Creating a student file is the fastest way to upload the data of your students in your Handshake system. To upload a data file, you have to ensure it is formatted correctly. This article will help you understand what the different fields are that we can upload into Handshake, and how the entries must be formatted.
To start, DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLE FILE linked in this article - it includes all the different fields you can use.
You'll notice that each field has it's own column - make sure that the the headers match exactly! If a header isn't the same in your file as in our example, Handshake won't be able to identify it and it will be ignored! We recommend that you copy and paste from the example file to ensure the formatting of your headers is correct.
*If your school does not use SSO, the auth_identifier is not a required field.
Every student file you upload must have these four fields. Let's talk about each of them.
email_address: This is the basic identifier for each user in Handshake. It has to be unique for that user, meaning that the same email cannot be tied to two accounts. If your students don't use .edu emails or you are uploading alumni, it could be something like a gmail account, however, the .edu domain must belong to your institution.
username: This is the identifier that, along with the email_address field, ties the student's data in this file to the student's account in Handshake. This should be a unique, unchanging value for each student. Commonly-used values are the student's school ID#, or the first part of the student's email. If a student's email is subject to change, we do not recommend using the email as the username value. This username value should be unique and should never change.
auth_identifier: This field is whatever students use to sign in to your Single Sign On system. If you aren't using SSO, this can just be an email as well.
first_name: Student's first name.
Highly Recommended Fields:
school_year_name: This field is where you can enter the exact school year that a student is currently in. Here are the different values you can include in this field. Please note the capitalization and spelling - they have to match exactly!
Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Masters Doctorate Postdoctoral Studies Alumni
primary_education:cumulative_gpa: This is the student's cumulative GPA at your school. This has to be a value between 0 and 4 with no more than 2 hundredths (example: 2.75).
primary_education:major_names: This is the name of the major(s) that this student has declared, that will populate the "majors" field in Handshake. You can upload more than one major for a student by separating the majors with semicolons. Here is an example of a History and Biology double-major: History;Biology
These fields are recommended, but not necessary. You can choose which ones to include, and the list below will give you some information about each one. Keep in mind that many of these fields are used by employers as requirements for jobs, so we strongly encourage you to import as many you can!
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!
last_name: Student's last name.
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.
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. Here are the different values you can include in this field. Please note the capitalization and spelling - they have to match exactly!
primary_education:department_gpa: This is the student's departmental GPA at your school (i.e. what a student has earned in their main field of study). This also has to be a value between 0 and 4 with no more than 2 hundredths (example: 3.47).
primary_education: primary_major_name: 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 major does not show up as an actual field on the student profile.
primary_education:minor_names: This is the name of the minor that this student has declared in Handshake. You can upload more than one minor for a student by separating the minor with semicolons. Here is an example of a student with minors in Chemistry and Computer Science: Chemistry;Computer Science
primary_education:college_name: This is the college that the student belongs to (i.e. the 'Ross School of Business' at the University of Michigan).
primary_education:start_date: This is the date when a student started at your school. Please note that it has to be included in the format yyyy-mm-dd! This is incredibly useful when it comes to searching students, qualifications for jobs, and knowing when to shift students to be alumni. There is now an option on the importer to use a mm/dd/yyyy format. If you choose this option for formatting, please make sure you check the box next to "use mm/dd/yyyy format' when loading your file to the importer.
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! This is incredibly useful when it comes to searching students, qualifications for jobs, and knowing when to shift students to be alumni. There is now an option on the importer to use a mm/dd/yyyy format. If you choose this option for formatting, please make sure you check the box next to "use mm/dd/yyyy format' when loading your file to the importer.
primary_education:currently_attending: 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 on campus and those who might be on some sort of official absence from school. By assigning TRUE, this will set the user to attending, while FALSE will set them to not attending. This is a boolean field, so it can only include these values (note the all-uppercase):
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.
work_authorization_name: This field denotes the student's eligibility to hold jobs. Here are the different values you can include in this field. Please note the capitalization and spelling - they have to match exactly!
U.S. Citizen Student (F-1) Visa J-1 Visa (Exchange Program) Permanent U.S. Resident Employment (H-1) Visa TN Visa L1 Visa Work Card H4 Visa
Also: if you want to learn more about how work authorization functions in Handshake, check out this article.
opt_cpt_eligible: This is a field that simply denotes whether the student is eligible for OPT (Optional Practical Training) and CPT (Curricular Practical Training). By assigning TRUE, this will set the user to eligible, while FALSE will remove their eligibility. This is a boolean field, so it can only include these values (note the all-uppercase):
ethnicity: This field is only going to be visible to CS Users and students, and is used for reporting purposes. Employers will never see this information. Here are the values you can include in this field. Please note the capitalization and spelling - they have to match exactly!
Native American/Alaskan Native Black or African American Asian/Asian American Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Latino(a) White/Caucasian Middle Eastern
gender: This field indicates the gender of the students. The field is custom where you can include any text that you wish to upload.
disabled: This is a field that simply denotes whether or not a student is disabled. 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 (note the all-uppercase):
work_study_eligible: This field is used to determine if a student will see jobs that are posted as work study. By assigning TRUE, this will set the user to eligible, while FALSE will remove their eligibility. This is a boolean field, and only students with TRUE will be able to see work study jobs. This field can include these values (note the all-uppercase):
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. Some example values that we see imported here are things like First Generation or Student Athlete. Basically this could be any type of additional information that you might want to use to organize, categorize, or parse out your students. 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.
mobile_number: Student's mobile number. This should be a valid domestic phone number (10 digits) with no spaces, dashes, or other special characters (but can include an optional '+' at the beginning).
assigned_to_email_address: Email address of the staff member that the student is assigned to.
How to Upload your Student File:
- Once your file is prepared, delete any instructions so that the fields are the top row.
- Click File > Save As > CSV.
- Use the importer tool to upload/edit your appointments.
- You will want to use Job Type = users.
- The identifier column should be username
Helpful Articles (Links):
- Issues with leading 0's missing from your import (typically in the card_id field)
- Issues with date formatting
- Sensitive fields and how to update them
- CSV file requirements and formatting