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Date: October 18, 2017 Author: Anne Dean

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Dream Center Foundation announced Tuesday the completion of the transfer of assets of several of the nation’s most well-known for-profit higher education institutions. South University, Argosy University, Western State College of Law and Art Institutes campuses will now be operated as nonprofit institutions continuing their focus on education, student outcomes and community involvement.

“We are pleased to announce the completion of this transfer,” said Dream Center Foundation managing director Randall Barton. “We are thrilled the various regulatory agencies looked favorably upon our vision to refocus these schools exclusively on providing quality and accessible education empowering people throughout our nation. These schools have been serving communities across America for more than 100 years, and they have a bright future ahead of them.”

South University, Argosy University, Western State College of Law and Art Institutes collectively have 56 campuses in more than 30 cities and more than 44,000 students as well as over 5,000 employees and approximately 6,000 adjunct faculty members. Each institution offers courses online and on campus, and together they offer more than 100 programs of study in everything from health and behavioral sciences to business, education and digital arts.

University operations will be managed by Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), LLC under chief executive officer Brent Richardson. Richardson has a long career in higher education as former CEO and chairman of the board for Grand Canyon University (GCU). Richardson was the catalyst for the turnaround of GCU, which now has over 85,000 students and employs over 5,000 people. Richardson’s focus will be student-centered and based on student outcomes.

Barton continues, “We believe the relationship between the schools and the Dream Center Foundation will allow these schools to continue to provide students with an excellent education and strengthen their sense of social responsibility. Nothing transforms an individual's life more quickly than a quality education.”

Dream Center service partners are spread throughout the United States and can provide enriching opportunities for students to serve in their communities. As a not-for-profit DCEH will raise donations to contribute to programs that provide scholarships for the underserved.

“Education has always been a central focus of the Dream Center Foundation,” said Matthew Barnett, founder of the Dream Center in Los Angeles and president of the Dream Center Foundation. “These institutions will remain nonsectarian providers of quality higher education, but we hope that this new season will bring an expanded vision and an opportunity for graduates to realize their own dreams while living a life in service of the dreams of others.”

The Dream Center Foundation announced its intent to complete the transfer of the institutions earlier this year .

Note: The acquisition of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Art Institute of Philadelphia, The Art Institute of Colorado, The Art Institute of Michigan, and The Illinois Institute of Art is expected to occur in late 2017 following a final regulatory review.

The Dream Center Foundation funds programs providing educational opportunity, emergency food and medical services, transitional housing for homeless families, youth and veterans as well as support for victims of human trafficking through its principal partner, the Dream Center Los Angeles. Each month more than 50,000 people are assisted in Los Angeles alone, and countless others through its network in 41 states and 21 countries. The founder and president of the Dream Center Foundation is Pastor Matthew Barnett.

Foundation website: http://dreamcenterfoundation.org

Dream Center website: https://dreamcenter.org/

Dream Center Education Holdings website: https://www.dcedh.org/

For more information about The Art Institutes please contact us.

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Help Your Pet Shed Unhealthy Weight

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Are you killing your pet with kindness? We’re not talking about the compassion that motivates us to vaccinate our pets, or keep them warm in cold weather. Kindness that can be harmful to pets comes in the form of an overabundance of food and treats. The all too common result is a pet that becomes overweight or even obese.

A 2014 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found 52.7 percent of dogs and 57.9 percent of cats to be overweight or obese by their veterinarian. This translates to nearly 80 million dogs and cats in America with a weight problem. Dr. George Banta, Chair of the Veterinary Technology department at Brown Mackie College — Akron and Dr. Mary Jo Wagner, Attending Veterinarian at Argosy University, Twin Cities, offer useful information for pet owners.

How can you tell if your pet is overweight? “It’s not the number of pounds, it’s how the animal carries the weight,” says Dr. Banta. “The number on the Body Condition Score is more important than pounds.” The Body Condition Score offers a way to assess the condition of an animal, usually on a scale from one to five, taking into account height, weight, and relative proportions of muscle and fat.

With a little knowledge, you can use sight and touch to figure your pet’s general condition. “When looking down on a dog or cat from above,” says Dr. Banta, “the body should slim to a discernible waist. An animal is too thin if you can see the spine or ribs; however, you should be able to feel them beneath the fur.” An animal of ideal weight will also display a pelvic tuck when viewed from the side.

“Just like humans, when animals overeat, they face increased risk for health problems like diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, and cancer,” continues Dr. Banta. In fact, these risks also include a shortened life expectancy.

Many owners feed pets according to the manufacturer’s suggested amounts; however, this instruction may not be right for your pet. “These guidelines are meant to cover all animals of a certain weight range,” says Dr. Wagner. “An owner must consider the age and activity level of each pet. The more active they are, the more calories they will burn in a day.”

