In Conversation with Eminata Group Chairman Dr. Peter Chung
Education is more than a business to Eminata Group Chairman Dr. Peter Chung; it’s his life’s work. Inspired by his father’s lifelong love of learning, Dr. Chung has risen from his humble beginnings to build Canada’s largest provider of private education.
“I feel fortunate to lead an organization that’s impacting people’s lives in such a positive way,” says Dr. Chung. “It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. What I do isn’t really work for me; it’s more of a mission that I’m fulfilling.”
The Eminata Group operates six educational brands across Canada: University Canada West, Vancouver Career College, CDI College, Reeves College, Visual College of Art and Design, and PCU College of Holistic Medicine. With more than 120 programs, 40 campuses spanning five provinces, more than 1,300 staff members, and 15,000 students expected to enroll in 2012, the schools offer a wide range of educational programs from graduate and undergraduate degrees to art and design diplomas and accelerated career training programs.
Eminata Group schools follow focused, market-supported curriculum and feature small class sizes, flexible schedules and classes taught by instructors who possess extensive professional experience in their fields. Program development draws on the expertise of faculty, Program Advisory Committees, the use of existing robust curriculum development models, student input, employers, and ongoing research to ensure that learning outcomes continue to meet changing industry needs.
When it came to building his business, Dr. Chung knew he had to build a team who was as devoted to changing lives as he was. All instructors have their credentials vetted by the regulatory bodies that govern Eminata Group schools, but for Dr. Chung, that’s only just the tip of the iceberg.
“Building the right team is so important in this business,” says Dr. Chung. “Our instructors need to be both leaders in their field and also dedicated to our mission of changing lives through education. It’s important that everyone is on board. We make sure everyone has that mission in their hearts and in their minds.”
One of the first Eminata employees that students come into contact with is the admissions representative. Dr. Chung says this first contact person needs to be particularly dedicated because of their role in helping students fully prepare for their education.
“Admissions representatives provide prospective students with all of the tools they need to make an informed decision about where and what to study,” he says. “They work closely with students to ensure they make a smooth transition back into education and that they prepare themselves to succeed.”
Beyond investing in people, the Eminata Group is dedicated to continuous investment in its schools. In 2011, the Eminata Group invested more than $2.5 million into equipment and lab upgrades so that students are trained on the most up-to-date equipment and technology.
In addition, several Eminata Group brands, including CDI College, Vancouver Career College and Reeves College, have launched an initiative that provides students with Apple iPads rather than traditional textbooks. The iPad holds each student’s textbooks, learning tools and assignments in one portable device. This role-out was the largest of its kind in North America and puts Eminata at the forefront of educational technology. It will change the way students learn and interact in the classroom and allow them to gain experience with emerging workplace trends.
Dr. Chung explains that independent colleges and universities have to meet very stringent standards in order to operate in Canada but, because their model is entirely student-funded rather than tax-payer subsidized, Eminata Group schools need to be more responsive to the demands of industry and students than public institutions.
In order to ensure the highest standard of education for its students, Eminata works with five provincial governing bodies and more than 20 professional associations including the National Dental Assisting Examining Board, the Forum for International Trade Training, the Canadian Payroll Association and many more. The Eminata Group offers the only independent dental assisting program in BC that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC).
“We follow the exacting standards and regulations set out by Canadian regulatory bodies and we face multiple reviews of our programs, facilities and instructors,” says Dr. Chung. “We often exceed the standards set out for us. Many of our students have won professional awards and it makes me so proud.”
Some examples of exceptional Eminata Group students include grads from the Dental Assisting program who average a 97% score in the National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) exams. Eminata Group grads have also won Canadian Payroll Association awards for five consecutive years. The awards are given to recognize those who have achieved the highest overall marks in the payroll courses for the CPA Certificate Program.
“I look at education as a public good. It’s not just our own success; it benefits the public,” he says. “When our students get a job it affects their own family because that person will provide for their family, and it affects the people they serve in their industry. This is why we always say we are in the business of creating productive citizens.”
Dr. Chung’s interest in contributing to society extends beyond the classroom. He currently serves on the boards of Pepperdine University and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and does philanthropic work, both globally and locally.
“We should always leave society better, which is what we’re working towards as an organization,” says Dr. Chung. “That’s why I’m so proud to be part of the Eminata Group and I’m so proud of our people.”
About Eminata Group - More News
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- November 2, 2012 - Eminata Group Sponsors Animals in War Dedication Project
- September 10, 2012 - Eminata Executive Chairman, Dr. Peter Chung, Awarded Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
- May 17, 2012 - Amenida to Host Second Annual Shred-a-Thon in Support of the Surrey Hospice Society
- April 9, 2012 - A Response from Dr. Peter Chung, Chairman of the Eminata Group