Court Reporting ? Education Training Options
A written transcript provides a legal record of a trial or court proceeding that may be used in future proceedings. It is the responsibility of the court reporter to ensure that all transcripts are documented correctly. Educational training options leave two main paths to take and students can complete a program inside a vocational school.
A certificate and associate’s degree program are the two main options for education. Students have to work through a preliminary step and a completion step before a career as a court reporter can be entered.
*Preliminary Step: Choose a Method
Formal training is required for this career field because the recorded information has to be accurate. The method of reporting students want to conduct directly affects the length of education needed. Stenography, electronic, and voice writing are three main methods available in court reporting.
To become a stenographer it takes two years of study while becoming a voice writer only takes around one year. While most programs approach learning in a general format many colleges have certain courses that can be taken to work exclusively in one area. Choosing a method is important and determines what level of education should be entered.
*Completion Step: General Approach
A certificate program is a good option for students that do not need or cannot complete a two-year associate’s degree program. Students are immersed in courses that teach them to properly use transcription equipment. Shorthand techniques, terminology and technical writing courses are covered to prepare students for the fast paced and technical speech used inside a courtroom. The different areas of court proceedings are broken down into manageable pieces of information. Courses cover the industry by including topics on reporting technology, medical terminology, legal terminology, and testimony transcription. A medical terminology course will familiarize students with human anatomy, disease and drug terminology. Students study by understanding the root of words, which is beneficial when listening to a trial or a physician’s testimony. Class work focuses on teaching students to be able to pronounce, spell, and explain medical words correctly.
To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the field students can enter an associate’s degree program. Students learn the same material covered in a certificate program while being taught more work related tasks. Students should expect to walk away from a program with the ability to transcribe speech, type quickly and listen intently. Coursework expands to include more information on court reporting through subjects on document formatting issues, court procedures, and shorthand techniques. A court procedures course focuses on the court reporter’s role inside trials, meetings, and hearings. Both levels of vocational training prepare students to step into the industry.
Completing the preliminary step to education will provide students with the right educational track. Taking the general approach is the most common path. Students should consider all educational options in order to enter the field that’s right for them. Choose an accredited educational program in court reporting that provides the best training options for you. Accreditation is provided by agencies like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to programs that offer a quality education and meet certain criteria.
DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.
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