AUGUSTA – When Kaplan University expands to Augusta, it will operate out of the former Staples store building at 14 Marketplace Drive. That puts it across the street from the University of Maine at Augusta, which offers overlapping programs in areas such as business and nursing.

Kaplan University Maine President Christopher Quinn said the new location will give Augusta-area students more options and Kaplan greater access to a large population center.

“It’s really to expand on our mission here in Maine in terms of servicing nontraditional students, you know, working adults who want to come back and give themselves more opportunity in a new career,” Quinn said before announcing the expansion at commencement Saturday.

The Augusta campus will start classes in September with classroom, online and blended programs that mirror ones offered in South Portland and Lewiston, such as accounting, business administration, criminal justice, early childhood development, medical assisting and paralegal studies. The school hopes to add a nursing program soon but has regulatory hurdles to clear.

Quinn said Kaplan’s expansion to Augusta is a significant private investment totaling several million dollars. The school will add at least a dozen employees to its Maine-based work force of about 180 people.

Kaplan Inc. is a for-profit corporation owned by the Washington Post Co. In 2005, it bought Andover College, which owned the schools in South Portland and Lewiston. About 1,400 people are enrolled in Kaplan’s in-person and online courses in Maine.

Kaplan University mostly serves so-called nontraditional students rather than new high school graduates. Quinn said the average Kaplan graduate is 35 years old, and 79 percent of the students are women.

Kaplan will compete with other local colleges that enroll many non-traditional students, including UMA and Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.