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Switch™ Tech Brings Security Efficiency to Slippery Rock University

“The Switch Tech Core fits into existing cores, significantly reducing the costs of adding digital access.”

– Dan Brown, Director of Housing, Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania


Colleges and universities are responsible for providing a safe, clean campus that protects students and staff, educational records, technology and equipment. Campus security technology includes everything from traditional mechanical keys and small format interchangeable cores (SFICs) to electronic and mobile-activated access systems. 

Slippery Rock University (SRU), located in Pennsylvania, wanted to make its security practices as effective and efficient as possible. Although many parts of campus used card access, Dan Brown, Director of Housing, noted that some parts of campus – like residence halls – still used traditional keys. Transitioning from SFICs to electronic access control was not a high priority due to scale and budget, although housing leaders acknowledged the inefficiencies of their key-based system. 

“We typically don’t make changes to our access systems as long as they’re working,” said Brown. “When we need to upgrade, we prioritize changeouts to maintain good budget stewardship.”


In 2020, the leadership team of SRU’s IT and Housing Department wanted to try moving offline locks in student residences into an online system. They needed a solution that would improve security and efficiency by enabling the reprogramming of student credentials from a central location rather than at each door site. The hope was this beta test would serve as a model for reducing reliance on keys in student housing at a larger scale.

Solution – BEST Switch Tech

dormakaba worked with the SRU team to install the BEST Switch Tech platform, a digital replacement for SFICs. SRU retrofitted the doors in student residences with Switch Cores and integrated them into their existing Lenel system. 


With Switch Tech, SRU officials could easily control entry while providing greater access visibility and tracking. Even though challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the overall student experience on campus, the Switch Tech platform enabled the school to upgrade access control in strategic areas and prioritize future change-outs to digital technology.

“We have so many doors,” said Brown. “We don’t want to start changing them if we don’t have to. Switch Core fits into existing cores, significantly reducing the costs of adding digital access and it’s easy to install and use. It’s also compatible with our existing Lenel system for a complete plug and play install, and our own locksmiths can take care of it.”

“The nicest feature is that I don’t have to go to the lock to reload it,” said Maria Malacaman, Information Technology Generalist II on SRU’s housing staff. “I can see right away if a student or cardholder is having issues with access. I can troubleshoot from my office rather than going to the door site and take care of the student quickly.”

Affordable Access. Greater Control.

The Switch Tech platform extends electronic access control to previously impractical applications. The Switch Core works wherever SFICs do, including cylindrical, mortise and other locks by BEST, Sargent, Yale, Corbin Russwin, Schlage and more, making it the ideal way to retrofit existing doors on interior rooms, closets, cabinets and cases with electronic control.

Switch Tech benefits:

Low Cost 

At approximately 10% of the cost of a hardwired access control door, Switch Tech is far less expensive than traditional electronic access control.

Quick Install

Installation takes just minutes with no advanced knowledge of handing or door thickness required.


Easily install Switch Cores in almost any SFIC lock and pair them with existing access control software.


Deploy Switch Tech strategically when site needs expand.

Easy Management

Add new lock credentials and check battery status with a click via Switch Deck.

Saves Time

Eliminate the workload of mechanical key management including new, lost or missing keys.

Tamper Resistant

Switch Tech features no exposed fasteners or points of attack.

Reduces Risk

Make visitor management easy while reducing the risk associated with temporary keys.

Learn More about Switch Tech

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