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 of data you'll be bringing in.
2. Outline your workflow requirements and identify any questions - Importer: Student Data Formatting FAQs 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 - 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 - Importer: Gaining Access 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 Importer App: CSV Rules and File Requirements.
- 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 - Importer: Uploading Your First Student File
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 encountering warnings or errors, there are a few things to check:
- File Type: make sure you have a valid file type (we require a UTF-8 encoded .csv file)
- Headers: confirm all headers and 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 aren't registering. If they don't register, they'll 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:
- Importer: Student Data Formatting FAQs
- Importer: Uploading Your First Student File
- Importer Errors: Common Messages and Next Steps
- Importer: Re-Uploading Failed Rows
- Importer App: CSV Rules and File Requirements
- Importer: Student Card IDs and Leading Zeros
- Importer: Date Formatting
- Importer Help Center
Glossary of Required Fields
Review the list below or review the example CSV file.
Every student file you upload must have these eight 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.
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
First Year Community / Technical College
Second Year Community / Technical College
Certificate Program Masters
Masters of Business Administration
Accelerated Masters Doctorate Postdoctoral Studies Alumni
For more information, check out School Year Options in Handshake
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). (required as of 6/11/18)
primary_education:major_names: this is the name of the major(s) that this student has declared, and will populate the "majors" field on a student's profile (note: there's a limit of 255 characters per major). The formatting for these majors must be capital case, with all caps used only for abbreviated program designations (i.e., BS Physics; BA Art History). You can upload more than one major for a student by separating each major with a semicolon (i.e. Biology;Chemistry).
NOTE: This is the only field that can be used to populate majors in Handshake via the Importer. (required as of 6/11/18)
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're currently pursuing. Here are the different values you can include in this field. Please note the capitalization and spelling — they have to match exactly! (required as of 6/11/18)
*If you are having trouble importing a newly required field, please reach out to your Handshake Relationship Manager.
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.
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'll 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.
additional_email_addresses: this is any additional alias email addresses that your students have been assigned that are in addition to the main email_address. These email addresses must be associated with your school email domain and end with .edu. You can upload more than one additional email address by separating each email address with a semicolon.
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 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 for the primary major to be backfilled into Handshake.
primary_education:minor_names: this is the name of the minor that this student has declared in Handshake (note: there's a limit of 255 characters per minor). The formatting for these minors must be capital case (i.e., Math;Art History). You can upload more than one minor for a student by separating each minor with a semicolon (i.e. Math;Art History).
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). Only 1 college can be supported in this field.
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, 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. 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, 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. 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's used for reporting to differentiate between 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):
card_id: this string must be contained in a card swipe output. This field is where you can include student 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!
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.
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 view this information on their profile. For best reporting results, we suggest using one of the US Census designations outlined below.
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.
IMPORTANT: the ethnicity and gender field is for internal reporting purposes only. This information won't be available to employers or used by employers for outreach. The information that's imported by your institution is different from the ethnicity and gender data that students can voluntarily share.
work_study_eligible: this field is used to determine if a student will view and apply to 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 view and apply to work study jobs. This field can include these values (note the all-uppercase):
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. Some example values that we see imported here are things like Honors Student or Attending Part Time (here's a formatting example: Honors Student;Attending Part Time). 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 How to Change System Labels to Normal Labels.
mobile_number: student's mobile number. 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).
assigned_to_email_address: email address of the staff member that the student is assigned to.
hometown_location_attributes:name: the address or location of a student's hometown. Ex: "San Francisco, California, USA" or "Phoenix, Arizona" . (Additional formatting can be found by searching an address here using mapbox).
athlete: is the student an athlete? (TRUE/FALSE)
first_generation: is this a first generation college student? (TRUE/FALSE)
veteran: was this student a veteran? (TRUE/FALSE)
eu_gdpr_subject: passing TRUE indicates this student is a GDPR Subject (TRUE/FALSE). This field is required if you want to be GDPR compliant. For more information, review our article on GDPR.