Managing Pending Student Requests

Mallory Wheaton -

If a student requests access to your school via a pending student request it's hard to tell whether to approve or decline them.  It's also complicated to understand if that user will be updated by future student files. This article explains the best process for vetting pending students and making sure they make their way into your student list! 

How does a student create a manual account? 

A student can create a manual account in one of two ways:

  1. If a student clicks Sign up for an account, they'll be able to create an account manually.  If they use a personal email address, or an email other than the one loaded for them we'll allow them to create an account.  This can be tricky if your school allows email aliases! Screen_Shot_2017-07-28_at_1.13.48_PM.png
  2. If a student enters an email OTHER than what you loaded for them in the sign in box.  We'll then ask for them to try their .edu email, or create an account. Screen_Shot_2017-07-28_at_1.16.38_PM.png
  3. For these reasons its best to encourage students to use Single Sign on whenever possible! 


How do they get to me for approval?

After a student creates an account, they'll be prompted to select their school and then appear in the upper right-hand corner of your Handshake account for you to review.


Recommended Workflow Steps when you receive a student request: 
  1. Open up the request, and check to see if a pending user already has a Handshake account.
  2. You can do this by searching for their name in the top search bar or within Manage Students.  We're checking to make sure they weren't already loaded to Handshake with a different email, likely their .edu.  
    1. If the student already has an account, we recommend reaching out to them offline and ask for them to log in using SSO or the email their existing account was loaded with.
    2. NOTE: If you want to update the email on the existing account and delete the pending user account, you can.  By updating the email, you must indicate you don't want this student to be updated in student files going forward (because their email won't match what's on the file anymore).  This is not recommended unless the student is an alumni.  
      • The student will then need to confirm their new email address and set a password
  3. If the student does not already have a user account on Handshake:
    1. Verify that the student requesting access is an alumni at your institution (using an internal alumni database). 
      •  If the student is an alumni that should have access, you can Approve the user request. 
    2. If the student is not an alumni, but is an active student without a Handshake account, check with IT to see why they weren't included on a student file.  It could be that they haven't started yet, or maybe they errored out of the last student file load. 

Do Importer Files/Student Syncs Update Pending student requests? 

Ongoing Syncs: In order for an ongoing student sync to update a student record, both email_address and username must match between the file and the student records in Handshake.  

When a student manually creates an account, we default their username to be their email_address.  This means that most student syncs won't update pending user requests, unless you are sending username as email_address. 

Manual Files: Because Ongoing Syncs likely won't catch these pending student requests and update them, we recommend using manual importer files to!  On the importer, you will see all students with pending user requests as failed rows with the error "attempting to update sensitive fields without sensitive fields setting", assuming they manually created profiles with their .edu email. 

To update these pending users, you will need to take the failed rows from the importer and upload them manually with a sensitive fields update. By doing a manual sensitive fields update, you will update the usernames of these users to be whats on the file AND automatically mark them as approved. 


Common Questions
  • Why does Handshake allow students to manually create accounts?
    • We want to make sure alumni who aren't included in your student file can access Handshake! 
  • Can I delete a student that is pending at my university?
    • Yes, as a career services staff member you can delete a pending student account.
  • When is the student's email changed?
    • When they confirm the change and enter the code that was sent to their new email address. 
  • Can I update an email address to one that already exists in Handshake?
    • No, if the email already exists in Handshake (even if it is tied to a different user type) you can't use that email address. This is due to security concerns - if career services changed an email address of a student to a staff member in their office by accident they would have access to all student information. 
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