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Carol J. Ruffin, director of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) Office of Student Success, has been named a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). 

Carol J. Ruffin

MSCHE peer evaluators are qualified higher education professionals who serve as the first layer in a multi-layered accreditation decision-making process. Accreditation is the means through which MSCHE assures students and the public of educational quality.

Peer evaluators conduct on-site institutional visits and/or review written evidence submitted by institutions undergoing different types of accreditation reviews.

“I chose to volunteer to be a peer evaluator because I feel that I can lend my knowledge and experiences to the MSCHE and to the accreditation process,” says Ruffin. “I also feel that it would be a good experience for me to have to expand my own knowledge of the accreditation standards and process.”

Ruffin, who joined VPA in December, has previous experience working on MSCHE accreditation processes at past institutions. As a peer evaluator, she will gain a new perspective.

“I view this as an opportunity to learn more about the process from the outside looking in, instead of being on the inside looking out,” she says.

Ruffin will begin her service in March as part of a team of peer evaluators conducting an on-site visit at Pace University.

“I’m looking forward to working with the evaluation team, comprised of individuals who either currently work or have worked for a Middle States-accredited institution,” she says. “I’m also looking forward to providing the university with useful feedback and information so that they can better serve their students.”

Before coming to VPA, Ruffin served as the founding director of the Office of New Student Engagement at Queensborough Community College within the City University of New York. In this role, she oversaw the conversion, onboarding and transition of new incoming students. She has served at a variety of institutions in the public, private/non-profit as well as the proprietary sectors of higher education. Her comprehensive higher education career includes progressive responsibilities in the areas of academic advising, student support services and enrollment management.

Ruffin holds a bachelor of science in marketing and a master of science in education from St. John’s University and a doctor of education in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College.