In 1877 UNC began offering classes during the summer. The Summer Normal School was not an extension of the regular curriculum but a new program to provide education for teachers in North Carolina. The courses were designed for primary school teachers in North Carolina and were immediately popular, drawing close to 2,500 students in its first eight years. However, the program struggled to maintain support and was suspended twice before being revived in 1907. These early summer school programs were among the first at the university that women were able to attend. Women made up nearly half of the class at the first summer school, and in 1878 Emily Coe became the first woman to teach on campus when she joined the summer school faculty. The success of the program and the demand for teacher education led the university to establish the Department of Normal Instruction in 1885 and a graduate program in education in 1896. By 1916 the university began offering regular courses during the summer.