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Court Reporting Schools and Online Court Reporting Schools

What kind of court reporting schools and online court reporting schools are available?   How much does court reporting  school cost?  How long is traditional court reporting school, and how long is online court reporting school?  Does it cost more to train for closed captioning and CART providing, and are they taught in online court reporting schools?  What exactly will I have to learn in court reporting training?  What criteria should I look for when assessing court reporting schools?  How do I find a court reporting job?  What about closed captioning jobs and CART providing?  Are there really court reporting jobs, closed captioning jobs, and CART Providing jobs available?  What court reporter certification examinations must I pass to work as a court reporter, broadcast captioner, or CART provider?

Both traditional Court Reporting Schools and Online Court Reporting Schools train students for the career of court reporting and two relatively new complementary real time careers, broadcast closed captioning, also referred to as closed captioning, and CART Providing.  The real time writing skill performed on the steno machine for court reporting is also utilized in captioning and CART providing.

There are traditional brick and mortar schools, online court reporting schools, and the “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” (CRAH) home study program. LEARN MORE.  Traditional court reporting schools and online court reporting schools are based upon quarters, semesters, or credit hours. The “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” program is the only self-paced, online court reporting program, allowing students to complete their training more quickly than they can in a traditional court reporting school, and at an affordable cost.

There are approximately 58 NCRA- (National Court Reporters Association) approved, accredited court reporting schools in the U.S. today. Depending on various estimates, there are approximately that many more that are not NCRA-approved or accredited. NCRA court reporting school approval or accreditation should not be your determining factor in acquiring a quality education. Many of these accredited, NCRA-approved court reporting programs are not owned by court reporters and have faculties severely lacking in credentialed court reporters. The success and survival rate has been dismal for many of these accredited schools. NCRA records indicate that in 1998 there were approximately 365 accredited, NCRA-approved schools in the U.S.  Less than a third of those schools are in business today.  Accreditation and NCRA approval simply mean a court reporting school has met minimal standards and requirements, not that it has exceeded minimum standards, and it does not ensure the court reporting school is necessarily a wonderful training program.

Court Reporting and Captioning at Home is owned by a court reporter who holds the RMR (Registered Merit Reporter) credential with an extensive background in court reporting, closed captioning, and CART providing.  This experience, together with state-of-the-art court reporting, captioning, and CART Providing  training materials, and a support staff comprised only of credentialed court reporters, captioners, and CART providers, makes Court Reporting and Captioning at Home the best choice for quality real time education.  Court Reporting and Captioning at Home is celebrating 10 successful years of real time court reporting, captioning, and CART Providing training.

The “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” program has the only NCRA-approved theory, the most important component of your training, developed specifically for home study training. Opting for self paced training rather than quarter, semester, or credit hour training allows the “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” student to complete training much faster than possible in traditional court reporting schools, sometimes 2 to 3 years faster, at an affordable cost. Click Here and Learn more about the cost to train to enter the career of court reporting, captioning, and CART providing.

These three careers are listed by the Department of Labor as three of the fastest growing careers in the U.S., with growth expected to exceed 18% over the next 6 to 7 years. Court Reporting and Captioning at Home is the only program developed to train you for all three realtime court reporting careers simultaneously.

How much does court reporting school cost, and how long does court reporting school take?

Traditional court reporting schools generally charge by the quarter, semester, or credit hour.  Most of them range between $17,000-$50,000 for a 2-or 3-year program and may lead to an “Occupational” Associate’s Degree.  Bear in mind, no court reporting degree is required to enter any of these three careers.  And unless you are training with a REAL college or university, the credits from a proprietary/trade/technical school simply using the word “College” in its name will not transfer to a real college or university. Most schools do not have a separate training program for closed captioning and CART providing and do not encourage students to train for these careers.

“Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” trains students for all three careers utilizing career specific dictation materials.  AND … there is no extra charge to train for any of the three realtime writing careers.  This comprehensive program includes CAT software and is sold in three packages.

No one cares how you are trained.  What employers care about are: Can you pass a court reporting certification examination if it is a requirement in your state, and can you produce an accurate transcript?  If you do not complete your training in the prescribed period of time in a traditional school or an online court reporting school, you continue to be charged for each quarter, semester, or credit hour it takes to complete your training.  With the “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” program, you are charged one price regardless of how long you are in training, and the fee includes tuition, training materials, free lifetime support, CAT software, prebuilt steno dictionary, internship and, of course, job placement.

