Approximately 125 people registered for courses at the Mary Washington College campus in Stafford County last week, fulfilling administrators' expectations on enrollment at the school's new adult education center.
"I am very happy," said Meta Braymer, dean of graduate and professional studies and head of the new college branch. "The numbers are right on target."
In addition to the 125 students, 550 people registered for classes run by the James Monroe Center for Graduate and Professional Studies. Most of those classes are taught at Mary Washington's main campus in Fredericksburg.
Officials also expect many more students to register in the fall, because many courses, which are taught on seven-week schedules, don't begin until mid- to late-September, and some begin as late as the end of October. The main fall registration ended Friday, but students can register through the first week of classes.
"A lot of people have called and asked questions, and they'll start in the second seven weeks or in the January term," Braymer said. "We're real eager to see what happens in the next seven weeks."
The James Monroe Center, which opened Monday, aims to bring a state-of-the-art high-tech education center to Stafford. Courses will range from basic computer training to degree programs geared for technology executives.
It is a change both for the area and the school.
Previously, students who wanted to receive undergraduate or graduate degrees in the business and technology fields had to drive to Washington, Richmond or Charlottesville.
Stafford, meanwhile, is delighted to have the school within its bounds to complement its growing high-tech business community.
If all goes according to plan, the James Monroe Center will soon add a second building and will one day include four structures. Additional professional programs, such as education and public administration, also will be added.
But officials say that it's going to take some time for people to notice the school and understand what it offers.
"We are a work in progress," Braymer said. "People are just starting to see ads and hear about us."