Metabolism rates vary in animals the same way they do in people. Metabolism is the body process in which food is broken down for energy; another factor that affects the amount of food a pet needs. Dr. Wagner advises owners to keep an eye on body condition to judge whether a pet is eating properly. “If your pet shows signs of being overweight, simply cut back the amount of food given at each meal. Then weigh the pet in two or three weeks to see if it has made a difference,” she says.

Choosing the right food for your pet is important as well. Different brands of pet food contain varying amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and calories. “As a general rule, young, active dogs need high protein food,” says Dr. Wagner. “Older dogs need higher fiber to keep the gastrointestinal (GI) tract moving.” Ingredients listed on the package appear in descending order of volume; the first item on the list is most abundant in the food.

Most of us love to give treats; however, many of us don’t realize how many we offer each day. “A 40-pound dog is one quarter the size of a 160-pound person,” Dr. Wagner says. “They have smaller stomachs. Look at calories in everything your pet eats. After that, it’s simple math.”

“Table scraps are a definite no. Zip, zilch, nada,” says Dr. Banta. “They are not good for two reasons. First, foods like chocolate, caffeine, grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs. Second, the high fat content associated with table scraps, especially holiday trimmings, can lead to the onset of acute pancreatitis, which can be fatal.”

He recommends offering a kibble of food or a carrot instead of a cookie. If you must give cookies, try breaking them in half. “Pets do enjoy treats as a reward; however, attention from you is also a reward. It’s important to praise animals. In some ways, spending time with them is better than a treat,” Dr. Wagner says.

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Tap the Hidden Job Market

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The process of finding employment has quietly undergone an evolution. More and more job seekers are discovering that many positions do not post to the public. In fact, the online career guidance resource Quintessential Careers reports that only 15 to 20 percent of available jobs post to newspapers, online job boards, or employment agencies.

“Not advertised?” ask many exasperated, out-of-work job candidates who regularly scour newspapers and websites in the hopes of finding a job. If this traditional search yields just a fraction of available employment opportunities, where are the bulk of open positions hiding? Welcome to the new hidden job market.

The hidden job market is real and, according to LinkedIn, reportedly more effective than the old conventional way. “At least half of all new hires find employment through networking,” says Jason Rinsky, National Director of Career Services at the Brown Mackie College system of schools. Yes, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth can help you find the back door to employment options.

Why is the hidden job market so huge?
“Recruiters want to minimize the amount they spend on advertising,” says Dr. Cynthia Scarlett, Chair of the Graduate Business and Organizational Leadership programs at Argosy University, Denver. “If they can get a recommendation, it puts them one step ahead in the vetting process.” Hiring managers, too, seem more likely to hire a person who has been recommended by a co-worker or trusted associate. A 2012 New York Federal Reserve Bank study bears this out, citing that referred candidates were twice as likely to land interviews compared to those who were not referred, and 40 percent more likely to be hired.

“Hiring managers will often consider people inside the company for a new position, or people they know. Often, the next step is to seek recommendations from trusted sources. A referred candidate saves time over total stranger,” continues Dr. Scarlett. “Networking is a vital step when looking for a job.”

Reinvigorate your networking efforts
Networking is not a new idea. It is simply building relationships with people. Attending networking events may seem daunting to some; however, Rinsky points out, “Each experience tends to increase confidence in the participant.” A little preparation goes a long way toward building a professional network. Dr. Scarlett advises everyone to practice the elevator pitch, and think about ways to open conversations. “Brainstorm questions about what to ask those in your industry. And, of course, have your resume prepared and ready to go,” she says.

Manage your networking expectations
Few people are likely to attend a single networking event and come away with a job. “Don’t go to a big professional meeting and hand out hundreds of business cards. Try to come away from each event with two relevant contacts,” says Scarlett. ”Focus on quality, not quantity. This won’t get you a job next week, but it will provide a manageable way to follow up with your new contacts.”

Follow up with new contacts
Remember, this is your job search, your professional life. Take the initiative to follow up with new contacts to support your connection. “You could ask if they are interested in an email from you about the topic you’ve been discussing,” Dr. Scarlett says, “or suggest that you meet for coffee and continue the conversation next week.” One step at a time, you are building a relationship.

Network by keyboard with purpose
Many people are tapping LinkedIn, the popular business social network, to connect with professional groups and find work. “This is a tool that should be used in a professional way, says Rinsky. “It is not a facebook equivalent; however it is a smart way to connect with people in your industry.”

Don’t overlook serendipity
You never know when the person next to you at the grocery store, or sitting behind you in a restaurant, is a hiring manager with a position to fill. ‘Networking can happen anyplace, in a bank or at volunteer events,” Dr. Scarlett says. “It does happen that way; every now and again, someone lands a job by way of a chance encounter.” It pays to be prepared in how you might present yourself, and the questions you might ask of people you meet in your everyday life.

Networking is the key to the hidden job market. “When you’re looking for a job, one person has only so much capacity, says Rinsky. “With each person who helps, you’ve got multiple eyes and ears working on your behalf. The more people involved, the greater your chances will be to find that dream job.”

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