Though most court reporting schools base their programs on two years, statistics from the NCRA indicate the average graduation time is 33 months.  How long court reporting school takes can be dependent upon how the program is structured.  The Court Reporting and Captioning at Home program is self paced and structured for students to be able to complete training significantly faster for several reasons.  They have the best Support Department available, composed only of credentialed professionals who have passed state or national certification examinations.  They teach the only NCRA-approved theory developed specifically for home study students, which is the shortest, easiest theory to learn.  They do not require students to take academic courses that do not relate to these three careers.

What should I look for in a court reporting school?

The two most important components of any court reporting, captioning, or CART providing training program are the theory you learn and the support you receive throughout your training. Who will be providing your support? Will these be professionals who have actually trained for these careers themselves, who have passed certification examinations, and who have actually been successful in these careers? They should be. However, many traditional schools and their online programs do not employ professionals who have been successful in these careers. They simply employ CRI’s (Certified Reporting Instructors) who can be anyone who has attended the NCRA’s National Convention and attended seminars regarding how to develop curriculum, how to develop a syllabus, etc., etc. CRI’s are not required to be credentialed court reporters, captioners, or CART providers at all and may have no experience in the careers of court reporting, captioning, or CART providing.

The “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” program only employs court reporters, or captioners, or CART providers who have passed state or national certification examinations, and who have been successful in these careers! It is our firm belief that it is very difficult to teach a student a career in which the instructor has never trained for himself.

The second important aspect of your court reporting, captioning, and CART providing training is: What theory will I learn? First, what IS theory? Theory is the method we use to teach you where all the keys are located on the steno machine and how to write all words and numbers. There are many theories on the market today, some of which have been around for 30 years or longer, some of which have not kept abreast of our real time technology, and some of which are extremely long and complex. How well you know your theory affects how quickly you can build your speed. If your theory is extremely long and complex, it makes it very difficult to remember your theory and build your speed. Students in traditional schools often are in theory for 1 to 2 years before they complete theory and are ready for speed building.

“Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” teaches the “Real Time Reporting and Captioning Theory,”  the ONLY NCRA-approved theory developed specifically for home study students. It is the shortest, easiest theory to learn yet contains the real time writing principles necessary for students to enter any of the three careers. Practicing 4 hours per day, some CRAH students have been able to complete their theory in 5-6 weeks with 2-3 months being quite normal for many students. This theory was named for CRAH by Kathy DiLorenzo, who served on the NCRA committee that evaluated each page of this theory. Kathy later served as President of the NCRA, but more importantly, she is one of the first broadcast captioners in the country, previously serving as a Vice-President of VITAC Captioning Company for over 20 years. Students learning the “Real Time Reporting and Captioning Theory” can feel confident this theory will prepare them for a career in real time court reporting, broadcast captioning, or CART providing. Read how easy others found the “Realtime Reporting and Captioning Theory” to learn.

What will I have to learn to train for court reporting, captioning, or CART providing?

There are 6 areas of training delineated by category:

  1. Court Reporting Theory
  2. Court Reporting, Captioning, or CART Speed Building
  3. Court Reporting Academics including Court Reporting Transcript Production and Court Reporting Ethics
  4. Court Reporting Software Training also known as CAT Software Training/steno dictionary building
  5. Court Reporting Internship – Captioning Internship – CART Providing Internship
  6. Court reporting Certification Preparation

Theory, again, is how you are taught to write on the steno machine. Speed building develops your speed on the steno machine from 60 wpm to 225 wpm. Academics found on court reporting certification examinations generally include: English, grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, court reporting procedures and technology, legal and medical terminology, transcript production and ethics.

Traditional court reporting schools and online court reporting schools generally require 8-10 additional academic courses, most of which do not relate to these careers and which certainly are not found on any certification examination. Those academics may include: algebra, psychology, creative writing, human relations, etc.

Traditional court reporting schools usually require students to take ALL the academics, even if they are already proficient in them, as well as the other academics that do not relate to these careers often extending the student’s training by months if not years.

Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” furnishes ALL the academics found on any state or the national certification examination, and if our students are already proficient in them, they do not have to waste time on them, thereby saving months or years in training.

Most traditional court reporting schools charge students for CAT software. There is no charge for the cost of the CAT software in the “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” program. Additionally, students are furnished without charge a prebuilt steno dictionary that will save them several hundred hours in training by not having to develop their own from the beginning.

