Student Sync: Updating Graduating Students to Alumni

Ross Nordeen -

Every time you sync data in with the Handshake importer, Handshake will either create or update all students in that file.  For every student record you send, Handshake will look that student up by their username or email and update their profile to the data sent in the most recent sync.  

If you attempt to change sensitive information such as email, username, auth_id, or card_id, there is a specific procedure for doing so. 

How should I upload alumni information? 

There are two main ways this information can be uploaded:

  1. Graduation logic is integrated into the automated student sync
    1. Typically, some portion of alumni are included in the regular sync.  As their status changes in the student information system, their school year updates from senior to alumni (the field school_year_name updates on the student file you are sending).  
    2. You can also configure your automated upload to push a special upload similar to method #2 where you send all the graduating students once a semester 
  2. An individual file is prepared when students are ready to be graduated and that is uploaded and reviewed though the importer. 


How to format your file? 

In order to transition your graduating seniors to Alumni you'll want to set the known alumni's student record to:

  • school_year_name = Alumni


We also recommend updating the alumni's educational information:

  • primary_education:currently_attending = FALSE
  • primary_education:end_date = 2016-09-16


We do not recommend disabling alumni (active or inactive).  The reason for this is, if an alumni needs access to their profile or resume down the road or wants to continue their job search, we want them to be able to access Handshake as they have been.  That being said, if they reach out to us and ask us to inactivate their profile, we will certainly do so.  While not recommended, if you need these alumni to have their accounts disabled, you'll want to set them to.  

  • disabled = TRUE


Changing Registered Email Address 

To ensure alumni still have access to the system:

  1. If alumni retain access to their .edu email, they can continue to access their Handshake account as they have been. 
  2. If alumni lose access to their .edu email, or if they'd like to change their email, they can contact you and you can follow the Email Change Request Process. 
    • If you collect personal email using Handshakes First Destination Tool, or by some other mechanism, you can include alumni's new emails as a part of the student upload to change them to alumni. NOTE they will no longer be able to use SSO, so we recommend updating their SSO setting in the student file as well.  



How do existing alumni connect to my school? Read more here! 



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