Relieving the Stress of Getting Devices Back at the End of the Semester

Salina Area Technical College, a cornerstone of technical education in Kansas. Learn how Prey helped them manage their device loaning processess.

April 30, 2024

Salina Area Technical College, a cornerstone of technical education in Kansas, is making strides in managing its digital assets with a lean set of around 30 devices. This initiative is critical for a school that prides itself on providing cutting-edge education and support services to its students.

Behind the scenes, Nicole McClintock serves as the sole IT Support Coordinator, a role that places her at the forefront of the college’s technological needs. Our conversation with Nicole provided insight into the challenges faced by the college's IT department and how Prey has become an essential tool in their arsenal for tracking and managing devices efficiently.


For Salina Tech's solitary IT Support Coordinator, the daily grind encompasses a gamut of tasks from cybersecurity to immediate technical support. Juggling numerous projects, including the management of student laptop loaning presents a substantial challenge, especially when resources are stretched thin across a growing college.

“ Here each device is rented for either a semester or a school year for free as long as they return it…The first year I got back. It was just an horrendous return rate. We had 30 (loaned) devices, and I think about 20 of them got returned.”

Recognizing the pressing need for efficient device tracking, Salina Tech grappled with its initial lack of a structured IT infrastructure. Previously reliant on pen-and-paper for tracking a variety of loaned devices, the institution sought a solution that could streamline operations and enhance the recovery rate of their valuable assets.

“And then the documentation on checking out the laptops was not great, so sometimes I wouldn't even know where they went to or who loaned it so it was just kind of frustrating.”


In their quest for a solution while they were renewing their float of devices, Salina Tech identified Prey as the ideal partner to tackle their device management woes, as they wanted to secure their new investment.

"So I got 30 brand new laptops. I sold the remaining (…) So with the new 30, I wanted something to be able to track those devices and know where they're going so I could have a better recovery rate."

The decision was driven by the need for an unobtrusive multi-platform application that also wouldn't alarm students. According to Salina Tech, the Prey features that they used the most during the school year were:

  • Remote Messages: Used for communication with students regarding device returns and updates.
  • Remote Lock: This feature has directly impacted the return rate, with devices being returned promptly once locked.
  • Tracking: The map feature aids in locating devices, whether on campus or identifying if they are unexpectedly far away.

Discovering Prey

Salina Tech was drawn to Prey for its seamless integration and user-friendly interface, appreciating its lightweight nature that remains inconspicuous to the end-user. The affordability of Prey also stood out, making it a cost-effective solution for the college's modest, but growing device fleet without compromising on quality or functionality.

“I prefer Prey because it offers a lightweight application that doesn't alert students to its presence, unlike other options which were too conspicuous. Additionally, its affordability stood out, especially important since we manage only a small number of devices.”

The trial period with Prey was particularly revelatory for Salina Tech, showcasing the software's robust features like the remote lockout, which exceeded expectations for a lower-tier subscription. These capabilities not only fortified device security but also significantly simplified device management tasks.

What They Like About Prey:

  • Seamless integration and user-friendly interface.
  • Lightweight application that students are unaware of.
  • Affordability and cost-effectiveness.
  • Effective trial period showcasing robust features.
  • Remote lockout feature exceeding expectations.

The Benefits

Implementing Prey has significantly alleviated the end-of-semester stress for Salina Tech, especially concerning the return of loaned devices. This tracking solution has transformed the daunting task of asset recovery into a manageable and efficient process, ensuring the majority of the college's devices are returned.

“I faced numerous instances where students failed to return their laptops. A key solution was Prey's lockout feature. I informed students of the final deadline for returns, and upon expiration, I activated the lockout, rendering the devices unusable. This prompted the return of several laptops either that day or the next.”

Moreover, Prey's straightforward installation and robust tracking capabilities have proven invaluable. The ability to remotely lock devices and send messages has directly impacted the return rate, substantially improving the management and security of the college's technological assets.

Keeping Students Safe with Prey

In a bold move to counteract the challenges of device management, Salina Tech implemented Prey with remarkable results. A notable incident involved a withdrawn student failing to return a loaned laptop. Utilizing Prey's lockout feature, the device was promptly recovered after the student was warned of a hefty charge. This instance showcases the school's proactive approach to safeguarding its technological assets.

“It's essential for us to retrieve the majority of our assets because, as I've mentioned, providing this service to students is a priority. Prey has been instrumental in ensuring the return and security of our equipment. In instances of misplaced devices, its tracking capability offers a rough location, such as identifying a device is in Building B, enabling us to swiftly locate and secure it.”

Salina Tech's experience underlines the vital role of technologies like Prey in ensuring the sustainability of educational resources, setting a precedent for schools facing similar challenges.

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