National Court Reporting & Captioning Week kicks off for Clark State Community College and joint program partner Stark State College as well as nationally on February 8. The kickoff is being recognized on a state level by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine with an official proclamation which will be announced at the Ohio Court Reporters Association’s (OCRA) district event in Columbus, Ohio.
Clark State and Stark State have offered the joint National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) approved Judicial Court Reporting (JCR) online degree program since June of 2016. The joint program has successfully worked in conjunction with OCRA to offer an eight-week program created by NCRA called A to Z that introduces steno machine writing to individuals wanting to explore a possible career in court reporting, closed captioning, CART captioning or webcasting. The A to Z program can also be taken online through NCRA. The next online offering begins February 10 with registration available at www.ncra.com.
The Clark State/Stark State program has also partnered with Project Steno, which promotes the stenographic court reporting/captioning profession through social media and community outreach, with the goal of building a robust pipeline of students into school and graduating them in two years. Project Steno relies exclusively on contributions from the court reporting community on a national level for its operations. The Project Steno partnership allows the Clark State/Stark State program to offer Project Steno’s tuition assistance to students who complete the NCRA free A to Z program prior to enrolling in the Judicial Court Reporting program.
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, captioners and legal videographers. The NCRA promotes excellence among those who capture and convert the spoken word to text and is committed to supporting every member in achieving the highest level of professional expertise.
Robyn Hennigan, program coordinator and assistant professor at Clark State, along with Rene Eneix, department chair and associate professor at Stark State, said the NCRA’s free A to Z program is an excellent means of exposing students to the skill needed to enter a career in court reporting or captioning. Students having the opportunity to gain tuition assistance through Project Steno after completing the A to Z program provides an additional route of funding as well as motivational support by adding an external means of accountability for completing the Judicial Court Reporting degree.
Since receiving Project Steno approval in 2019, the Clark State/Stark State program has had multiple students apply for tuition assistance with Project Steno. Hennigan states, “We are seeing success with students receiving the external support being provided by Project Steno requirements.”
“The boom in captioning and CART careers, plus the aging of the court reporter professional population has created a shortage of court reporters throughout the country,” said Hennigan. “These well-paid, professional careers with excellent job security are abundant. The demand is far greater than the supply.”
The combined Clark State/Stark State program offers numerous benefits to students, including multiple instructors providing support and learning facilitation and combined teaching/professional years of experience of over 125 years. The NCRA-approved program ensures quality standards are being met, along with a multitude of other benefits. The joint program maintains a 100-percent job placement rate; and with approximately 25 students currently enrolled, the program allows for close, individual instruction.
“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 Hennigan. “This is an IT career with continuous learning at its base.”
Students work toward obtaining the NCRA Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification upon graduation with encouragement of obtaining NCRA's Certified Realtime Reporter certification after becoming an RPR.
Hennigan and Eneix both 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.
The Clark State/Stark State JCR degree provides the tools necessary to achieve success in an IT-related field of careers and opens doors to opportunities nationwide. Visit www.clarkstate.edu for additional information.