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Safeguarding Students: A Closer Look at PDK for Student Housing

PDK for Student Housing in front of a college

Whether it be first-year dormitories or off-campus residences, for student housing, ensuring the safety and well-being of students is the top priority. College campuses nationwide recognize the need for robust security systems that protect students and provide a seamless and convenient living experience. ProdataKey (PDK) is a comprehensive solution that addresses the unique challenges faced by student university housing.

Convenient & Secure Living with aerial shot of a college

Challenges for Student Housing

Student residences on and off college campuses face unique challenges. Protecting the personal safety of students and their property while striking a balance with convenience is at the forefront. “Students need access to get into doors with 24/7 access, but at the same time, students are usually at higher risk from certain dangers such as active shooters, intruders, or other people who are not welcome,” said Russel Yost, CEO of Action First, a California-based commercial locksmith. College students need a secure, reliable way to get into their residences after late-night classes and other activities while keeping out potential threats.

Ensure safety amid high turnover, with student moving into a dorm

With transfers, graduations, and just the general nature of college living, students don’t usually stay in the same housing for more than a year, resulting in a high turnover rate for residences. Mechanical keys, traditionally used in student housing, take hours of workforce to distribute and recoup. Moreover, there’s no way to deactivate a lost or stolen key, which presents security issues and comes at a high cost to replace. Student housing organizations need a streamlined and accurate way to issue, manage, and revoke keys once the lease ends.

Another challenge is the usually scattered locations of student residences. Large universities often have multiple residence halls spread across the campus and sometimes even off-campus, which could result in numerous building-specific systems, complicating how organizations manage access. Student housing organizations need an efficient, unified solution for managing access for thousands of students across multiple locations.

Safer Living for Students

ProdataKey access control systems offer advanced security features that create a safer living environment for students, giving them and their families peace of mind as they pursue their education. Under or the ProdataKey mobile app, administrators can quickly trigger a centralized lockdown to secure every facility door in the event of a threat.

“One of PDK’s strongest components for student housing is the ability to implement an emergency lockdown instantly. It’s important because in today’s age, there’s just a lot of threats that could happen at any time,”

Russel Yost - CEO of Action First

system lockdown in dorm hallway with locked doors

PDK’s cloud system eliminates outdated mechanical locks and keys, replacing them with high-security key cards, fobs, and mobile credentials. High-security credentials reduce the risk of unauthorized entries and potential security risks as they can’t be duplicated, and administrators can immediately deactivate them if they are ever stolen or misplaced. Moreover, mobile credentials are convenient, require dual authentication, and ensure that students always have access because, let’s face it— most rarely go anywhere without their phones.

An integral part of access control is the ability to track access events in real time, providing a data trail for audits, tracing, and investigations. “An audit trail is an extremely important part of student housing mainly because if there’s ever an incident, then there’s an easy way to see who and when accessed what doors,” Yost explained. Audit trails are highly insightful, especially when paired with a video surveillance system, in cases such as a robbery, vandalism, or an endangered student.

Better Access Management

PDK’s robust, intuitive software platform upgrades the access management experience for student housing organizations and security teams. Whether on the desktop browser or the ProdataKey mobile app, administrators can issue and deactivate credentials, manage user permissions, create schedules, receive notifications, and run reports.

issue credentials, run reports, and more with PDK CN
“From our experience, a lot of student housing is managed through outside property management teams that aren’t on-site, so the ability to access the system remotely makes it extremely convenient,”

Russel Yost

ProdataKey systems can scale from a single location to multiple sites under a single customer account. This is critical to support large universities that need to share a common database across various student resident halls or other facilities spread across the campus. A unified database for People, Groups, Rules, Schedules, and more can be assigned to dozens of locations, creating an efficient way to configure and manage university access systems.

Open API and rodataKey app

Beyond Access Control

At the most basic level, PDK access control systems allow or prevent people from entering buildings, rooms, or other locations. Student housing organizations can maximize the power of PDK by integrating it with other 3rd-party security and technology systems to create one comprehensive solution. Access control and VMS integrations are critical for campus security, providing visual verification of access events and the ability to initiate software triggers from a unified interface.

With ProdataKey’s Open API and Mobile SDK, access control can seamlessly integrate with other important technologies for college living, including smart apartment platforms and student portals. With integrations, students could use PDK credentials for purchases, meal plans, and accessing other campus facilities like the fitness center or library for ultimate convenience.

For many students, moving away to college is the first time living far from home— no small feat. By leveraging PDK’s advanced features, college campuses can create a safe and convenient environment for students, easing some of the anxiety associated with living independently for the first time. As universities evolve, investing in innovative solutions like ProdataKey is a crucial step toward ensuring the well-being of its students.


PDK for Student Housing sheet


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