The Education Alliance holds two graduation ceremonies in Arkansas. One is held in NWA and for the last 16 years the other is held at the Harding University campus in Searcy Arkansas. At the beginning of this school year, we started making plans to attend the graduation this year since Chelsea was graduating. My mom and dad got the time off so they could fly in from Florida to come see Chelsea graduate.
The Education Alliance charges $75 for early bird registration. For this price you get to attend the ceremony, and get a cap and gown to keep, and your diploma. They also have a professional photographer taking pictures and a videographer making videos if you wish to purchase them. You have to send in a copy of your homeschool paperwork and your transcript to sign up to be part of the graduation. You also have to send in some photos for the slide show and fill out a short biography page.
The hardest part for us, was the drive. The Harding Campus is 2 hours and 41 minutes from our house. The rehearsal was at 3:00 and the ceremony was starting at 4:00. We left the house at 10:45 so we could eat lunch when we got to Searcy. The children were very well behaved in the van. We chose Western Sizzlin to eat because the children like to eat at buffet restaurants. We got to the campus at 2:50. I was hoping the children could walk around outside and stretch their legs a bit during the rehearsal, but it was COLD! It was only 58 degrees when we got there and cloudy. None of us had coats and we were all in short sleeves. We were freezing inside there was no chance we were going to get to walk around outside. So they had to sit, but they did great!
The ceremony itself was very nice. There were 83 graduates and it took a little over 2 hours. Tricia Goyer (the author, I have reviewed a few of her books!) was the key note speaker. She had a very nice speech to give to the graduates and then she helped hand out the diplomas.
As each student walked across the stage, their picture was shown in the TV screens and the info that we filled out on the biographical information sheet was read.
After they awarded the diplomas, they had each student that won scholarships stand and they read the amounts that they had won from the colleges they will be attending and other places. There was a combined amount of close to $1,000,000!
They also had two students who gave speeches and two different musical performances.
At the end there was a slide show showing three pictures of each student: one as an infant, one in the middle years, and one as a senior. It was really cute!
We did get a few pictures before we left (inside of course!)