Is College for Everyone?


According to the National Student Clearinghouse, only 57% of students who start college will graduate within 6 years.  It does not take an engineer to recognize that a system with only a 50% success rate, is, for one reason or another, a failing system.  Now, some of this may be able to be fixed at the collegiate level, and we hope that colleges and universities are doing their level best to make college as accessible as possible to interested students.  I offer, however, that there isn’t so much a problem with the university system, but a disconnect in the core of what a college education is comprised of, and the needs of some students.  Simply put:

It is my opinion that college is not for everyone.

Now, this might seem like a crazy thing to say, especially in a culture that considers a four-year degree a requisite part of becoming an adult.  I want you to think back at my statement, however, and think about a word that was nowhere in that sentence: education.  Is education not at the root of the real message behind America’s “Go to college, get a job” mantra?

Do we hire college graduates because they managed to show up to a handful of classes each semester for four years?  Absolutely not!  We hire college graduates because it is our expectation that they have a working knowledge of how the world works and a healthy foundation to build successful careers in their fields of study.  In short, we value their education.

I will be the first to admit that for most of my life, I couldn’t imagine what a person was supposed to do after a high school, if not find a four-year college or university.  It seemed like a symptom of laziness or of a lack of fore-sight.  What I’ve learned since then, however is that there are, especially in the mid-west, some amazing opportunities for intelligent individuals who simply do not learn well in a lecture-hall setting.


For example, the IBEW’s electrical apprenticeship is a rigorous 5-year program that involves 4-8 hours of weekly classroom instruction on top of 40-hour workweeks.  In this apprenticeship, students learn the hands-on skills you’d expect including welding, wiring, and state code requirements, but they also learn how electricity works at a molecular level using trigonometry.  This doesn’t sound all that different from coursework offered to an electrical engineering major, except that frankly, given the choice, I’d choose the electrician to wire the addition on my house in a heartbeat.

After completing the apprenticeship, electricians are expected to take continuing education classes to help them keep up on proper technique and safety standards.  In addition, many go on to be foreman or project managers.  This involves intrapersonal skills involving customer service, and employee management.  Electrical project managers are also expected to order materials and be able to negotiate good prices for the work being done.  These skills are very similar to those learned on a business administration track at a university.

Cost of Education

Aside from being a time-consuming proposition, bachelor’s degrees are expensive!  Even in-state tuition and living costs for a regular, state university like the University of Illinois for the 2018-19 school year is estimated by the university to run between $31 – $36k per year.  This adds up to over $120k for a traditional bachelor’s degree.  Many would feel ill at ease to leave a recent high school graduate in charge of our house for the weekend, but it has become commonplace to expect them to pick a major and a college or university at this same age.  Even if the student realizes in the first year that they aren’t ready for a college or university, they’ve likely already tallied up thirty thousand dollars in student debt.  In what other way can a person so young make a mistake equal to the cost of a down-payment on a starter home?  The electrical apprenticeship mentioned above, on the other hand, is provided at no cost to the student.

Want to Know the Best Part?

If a tradesman decides down the road that he or she is interested in attending a college or university, the school will still be there.  There will always be a way for a person who is interested in educating themselves to learn something new.

Cause and Effect

By changing our script from “go to college” to “get an education,” we can show high school students and graduates that we, as educators and employers, are supportive of both their personal and professional aspirations.  Individuals are not meant to be cranked through a collegiate assembly line, but to find vocations that fit their skills and interests.  College graduates have a hugely important role to play in our society, but so do tradesmen and manufacturers.  We owe it to the young people in our communities to teach them that both are viable and responsible options.

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QC St. Patrick’s Day Race

The 36th Annual CASI St. Patrick’s Day Race Presented by Wells Fargo is Saturday, March 17, 2018. Walker, runner, beginner or pro – there’s a race for everyone from our Tot Trot to our 1 Mile Family Fun Run to our 5K. Funds raised benefit CASI’s mission of supporting seniors in the Quad Cities.

The Santry360 team presented medals to all of the young children in the Tot Trot as well as the 1-Mile Run/Walk.

The participants ranged from under a year old to teenagers. Even those with four legs and fur. Even with the cold and rain/sleet they put in their all to support the CASI.

The 1-mile event was hosted by Northwest Bank. While the 5K was hosted by Wells Fargo. KISS 101.3 DJ’d the event providing music and entertainment to those cheering on the runners.

The event supported the seniors in the Quad Cities and the team of Santry360 is more than willing to donate their time to support a great cause and helping their community.

Click Here for More Information About CASI

Tax Cuts and Job Act Seminar Success

Click Here for More Information about Hub Huddles

On March 9th 2018, the Hub Huddle hosted a presentation on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act given by our very own Kevin Santry. During the hour presentation a few of the following topics on the agenda were discussed: Qualified Business Income, Planning (Small Business), C-Corp Tax Rates, Business credits, Loss Limitation, Net Operation Loss, Business Interest, Cost Recovery and Depreciation, Accounting Methods, Like Kind Exchange, Compensation, Foreign Income, and Q&A. If you are interested in any information on these topics feel free to email us at or call our office (563) 293-8390.

The Hub Huddle is focused on an opportunity for manufacturing leaders to share, on a peer-to-peer basis, best practices for growth and strategies to overcoming challenges. Ending their sessions with a need/ lead segment were the manufactures have the option to share a need they could have. The purpose is to cultivate conversation among each other to help with problems they might be facing. Either by offering services or advice. They could also share a lead where they have been recently successful and can offer advice on how others could follow their lead.

After the presentation the Hub Huddle becomes a networking opportunity for those that have participated. Were you can share stories, offer advice, discuss business, and get to know each each other.

GovCon Networking for Manufacturers April 26th 2018


Register Here!

This event is targeted at companies interested in building their network and will specifically target the government contracting market.
Attendees will learn about the importance of building that network and be given an opportunity to introduce their business and experience in the government market and share best practices.
This event will also feature guest speaker, Kevin Santry, of Santry360. He will share with attendees an outline of changes made by the passing of the 2017 tax bill and offer an analysis of how these changes will impact small businesses. Discussion will focus on changes in business deductions and how to financially plan for the year with these changes in mind. Kevin Santry is a CPA and consultant with over 35 years of experience in business, strategic and succession planning. Please contact Melissa Burant at or Kathryn Palagi at for more information.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Hub Huddle

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


Hub Huddles are an opportunity for manufacturing leaders to share, on a peer-to-peer basis, best practices for growth and strategies to overcoming challenges.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: What You Should Know
Presented by Kevin Santry, Santry 360

What you will learn:
How to plan financially in light of the new tax bill
Tax law provisions impacting small businesses
Business deduction limits

Who should attend?
Small businesses, especially manufacturing

About the speaker
Kevin Santry has over 35 years’ experience in strategic, succession, tax and accounting for closely held businesses, helping stakeholders achieve their short- to long-term goals and exiting their business with a sense of accomplishment. Santry is considered a turnaround and crisis manager who assists businesses facing obstacles to get back on a path of productivity and profitability as well as a start-up consultant and creator of business plans that can breathe life into an individual, exciting ideas.

​Time will be provided for Q & A and networking with other attendees. This event is free to attend. Please register at or by calling 563.823.2676.

This program is presented by the Quad Cities Chamber’s Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub and the Defense Industry Adjustment Program.