Lehman Launches New Campus Virtual Tour

Potential students and visitors are about to get a whole new perspective on Lehman College, before they even set foot on campus. That perspective will be a virtual one, with magnificent 360-degree views of everything the school has to offer including the APEX Athletic Facility, the Science Building and the Multimedia Center.

The newly launched virtual tour of Lehman College will give potential students the opportunity to experience the campus and its beautiful architecture through state-of-the-art multimedia technology. That includes the opportunity to view the tour through the prism of virtual reality, using headsets and a free iPhone or Android app.

Seeing the 37-acre, tree-lined campus for the first time may surprise those unaware that such a spectacular oasis exists in the heart of the Bronx. “We want students to see how beautiful Lehman is,” said Laurie Austin, the director of admissions and recruitment “Many students, counselors and parents think of a city school and don’t realize that students have a true campus experience with all that comes with it. We want to show off our facilities, programs, faculty, and students. The goal is to make them want to come here in person, so they can experience what we offer firsthand.”

In the last several years, many colleges and universities have been utilizing state-of-the-art technology to set up virtual tours and give students and visitors the feeling of being on campus before they arrive. And it’s an extremely powerful marketing tool. Lehman is among the first CUNY college to launch a virtual tour. In its first four days on Lehman’s home page, the tour has been visited by people in 15 states and seven countries. The tour will also be featured on a variety of websites that prospective students use to explore and compare colleges. “Having such a state-of-the-art virtual tour is crucial for today’s higher education institutions, as competition for students is increasing,” says Juan Luna, the project manager for the virtual tour. “Demonstrating the virtual mobile experience application and the virtual reality headsets at off-campus events, will allow prospective students to get a true campus experience.”

The tour itself is multifaceted, taking viewers on a campus journey through every building at Lehman, with opportunities to observe panoramic views and watch videos along the way. Four actual Lehman students act as tour guides and take viewers on that journey three languages—English, Spanish, and French—providing practical information about student life, giving historical anecdotes about the college and introducing viewers to the campus’s original Neo-Gothic buildings.

At any time during the tour, viewers can shift to virtual reality or take in the 360-degree panoramic views of some of Lehman’s most prominent locations like its Art Gallery and the Gillet Hall Food Lab. Videos include an inside look at the opening of the new Science Building and an in-depth look at the Multimedia Center Studio and editing facility. “We want future students to be able to relate to the students and the stories which they have to tell about themselves and their accomplishments,” says Austin. “Our academic programs are highlighted, as well as research and other exciting opportunities in which students can participate like athletics, and performing arts. We have supplemented the tour stops with additional photos and videos that allows us to further showcase the college.”

Austin hopes the virtual tour will spark an increase in student campus visits, applications and enrollment for all Lehman’s undergraduate and graduate programs. Part of the plan is to strategically place links to the tour in student email communications, on the college’s mobile site and on multiple Lehman webpages.