Dr. Melisande McCrae

Dr. Melisande McCrae


Faculty Member Melisande McCrae Landscape Photo

Executive Director, New York Life Doctoral Program
Assistant Professor, Educational Evaluation and Research 

Areas of Expertise:

Assessment of Student Learning, Curriculum Design and Development

BA, Temple University
MEd, Penn State University
PhD, Penn State University


Dr. Melisande McCrae is Executive Director of the New York Life Doctoral Program and Assistant Professor of Educational Evaluation and Research at The American College of Financial Services. She supervises academic and administrative functions of the PhD in Financial and Retirement Planning Program: an $11,000,000 joint venture between New York Life and The College. Dr. McCrae works with faculty to implement policies and processes that include curricular credit requirements and academic standards for the comprehensive exam and doctoral dissertation. She also oversees The College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure compliance with research protocols concerning the protection of human subjects.

As Assistant Professor of Educational Evaluation and Research, Dr. McCrae teaches research methodology in the doctoral program. Her research interests include financial literacy and the role of choice architecture in financial decision-making, development and assessment of academic and professional competencies, outcomes-based curriculum design and development, Human Performance Technology (HPT) in the financial services profession, and epistemological perspectives on the generation of professional knowledge within financial planning. Dr. McCrae also directs ongoing programmatic assessment efforts of faculty that measure student development of crucial competencies associated with the PhD degree. Her leadership in this area was commended by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), an accrediting body for academic institutions in the Northeast region of the United States.

Prior to joining The College, Dr. McCrae’s 25 years of experience in higher education include her work within Eastern University’s Campolo College for Graduate and Professional Studies where her efforts resulted in a new major in organizational leadership that examined strategic change in organizations from the perspective of systems theory. While at Eastern, Dr. McCrae worked to establish educational policy, particularly in the area of outcomes-based course and program design. Her contributions led to the adoption of university-wide assessment policies and practices that received commendation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Before joining Eastern University, Dr. McCrae led the video communication efforts of Penn State University’s central administration and Commonwealth campuses. In this capacity, she worked primarily with the Office of the President and faculty on multimedia projects that informed national and regional audiences about the University’s research and outreach initiatives. Dr. McCrae received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University and her MEd and PhD in instructional systems from Penn State University with a concentration in interactive learning technologies and educational psychology, respectively.