Clark State Community College is celebrating National Court Reporting & Captioning Week February 10 - 17. Clark State is in partnership with Stark State College and offers a completely online associate degree in Judicial Court Reporting, with an additional semester offering of a career-enhancement certificate for Captioning.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has declared by Resolution February 10 - 17, 2018, as Ohio Court Reporting & Captioning Week, and Clark State will recognize this Resolution along with National Court Reporting & Captioning Week.
“The skill required for court reporting and captioning entails learning to write a realtime theory on a stenographic writing machine at a minimum speed of 225 words per minute at a minimum of 95 percent accuracy to provide instantaneous translation of the spoken word,” explained Robyn M. Hennigan, assistant professor and program coordinator for Judicial Court Reporting. “Jobs are abundant throughout the country for graduates who have acquired the requisite skills.”
Students work toward obtaining the National Court Reporters Association's (NCRA) Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification upon graduation with encouragement of obtaining NCRA's Certified Realtime Reporter certification after obtaining their RPR.
Clark State graduate Ramona Nunez completed the Judicial Court Reporting program in the summer of 2017. Nunez, who resides in Tucson, Arizona, completed her degree online. “I was looking to gain technical skills that would make me sought-after as an employee,” said Nunez. “I researched court reporting; and although many aren’t familiar with it, it was touted as an excellent career choice with numerous employment opportunities and a great income.”
Nunez currently works as an independent contractor providing realtime captions for undergraduate students at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College.
“CART - communication access realtime translation - is turning the spoken word and environmental sounds into text for those with hearing loss,” explained Nunez. “On the job, I act like the ears of the individual I’m working for, making sure that they have access to the spoken word by turning what I hear into captions they read on a tablet computer.”
Nunez has been providing CART translation for about six months and has assisted in classroom lectures, meetings, a school career fair, kids’ choir performances and church sermons.
“Different classes at Clark State required me to reach out and talk to court reporters in my area,” said Nunez. “By the time I graduated, I knew so many local people in this community; networking was invaluable and made it easier to find a job after graduation. I knew about the work opportunity I currently have because of those connections.”
Nunez encourages people considering Judicial Court Reporting to reach out to people in the court reporting, CART and captioning communities, stating most are eager to provide support and encouragement.
“I’d also say to stick with it,” she said. “Learning to use the shorthand machine and building speed was such a daunting task for me, but I couldn’t be happier I stuck with it. I look forward to going to work every day.”
Hennigan said the field of realtime reporting is an exciting, vital and rewarding career field. It offers a multitude of varying career opportunities to employ realtime skills, from taking a verbatim record in the courtroom, in depositions and in hearings, to captioning local, state, and national news and sporting events like the Super Bowl, World Series and the Olympics, along with many other live programming options.
“Opportunities for a high-paying career are abundant, and life-long learning is an essential aspect of each career option,” she said.