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Clark State/Stark State Joint Program Approved for Funding through Project Steno

Clark State/Stark State Joint Program Approved for Funding through Project Steno

February 11, 2019

As National Court Reporting & Captioning Week gets underway, Clark State Community College and joint program partner school Stark State College are pleased to announce the approval of the Project Steno partnership.

Clark State and Stark State have offered the joint Judicial Court Reporting program since June of 2016. The program is completed through online courses.

Project Steno 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.

The Clark State/Stark State program completed an application requiring informational documents, including recruiting information, student monitoring procedures, program curriculum sheets, college calendars, recruiting information and more.

“We had to complete a joint interview with Project Steno, provide two letters of recommendation from local employers and from a recent graduate of the program,” said Robyn Hennigan, assistant professor and program coordinator for Judicial Court Reporting at Clark State.

Being a Project Steno-approved program now allows the Clark State/Stark State program to offer Project Steno’s tuition assistance to students who complete the National Court Reporters Association’s (NCRA) free A to Z program prior to enrolling in the Judicial Court Reporting program.

Hennigan and 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.

“The Project Steno tuition assistance program offers additional motivation for students through their scholarship opportunity and lends additional support to students through adding an external means of accountability,” they said.

A to Z is a six- to eight-week program that introduces steno machine writing to individuals wanting to explore a possible career in court reporting, closed captioning, CART captioning or webcasting.

“The Clark State/Stark State partnership is in process of creating the A to Z program offering at both campuses, allowing for individuals to transition directly to the college program,” said Hennigan.

Project Steno will pay tuition assistance directly to Clark State/Stark State on behalf of Project Steno-approved students in the amount of $150 per month as well as the student’s required Realtime Coach subscription (online skill practice and testing platform) monthly.

Students must also sign an MOU with Project Steno, remain continuously enrolled in a court reporting program and maintain satisfactory progress throughout the school year.

Project Steno relies exclusively on contributions from the court reporting community for its operations. The Clark State/Stark State program has been fully approved and is ready to offer the Project Steno tuition assistance to students who meet the requirements. The program has approximately 20 students currently enrolled, allowing for close, individual instruction.

“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.

“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.

Students work toward obtaining the NCRA Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification upon graduation with encouragement of obtaining NCRA's Certified Realtime Reporter certification.

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.

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.

In conjunction with NCRA's seventh annual National Court Reporting & Captioning week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted have recognized and declared Ohio Court Reporting & Captioning Week February 10-17, 2019.

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Laurie Means Executive Director, Marketing