Importing student data is a vital step in implementing Handshake. It's the most efficient way to ensure you're populating accurate student information. This in turn empowers filtering, outreach, and analytics for Career Services--and populates necessary student job qualifications.
Use this article to upload your initial student data file into Handshake.
1. Review the list of available student data fields, listed below. Explore the basic formatting requirements and example content to understand the type data you'll be bringing in.
2. Outline your workflow requirements and identify any questions - click here. Work as a team (both Career Services and IT) to identify the key fields to support the Career Services team's workflows. Explore the linked doc to determine how you'll handle edge-cases and formatting for particular populations.
3. Download the Student CSV Example - click here. Each field has its own column, and the headers must match exactly. Copy and paste from the example file to ensure your headers are correctly formatted.
4. Access the Importer to upload - click here. Anyone who uploads data into Handshake will need access to the Importer. If you don't have access yet, review the brief training and contact Handshake Support so they can add you to the tool!
Uploading Your Student File:
- Once your file is prepared, delete any instructions so that the header fields are in the top row.
- Click File > Save As > UTF-8 encoded CSV. More information on how to properly save your file in the correct formatting can be found here.
- Use the Importer to upload your file:
- You will want to use Job Type = students.
- The identifier column should be username
- Review this article for an in-depth walk through of the upload process
Iterating on Your Feedback:
The importer should give you detailed automated feedback on the formatting of your file. It can take a few uploads to perfect the formatting, so if you're seeing warnings or errors, there are a few things to check:
- File Type: Ensure you have a valid file type (we require a UTF-8 encoded .csv file)
- Headers: Confirm all headers & fields match the exact formatting requirements (The Importer will notify you if it finds data that we don't map).
- Missing Fields: Determine if values in your file are not registering. If they don't register, they will fail to import.
- Gut Check: Conduct a quick gut check on the data you are importing:
- How many students are you bringing in? How many are you archiving? Etc.
- Are you planning to create new accounts or update existing accounts?
- What new majors, minors, colleges, and/or campuses were found? Should this create new ones or could these be duplicates/typos?
Exploring Additional Resources:
Check out these links to learn more about the student data import:
- FAQs About the Student Data File
- Student Sync: Uploading Your First Student File
- Common Importer Errors
- How to Re-Upload Failed Rows
- CSV File Requirements and Formatting
- Troubleshooting: Leading 0's Missing from your Import (typically in the card_id field)
- Troubleshooting: Importer Date Formatting
- Importer Help Centre
Glossary of Required Fields:
Review the list below or review the example CSV file.
Every student file you upload must have these seven fields:
email_address: This is the basic identifier for each user in Handshake. This must be unique for each user - meaning that the same email cannot be tied to two student accounts. As a security measure, the .edu domain must belong to your institution. If your students do not use .edu emails, you can use a generic (.gmail.com, etc) address.
username: This MUST be unique and should never change for each student. This serves as the “anchor” in imports so that other sensitive fields (such as email) can be updated around this value. Most schools will use a student’s school ID number. This should NOT match any part of a student’s email_address, or their cardID, as both fields are subject to change (due to last name changes, lost ID cards, etc.).
auth_identifier: Required if using SSO. This will be used to check against the returned attribute from SSO systems to authenticate students. Students will not enter this value on login, this is a background identifier attribute. This value CAN match their email_address value, or part of it, if necessary.
first_name: Student's first name.
last_name: Student's surname.
school_year_name: This is the *level of the student. For a list of acceptable values please reference the table below.
primary_education:end_date: This is the date when a student is expected to graduate. Please note that it has to be included in the format yyyy-mm-dd, unless otherwise specified in the job! This is incredibly useful when it comes to searching students, qualifications for jobs, and knowing when to shift students to be alumni.
Glossary of Recommended Fields:
These fields are recommended, but not necessary. Collaborate with your team to determine which fields are most relevant to your workflows.
middle_name: Student's middle name.
preferred_name: Student's preferred name. Any value added in this field will show up first on the student's profile. If this field is left blank, we will display the student's First Name.
*Note: This field needs to be updated in your student system. If not, then any changes made in Handshake manually will be overwritten on the next import.
primary_education:education_level_name: This field tells you the overall level of a student. It appears on student profiles to tell people what level of education they are currently pursuing. The different values you can include in this field are listed below this table. Please note the capitalisation and spelling - they have to match exactly!
primary_education:primary_major_name: This field will not show up on a student's profile, and is primarily used for FDS. This is the student's primary major. Only 1 major can be supported in this field. The major name must already be added to the primary_education:major_names field in order for the primary major to be backfilled into Handshake.
primary_education:start_date: This is the date when a student started at your university. Please note that it has to be included in the format yyyy-mm-dd, unless otherwise specified in the job!
primary_education:college_name: This refers to the College, School, Faculty etc. within your University (e.g. Faculty of Law) that the student belongs to. Only 1 college may be imported in this field.
primary_education:currently_attending: Boolean This is a field that simply denotes whether the student is currently enrolled or has graduated. It is used for reporting to differentiate students who are currently active and those who might be on some sort of official absence from university. This is a boolean field, so it can only include these values (note the all-uppercase):
primary_education:major_names: This is the name of the course(s) that this student has declared, and will populate the "course" field on a student's profile (note: there is a limit of 255 characters per course). You can upload more than one course for a student by separating the course with semicolons. Here is an example of a History and Biology joint honours: History;Biology'.
card_id: This string must be contained in a card swipe output. This field is where you can include student's ID numbers. If you want to use a card swipe to check students into events, career fairs, or other kiosks, make sure you include this field! Note: the Handshake application can be set to parse a value out of the card swipe output using regular expressions to generate this value.
mobile_number: This field is the mobile number of the user. We can accept any numerical string in this field without special characters such as () or - (but you can include an optional '+' at the beginning of the string).
ethnicity: The ethnicity of the student. This is a custom field that can include any text you wish to upload. This field is only visible to Career Services staff members and the individual student- used for reporting purposes. Employers will never see this information.
gender: This field indicates the gender of the students. The field is custom where you can include any text that you wish to upload. Please note, this field is for internal reporting purposes only; it will not be shown to employers or used by employers for outreach, and is different from the gender data that students can voluntarily share.
disabled: This is a field that simply denotes whether or not a student's account is archived/ active. By assigning TRUE, this will archive the user, while FALSE will unarchive the user. This is a boolean field, so it can only include these values (case sensitive):
system_label_names: This section can be used to import any outside information that you would like to sync from your SIS that might provide more nuanced information about your students in a semi-colon separated list of label names. IMPORTANT: Leaving this field blank in your import will clear all system labels in Handshake for that respective student. System labels are added or removed in every student sync that includes this column, based on exactly what you have in this field. If you need to remove a system label completely from Handshake so that it can be used as a normal label, please reference this article.
assigned_to_email_address: Email address of the staff member that the student is assigned to.
hometown_location_attributes:name: The address of the student's hometown to be used for reporting purposes. For students in the UK postcode can be used. For international students use the city name and country. You can test examples of the formatting here.
campus_name: This field is only used for schools that have multiple campuses as part of their Handshake setup (i.e. 'Main'). If you have multiple campuses on your Handshake system, you can use these here.