- Director of the Adult Life Resource Center
- Creator of the seven developmental stages concerning learning to handle life's tasks
- Author of such seminal works as the Life Transitions Reader and The Adult Life Cycle: Training Manual and Reader
- Pioneer in Adult Education
Vivan McCoy Rogers earned a bachelor's degree in economics and sociology from Albertus Magnus College in 1941 and a master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago in 1949. In 1973, she received a master's degree in counseling from Kansas University. At age 53 and while still working, Rogers commuted for two years to Kansas State University, where she earned her doctorate in adult education and development in 1975.
Widely regarded as the woman who first recognized the needs of non-traditional students at KU, Rogers founded the University Of Kansas Adult Life Resource Center, which was hailed as a pioneer of putting adult development theories into practice, while being director of the student services division of the University Of Kansas’s Continuing Education. Through her 19 years of service at the University Of Kansas, Rogers created programs based on life tasks. Rogers concluded, through extensive study, that transition periods and change are OK.
As a testament to her research, Rogers transitioned to several disparate job duties throughout her life. She began as a reporter for her hometown newspaper in Connecticut and switched to studying economics at the University of Chicago. Later a social worker, Rogers then became a teacher. She took a tour of duty as an officer in the first class of women to be commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Then she went back to school. At 65, she took a position as director of the Center for Continuing Education for Women at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.