Jean Rattigan-Rohr to transition into new role at end of academic year

Vice President for Access and Success Jean Rattigan-Rohr will become a special assistant to the president on June 1, 2022, and will focus on the significant expansion of the “It Takes a Village” Project.

A leader in Elon University’s efforts to increase college accessibility and support student success for more than a decade, Vice President Jean Rattigan-Rohr will be moving into a new role as special assistant to the president and professor of education following the new academic year. This transition will allow Dr. Rattigan-Rohr the opportunity to provide strategic leadership for the expansion of the “It Takes a Village” Project to 12 elementary schools in Alamance County, made possible by a $1.25 million grant from the Oak Foundation.

Jean Rattigan-Rohr, vice president for access and success and professor of education

A committee will be formed in early September to conduct a national search to fill the position of executive director for the Center for Access and Success, which includes the Odyssey Program, the “It Takes a Village” Project, Elon Academy and programs for first-generation students.

“Through her dedicated and steadfast work, Jean Rattigan-Rohr has led the way in making Elon University a national model for its peers in the areas of college access and student success,” President Connie Ledoux Book said. “The scores of alumni from Elon who navigated their college careers with success and the numerous Alamance County students who have excelled with the assistance of Elon programs are testaments to her impact and her passion for education.”

Elon’s vice president for access and success since 2019, Rattigan-Rohr has served as executive director of community partnerships, director of the Center for Access and Success and professor of education since 2015. Rattigan-Rohr joined Elon’s School of Education faculty in 2007 and founded and directs Elon’s It Takes a Village Project, a literacy project for struggling young readers. The Center for Access and Success also includes the Elon Academy, the university’s renowned college access program, the Odyssey Scholars Program for academically talented Elon students with financial need and a drive to be leaders in their communities, and First-Generation Student Support Services.

Rattigan-Rohr has secured more than $4 million to support her work and research, including the grant from the Oak Foundation to expand the Village Project in Alamance County and to support new collaborative initiatives with the Alamance-Burlington School System and Alamance Community College.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had at Elon to build and grow programs that support student success — from the first-grader who is struggling to read, to the high school student navigating the college application process, to the first-generation student acclimating to a new experience,” Rattigan-Rohr said. “I look forward to continuing to explore creative ways to ensure students have the tools and the support they need to succeed.”

Rattigan-Rohr has achieved several “firsts” during her time at Elon. She is the first Black professor to receive tenure in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education, the first Black woman to be promoted through the ranks to become full professor at Elon, the first Black woman to join the university’s senior administration and the first Black person to be named vice president at Elon.

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Her research areas include literacy development of traditionally marginalized students, parental involvement and visioning. She presents her research nationally and internationally and is often called upon to speak and share her work. She has many peer-reviewed publications in top education journals, including the Journal of Teacher Education and Education Leadership. Her 2012 book, “It Takes a Village: A Collaborative Approach to the Struggling Reader Dilemma,” is used by pre-service and in-service teachers alike.

Rattigan-Rohr has a doctorate in curriculum and teaching, a master’s degree in special education and a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology and audiology, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Rattigan-Rohr will transition into her new role as special assistant to the president on June 1, 2022.