Clark State Community College and Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio, will join forces in a combined Judicial Court Reporting program beginning in the spring semester of 2016. “Clark State's collaboration with Stark State represents our commitment to providing a high-quality program that takes advantage of the strengths of each institution,” said Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin. The Ohio Board of Regents has also approved the shared program.
“We are already advising students toward this degree,” said Robyn Hennigan, assistant professor and program coordinator of Clark State’s Realtime Court Reporting program. “Stark State is guiding students to the Clark State theory class for fall of 2015. It will go seamlessly into the shared degree program.”
Hennigan said both colleges are home to small online court reporting programs. “Combining the two programs will reduce costs for both colleges and increase the student experience,” she said. “It will increase the number of students, thus increasing the support they can offer each other.”
In order to graduate with a degree in Judicial Court Reporting, students will have to complete 65 credit hours. Hennigan said while Clark State houses more of the technical courses, the hours earned from each college are about even. The degree will reflect both institutions, and students can register at either college, but they must apply at both. Application fees for the guest college will be waived.
“The reason for registering at both colleges is so the student gets into both systems,” explained Hennigan. “The process will be completely outlined for the student. They will have a step-by-step checklist.”
Classes for the program are identified as Realtime Court Reporting in the fall 2015 class schedule, but will be identified as Judicial Court Reporting in the spring 2016 schedule. The two colleges also hope to develop a Closed Captioning program certificate to come after the two-year Court Reporting degree. “The captioning is not going away,” said Hennigan. “There will be an option at both institutions.”
Hennigan said students will benefit from the shared program by having access to more full-time faculty, expanded internship opportunities and additional students to collaborate with in the skills-based program. “People talk about how hard court reporting programs are, but the hard part is the dedication it takes to learn the skill,” she said. “Students will have one another to fall back on. It creates a competitive, yet supportive environment.”