Most court reporting schools and court reporting schools online furnish students an internship/externship. One of the most important elements of court reporting, captioning, or CART providing training is an internship/externship. When the CRAH student is ready, our staff will schedule an internship in your area at hours that are convenient for you. The students will take their steno machines and write alongside  professional reporters, captioners, or CART providers actual assignments to experience what they have learned during their training.

Some traditional court reporting schools prepare their students for certification examinations. The Court Reporting and Captioning at Home program furnishes students with a Certification Preparation Manual, which prepares students to pass state and national certification examinations. The owner and President of “Court Reporting and Captioning at Home” is a past member of the NCRA’s test certification committee whose test was chosen to be administered at the May, 2007 RPR exam. Individuals training with the CRAH program may feel confident the components of this program, including academics, speed building materials, practice dictation, tests, etc., are of the caliber necessary to prepare them to pass any state CSR exam or the national RPR examination. Students may become certified in any state by virtue of training with the CRAH program.

Additionally, the developer of the CRAH program was asked to develop Mock Qualifying Examinations for a court reporting college in California. Mrs. Bland developed the tests; the college dictated them and put them on DVDs for our students to share, allowing CRAH students to have the same type practice materials specifically used to prepare CA and NV students for their state CSR examination.

Where will I find a court reporting, captioning, or CART providing job?

Court reporting, captioning, and CART providing jobs are unlike positions in any other careers out there. Jobs are not found in the classified ads of newspapers or through an employment agency. They are generally found through networking. However, occasionally a position will be listed on a government website for a Federal Official Court Reporter position, or they may be listed on the classified ad section of the NCRA’s website. However, when a firm or agency requires additional help, it can usually call other reporters or schools to determine who is ready to work or who has passed a certification examination. Captioning companies often contact CRAH and ask if we have a student ready to caption or provide CART. CRAH has prior students who now own their own captioning or CART providing companies who employ other CRAH students.

It is surprising that some schools do not have a 100% placement rate. Shouldn’t EVERY student who completes his training and graduates from the traditional court reporting school or an online program be employable? CRAH enjoys a 100% placement rate, and EVERYONE who completes his training with the Court Reporting and Captioning at Home program WILL be employed as either a court reporter, captioner, or CART provider.

Court Reporting Certifications

Approximately half the states in the United States require court reporters to obtain certification credentials by passing either an examination administered by their state or the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Of the states that require certification, the majority of them accept the national certification examination, the RPR, in lieu of passing their state certification examination. However, some of them accept the Skills portion of the RPR exam (tests written on the steno machine and then transcribed) but require the reporter to pass a multiple choice written test covering academic courses (Written Knowledge Exam) administered by the state.

RPR (Registered Professional Reporter)

The RPR certification establishes your competence as a court reporter, although it is the entry level certification. It is composed of two segments: Written Knowledge Test (WKT) covering academics and a Skills Test composed of three 5-minute tests at 180 wpm one-voice Literary dictation, 200 wpm one-voice Jury Charge dictation, and 225 wpm two-voice Testimony or Q&A (question and answer) dictation written on the steno machine and transcribed. The CRAH program has developed Mock RPR examinations for our students to take prior to sitting for the actual exam.

CSR (Certified Shorthand Reporter) or CCR (Certified Court Reporter)

These are state-administered certification examinations and usually closely mirror the national RPR examination including both a Written Knowledge Test as well as a Skills test. However, a few states such as California, Nevada and a few others require you to pass a Written Knowledge Test and one 10-minute Skills test based upon 200 wpm four-voice dictation.

Captioning and CART Providing Certifications

If your interest is in broadcast (closed) captioning, there is no legally mandated certification examination requirement. However, captioning employers will evaluate a sample of your real time writing, so in essence, you are being tested. If your interest is in CART providing, most states do not require you to pass a certification examination. However, the few states that do require certification may have a graduated scale of employment based upon reaching varying degrees of proficiency such as 160 wpm, 180 wpm, or 200 wpm.

CBC (Certified Broadcast Captioner)

The CBC is also a two-part examination consisting of a Written Knowledge Test and one Skills Test dictated at 180 wpm Literary dictation for 5 minutes with 96% accuracy. The CRR Examination (Certified Real Time Reporter Examination) is identical to the CBC Skills Test. If you have passed the CRR, you are only required to pass the CBC Written Knowledge Test.

CCP (Certified CART Provider)

The CCP is also a two-part exam consisting of a Written Knowledge Test (WKT) and a Skills Test dictated at 180 wpm literary dictation for 5 minutes with 96% accuracy.  As with the CBC exam, if you have passed the CRR, you are only required to pass the CCP Skills Test.