Elements of Education for Aspiring Court Reporters

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Elements of Education for Aspiring Court Reporters


Whether you choose to attend an online court reporting school, or a court reporting college (institution that offers face-to-face court reporting courses) you will be subject to the same requirements and exposed to the same training and basic educational material. Most people choose one or the other based on personal preference, learning style, and convenience. Regardless of the method you choose to attend, you will learn the same skills.

So, if all programs will basically offer the same courses, what exactly will you learn?

In order to become a court reporter you must not only learn about the job duties, but also acquire speed and accuracy in transcription. Of fundamental importance is the development of excellent English grammar, communication, computer skills and understanding of court procedures. Social studies, government, and writing, are all topics that are equally important for a court reporter to have a good understanding of as well.

All programs will include required courses covering the areas of: court transcription real-time reporting, medical terminology, court reporting procedures, machine short-hand theory, foundations of law, and general courses in math and English.

Due to the wide range of topics covered in court and other proceedings, a court reporter must have an ample vocabulary, be versed in medical and law terminology, and have general law knowledge. A very important part of training is speed testing, with various speed requirements based on the type of situation. These speeds range from 180-225 words per minute, and you must have a great level of accuracy.
Courses in a 2 year associate’s program are designed to prepare you and help you become well-rounded. Additionally, intern hours are required to assure that you have some practical training. While certificate programs are shorter, they still require many of the same courses.

The two year program is most common; four year degrees are offered, though not by many schools. A bachelor´s degree in court reporting offers a much more in depth learning of all of the material that is offered in the associate´s program. It also offers courses in real-time theory, computer-assisted transcription, testimony, jury charge, real-time transcription, and judicial reporting.
There are more than 60 schools, online and traditional, that offer degree programs or certificates that have been certified by The National Court Reporters Association. These schools have all met the general requirements and minimum standards set by the NCRA council.

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