on the cheap and sleazy side (www.cheapandsleazy.net)
The Eternal Question
Is Court Reporting Right for ME?
Recently, a potential court reporting student joined a Facebook group I run (with some assistance, of course), and she asked a series of questions ... so I answered those questions as best I could.
The querent was pretty happy with the answer, and suggested that I make the post available to everyone ... so here it is! :o)
Vivian H: Hi, I'm Vivian. I am here to decide if court reporting is for me. I would like to know the inside scoop about schools, online programs, etc. I need help in figuring out (1) is this right for me; (2) what kind of commitment do I need to make in terms of time, training, money; (3) what online programs would meet my needs and pocketbook; (4) etc.
Any and all advice would be helpful. Thank you for allowing me to take advantage of the wisdom of this group!
Glen Warner: Hi, Vivian.
Those are all good questions! I'll try to answer them as best I can.
(1) "Is this right for me?"
I guess that depends. Do you or did you enjoy reading? Do you have a good grasp on grammar? Are you good with computers?
If the answer to those questions includes more 'yes' answers than 'no' answers, then you might want to take the test on this page:
I think this school used to have a CR program back in the day, but I can't find it now.
Once you have finished that test, write down your three-letter code and go here:
Court reporters are listed here:
(2) "What kind of commitment do I need to make in terms of time, training, money?"
Another good question.
Learning to become a court reporter is like learning a new language and how to play the piano, all at the same time.
In either endeavor, you'll need to practice, and just how long you do that will vary from school to school.
As for costs, that will vary, depending on which school you end up attending. Simply Steno is one of the least expensive at approximately $5,000 -- but I should mention that you will need to go through Theory (that's the "foreign language" bit I mentioned earlier) before you can attend Simply Steno.
Fortunately, Simply Steno has formed a partnership with the lady that wrote the StarTran theory (http://www.startran.com), so you can go from theory to the end of your training for about $5,000.
There's also another school that costs the same called Court Reporting at Home (http://www.courtreportingathome.com).
The difference: CRAH now offers financial aid through another college and one of the national student loan programs (I forget which one, and the website is a bit cryptic about it all).
StarTran/Simply Steno, on the other hand, allows you to make payments, all the way through your training for roughly $5,000 ... but it can't hurt to see what Marc says about it:
(3) "What online programs would meet my needs and pocketbook?"
Unfortunately, I don't know what's in your pocketbook! . . . but I would look most seriously at the StarTran/Simply Steno program.
Finally, an easy question!
You're going to have to buy yourself a steno machine. CRAH's program gives you the choice of two: the Stenturra Protoge and the Stenturra 400SRT.
The problem with both of these writers is they are both student writers, so before you can actually work, you'll have to buy a professional writer . . . so you should skip those writers, if you can. Instead, look for a ProCAT Flash (http://www.cheapandsleazy.net/flash.html) or a Stentura Fusion (http://www.cheapandsleazy.net/fusion.html).
Either of these writers will serve you all the way through your schooling, and should cost you about $1600, at the most (though I did see a Flash sell for $300 a few weeks back).
You'll also need software. If you go with CRAH, they will have you get digitalCAT (http://www.stenovations.com/digitalcat), which you can use with pretty much any school you go to, but most of them will have you use what they teach, which could be either one of the Big Two -- Case Catalyst (http://www.stenograph.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=40001&subid=4040001&prodid=39272) or Eclipse (http://www.eclipsecat.com/.../cat/student-software-steno).
Finally, you might want to go here:
This one is a bit out of date, but most of the information in it is still valid.
Sorry about the length . . . and I hope I didn't break anything!