Court  Reporting FAQs   10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Court Reporting School
Contributors of the following information include credentialed court reporters, broadcast closed captioners, CART providers and realtime court reporting and broadcast closed captioning educators.

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Court Reporting Schools  The 10 most important questions you should ask court reporting schools...

Before enrolling in Court Reporting School, be sure to ask the right questions. Court Reporting, Captioning, and CART providing jobs are wonderful professions in high demand with lucrative incomes, but it is imperative you have quality training from qualified, credentialed professionals.

For answers to any or all of the 10 FAQs listed below, click on the question or continue to scroll down the page.



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1.   Is it really necessary to attend an accredited, NCRA-certified school that offers an Associate's Degree?

The Facts about accreditation, NCRA certification, and Associate's Degrees...

  • There is no requirement in any state to attend an accreditated or NCRA approved court reporting school.
  • A large number of the most successful court reporters, captioners, and CART Providers in the professions today did not attend NCRA approved or accredited schools and have no degree.
  • Approximately 200 accredited, degree granting court reporting schools have closed for various reasons since 1999. About 100 of these were NCRA-approved schools.
  • One of the largest accredited, NCRA-approved schools in the country, with branches in three states, ceased enrolling students last year...
  • Accreditation, Associate's Degrees, and NCRA approval are not a reliable measure of the overall stability of a school or the quality of education of the court reporting school. 
  • The determining factor used by potential employers is RPR certification from the National Court Reporters Association or a state certification if required, not where or how you received your training.
  • Most degree-granting institutions base the length of training on 2-1/2 years.  However, statistics indicate most graduates take longer than that, often up to 4 to 7 years.
  • Some of these degree-granting colleges are proprietary schools whose credits will not transfer to a real college or university.
  • For more detailed information read questions 5 and 6 at bottom of page.

   2. What is Theory?  Is Theory an Important Consideration for My Court Reporting, Captioning, or CART Training?

Theory is the most important component for all realtime training!  The theory you learn will determine the accuracy and quality of your realtime translation, how quickly you build speed, and ultimately will be the determining factor in how successful you are as a realtime court reporter, captioner, or CART Provider!  

The Realtiime Reporting and Captioning Theory from Court Reporting and Captioning at Home is the ONLY NCRA Approved Theory developed specifically for ONLINE training, and including a foundation for realtime court reporting, closed captioning, and CART Providing. This  unique simplified theory is a milestone in court reporting training, and
includes one of a kind full studio produced video tutorials, color coded theory manual, and audio drills on CRAH's technologically superior multimedia platform.

CLICK HERE or CALL 877 253 0200

The question schools are asked most often is, "How do you write on the steno machine"  View the video below and see Court Reporting and Captioning at Home's revolutionary studio-produced, animated graphic video tutorials that vividly illustrate how to write on the steno machine!


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who qualify train for free (including a steno machine) using their MyCAA Grant!  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!

Court Reporting and Captioning at Home is an International  Realtime Court Reporting, Captioning, and CART Providing training program!

How long does court reporting school take? 

While most court reporting schools base their programs on 24 to 30 months, studies by the National Court Reporters Association and independent research show very few students actually graduate in that length of time, with most taking 3 to 5 years or longer. Court reporting colleges and traditional court reporting schools emphasize non-essentials such as Associate degrees, accreditation, and academics not relative to court reporting which contribute to this inordinate length of time for graduation. Ask the court reporting school what the average length of time for graduation is, not what the program is based on.

There are credible alternatives to the traditional court reporting schools and court reporting colleges. One online program, the
"Court Reporting and Captioning at Home" CLICK HERE program is self paced and developed specifically for home study court reporting, captioning, and CART providing training which allows the student to graduate in a fraction of the time of traditional court reporting schools.

Learn More

2. How much does court reporting school cost?  

Traditional for profit court reporting schools' tuition costs range from $25,000 to $57,000. You may be surprised to learn that these colleges of court reporting and court reporting schools have 85% to 90% dropout rates and average graduation rates of 2 to 14 percent. Many factors contribute to these court reporting colleges' and schools' high tuition costs including but not limited to large administrative staffs consisting of financial aid officers, commissioned admissions representatives, deans and other administrators that are rarely from the court reporting professions and rarely are credentialed court reporters themselves. Most of these court reporting colleges and schools are owned by corporations with no affiliation to court reporters or court reporting education and often confer an Occupational Associate's Degree that will not transfer to an actual college or university. Bear in mind, no degree is required for any of the careers of court reporting, broadcast (closed) captioning, or CART providing.

Community colleges cost substantially less than for profit or proprietary court reporting schools, but are also rarely staffed by credentialed court reporters and require non-essential academics and Associate's Degrees that once again are not required for any of these three careers.

The Court Reporting and Captioning at Home
training program is affordable and owned and staffed by credentialed court reporters, captioners, or CART Providers. Learn More

3. What court reporting theory does the school teach? This may be the number one or most important question to ask the court reporting school. 

