Creating a Student File for Upload into Handshake

Michael Harbaugh -

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. 

 

Required Fields:

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.

username: This is the identifier that your school uses. We often see that it's the first part of a students email. It's okay to just have this be the full email, as well.

user_type: This field will always be "Students" for a student file. Easy! But please note that it must be capitalized and plural!

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 email as well. 

first_name: Student's first name

last_name: Student's last name

 

 

Recommended Fields:

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. Used for checking in students using a card swipe

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.

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:education_level_name: This field tells you the overall level of a student. It appears on students 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!

High School
Associates
Certificate
Advanced Certificate
Bachelors
Masters
Doctorate
Postdoctoral Studies

primary_education:cumulative_gpa: This is the overall GPA of the student at your school. This has to be a value between 0 and 4 with no more than 2 hundredths (example: 2.75).

primary_education:department_gpa: This is the GPA 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:major_names: This is the name of the major that this student has declared in Handshake. You can upload more than one major for a student by separating the majors with semicolons. Here is an example a History and Biology double-major: History;Biology

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 a student with minors in Chemistry and Computer Science: Chemistry;Computer Science

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 or we can't upload it! This is incredibly useful when it comes to searching students, qualifications for jobs, and knowing when to shift students to be alumni.

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 or we can't upload it! This is incredibly useful when it comes to searching students, qualifications for jobs, and knowing when to shift students to be alumni.

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. This is a boolean field, so it can only include these values (note the all-uppercase):

TRUE
FALSE

card_id: 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!

 

Optional Fields:

These are fields that you might want to include, but are not required and might or might not make sense for you. Here are some descriptions of these fields:

work_study_eligible: This field is used to determine if a student will see jobs that are posted as work study. 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):

TRUE
FALSE

campus_name: This field is only used for schools that have multiple campuses as part of their Handshake setup. If you have multiple campuses on your handshake system, you can use these here.

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

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. 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.

 

How to Upload your Student File:

  1. Once your file is prepared, delete any instructions so that the fields are the top row.  
  2. Click File > Save As > CSV.  
  3. Use the importer tool to upload/edit your appointments.
    • You will want to use Job Type = users. 
    • The identifier column should be username

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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