education brands across the country, including the University of Texas at Austin, UCLA Extension, Boston College, and Washington State University.

Key strategies include using data-driven insights for targeted campaigns and creating culturally appropriate, engaging content that resonates with non-traditional students’ career and personal development goals. This holistic and integrated marketing approach ensures wider, more effective, and more cost-efficient enrollment results in an increasingly competitive educational market oversaturated and overly focused on digital marketing.
About the Presenter: Jose R. Villa, Jr. President and Chief Strategy Officer, Sensis

José Villa is the founder and President of Sensis (, a cross-cultural marketing agency driving behavior change.  

José has a unique professional background that combines digital technology and advertising with economics, market research and strategy consulting.

Jose has run the overall operations of Sensis for 25 years, as well as led the Strategic Planning team that develops research-driven digital marketing strategies and consumer insights. Jose has worked on integrated advertising, digital communications and earned media programs with clients such as the U.S. Army, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cigna, General Mills, Sempra Energy, Toyota and United Healthcare.

Jose is an experienced higher education marketer with a deep background in reaching professional, graduate, and adult-learner populations. He has been the lead strategist on numerous education clients, including The Wharton School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, UCLA Extension, and Brandman University. Jose’s 15+ years of experience in education marketing has focused on helping generate cost-effective top-of-funnel lead flow, leverage digital technology to provide students better experiences, and leverage the potential of content marketing to reimagine marketing functions.

Jose is a regular industry speaker and contributor to MediaPost, AdAge, Mashable and other industry publications– providing his unique insights on the future of advertising at the intersection of digital and cultural transformation. José is a national board member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, an Advisory Board Member for UCLA Extension, a fellow of the Robert Toigo Foundation, and founding member of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.  

José received an AB cum laude in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

About the Office for Supplier Diversity:

The Office for Supplier Diversity (OSD) works with businesses owned by women, BIPOC, and disabled individuals, and with other underserved businesses, to facilitate their integration into the University supply chain. By providing support to underserved local businesses and connecting them with University purchasers, the Office for Supplier Diversity leverages the University’s resources to build powerful economic partnerships in our communities.

Browse our Targeted Business Directory, submit a business, or learn more about OSD services for University staff and diverse suppliers.