North­eastern is turning the idea of a tra­di­tional col­lege tour on its head with a new vis­itor center that delivers a unique first look at uni­ver­sity life through the lens of Northeastern’s expe­ri­en­tial and inno­v­a­tive approach to education.

When vis­i­tors, including prospec­tive stu­dents, par­ents or fac­ulty, check in at the new vis­itor center — which opened ear­lier this month in West Vil­lage F — they are at the “front door” of what is a holistic expe­ri­ence of get­ting to know every­thing North­eastern has to offer. The state-​​of-​​the-​​art dis­plays and pre­sen­ta­tions pro­vide a cus­tomized mul­ti­media expe­ri­ence which, paired with dynamic inter­ac­tions with cur­rent stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff, pro­vide in-​​depth infor­ma­tion about spe­cific aca­d­emic pro­grams, stu­dent life, fac­ulty research, and aca­d­emic and co-​​op oppor­tu­ni­ties world­wide and bringing the North­eastern dif­fer­ence to life for the scores of vis­i­tors wel­comed to campus each year.

We cre­ated a high-​​touch, high-​​tech space that imme­di­ately reflects Northeastern’s strengths: inno­va­tion and cre­ativity, global reach, and trans­la­tional research,” said Jane Brown, Northeastern’s vice pres­i­dent for enroll­ment man­age­ment. “The exciting inter­ac­tive oppor­tu­ni­ties in the center demon­strate the dis­tinc­tive North­eastern advan­tage that is achieved through the full inte­gra­tion of rig­orous aca­d­e­mics and real-​​world experience.”

The number of stu­dents and their fam­i­lies trav­eling to campus during the col­lege search process has increased by nearly 50 per­cent over the last five years, now reaching more than 70,000 annu­ally. The new vis­itor center and its unique approach to campus visits will be a plat­form for the admis­sions staff and Northeastern’s col­leges and aca­d­emic pro­grams to fur­ther engage that growing number of stu­dents drawn to Northeastern’s momentum as a research and aca­d­emic leader in Boston and around the globe.

Today’s high school stu­dents are looking for more than the tra­di­tional infor­ma­tion ses­sion and campus tour, opting instead to con­nect with the aca­d­emic pro­grams that most interest them by speaking with stu­dents and fac­ulty in a more per­sonal, focused set­ting. The vis­itor center ensures more stu­dents have the oppor­tu­nity to learn about the uni­ver­sity and con­nect with spe­cific pro­grams. This process begins with inno­v­a­tive tech­nology and con­tinues with infor­ma­tion ses­sions custom-​​tailored to the inter­ests and needs of vis­iting stu­dents and tours of campus that can include visits to spe­cific lab­o­ra­to­ries and research areas.

I view this new vis­itor center as a con­duit,” said Murray Gibson, founding dean of the Col­lege of Sci­ence. “The vis­itor center is, in a way, the university’s front door. We want to attract stu­dents who are really inter­ested into our labs and research spaces. We want them to meet with our pro­fes­sors and the students.”

The vis­itor center fea­tures three large inter­ac­tive walls that con­nect stu­dents with infor­ma­tion and videos about North­eastern, a pre­sen­ta­tion room that accom­mo­dates 110 vis­i­tors per ses­sion, five inter­view suites for in-​​depth con­ver­sa­tions and small group meet­ings and a smaller pre­sen­ta­tion room, which holds up to 40 vis­i­tors and is used pri­marily for program-​​specific sessions.

We came here in the spring, but we wanted to take a closer look,” said Randa Pehl, who was vis­iting North­eastern with her son, rising high school senior Andrew, and hus­band, Michael. “We vis­ited the older space last time and were really impressed, but this new loca­tion, with the inter­ac­tive video walls, is just spectacular.”

I’m inter­ested in either sci­ence or busi­ness, and this visit let me see even more clearly what North­eastern could offer,” said Andrew, whose visit included lunch at Inter­na­tional Vil­lage and a one-​​on-​​one meeting with a member of the admis­sions staff.

The new vis­itor center will also be used for a wide array of uni­ver­sity events and pro­grams. It’s located close to parking and the MBTA’s Green and Orange lines.