Theory is the foundation of your training. Theory is learning to write on the steno machine. Most court reporting schools teach outdated, stroke intensive theories that have not been updated to stay abreast with the court reporting and captioning softwares of today. This sounds boring and technical, but according to the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) Future Group report, it is not necessary to have such "complex theories," and these complex, outdated theories contribute to the low graduation rates and high attrition rates court reporting schools experience. While these theories have not been successful in traditional court reporting schools, they have even less success in court reporting online programs.

The "Realtime Reporting and Captioning Theory" was developed by a Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), and court reporting and captioning educator. This theory is exclusively used by the "Court Reporting and Captioning at Home" distance learning program and has proved successful. It is the only NCRA-approved theory developed specifically for home study or online training.
Learn More

4. Does the court reporting college or school employ credentialed court reporters with a minimum of RPR (Registered Professional Reporter) credentials for all their courses? Is the court reporting school owned by a credentialed reporter?

Court Reporting, Closed Captioning, and CART Providing are unlike any other careers. To be taught by someone who has never attained a minimum of the RPR credentials is not acceptable. Credentials such as the CRI (Certified Reporting Instructor) or CLVS (Certified Legal Video Specialist) are nice, but that does not mean they are court reporters themselves. Any court reporting school instructor should hold the minimum of the RPR to teach or dictate in any court reporting or closed captioning class. Many instructors in colleges of court reporting and schools are dropouts or graduates unable to pass state certification exams. Your instructors should at least hold the state credential they expect you to obtain.

Court reporting school owners are rarely court reporters and have little if any rapport with the court reporting community.

"Court Reporting and Captioning at Home" only employs credentialed court reporters, closed captioners, and CART Providers. These professionals have passed either state or national court reporting certification examinations. The owner and President of CRAH is an RMR (Registered Merit Reporter), CPE (Certified Program Evaluator), RPR (Registered Professional Reporter), CSR (Certified Shorthand Reporter), and past member of the National Court Reporting Association's Test Advisory Committee, former Southern Association of Colleges and Schools team member and evaluator of SACs accredited Court Reporting Schools with an extensive court reporting, captioning, and CART Providing educational background.
READ MORE. "Court Reporting and Captioning at Home" is of the firm belief if you haven't accomplished this training yourself, passed certification examinations to prove your proficiency, and been successful in these careers, it is difficult if not impossible to successfully train students as realtime writers

IMPORTANT NOTE!  When researching the career of court reporting it should be noted that other terms commonly used to refer to court reporters are, court recorder, court recorders, court stenographer, court stenographers, and stenographer.  

5. Do I need a degree or to attend an accredited court reporting school or college to enter the career of court reporting, captioning, or CART providing? 

Associate's degrees and accredited court reporting schools substantially increase the cost of your court reporting school education and often require you to take needless academics that have no relevance to passing court reporting certification examinations administered either by your state or the NCRA. Accreditation and Associate's Degrees are NOT neccessary and are not a reliable measure of the quality of the court reporting college or school. Much more important than an Associate's Degree or court reporting school accreditation is a staff of qualified, credentialed court reporters to guide you throughout your court reporting school training and prepare you for your job as a real time court reporter, broadcast closed captioner, or CART provider in a realistic period of time.

A large number of court reporters have no degree, nor did they attend an accredited court reporting college or school. Many were tutored by court reporters, attended non-accredited schools, were self-taught, or completed home study court reporting schools such as the "Court Reporting and Captioning at Home" program. When interviewing for a court reporter job or closed captioning job, the determining factor will be having RPR certification from the NCRA and your state court reporting certification if required. Approximately half the states in the United States require you to pass a certification examination while the other half does not.

6. What is NCRA Approval and is it neccessary? 

The National Court Reporters Association sets minimum standards and requirements for its approved traditional schools. Because a traditional court reporting school is NCRA approved does not ensure it has a quality educational program. It only means the traditional school has met the NCRA's minimum standards and requirements. Conversely, a school that chooses not to participate in the NCRA approval process may still offer a high quality education. The NCRA is an excellent organization and does great things for its members, but its own statistics indicate that since 1999 well over one half of NCRA-approved schools have gone out of business, been closed by government agencies, or dropped their court reporting programs, often preventing their students from completing their training.

The certification the court reporting school student receives from their state or the NCRA by testing is the measure a potential employer will use to evaluate their skills. NCRA approval is not the determining factor for quality education

7. What is the graduation rate and attrition rate of the court reporting school? 

It is important to know the court reporting school's graduation rate as well as its attrition rate. Many court reporting schools have graduation rates ranging from 2% to 14% according to the "College Navigator" website from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. The graduation rates may not reflect only the court reporter program as many schools have multiple programs, and the graduation rate reflects the sum of all the programs.

It is not unusual for a traditional court reporting school to have an 90% to 95% attrition rate

8. What is RPR certification and CSR certification, and does the court reporting school curriculum focus on court reporter certification? 

RPR certification or the Registered Professional Reporter certification credentials conferred through testing by the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) should be the main focus of a court reporting school. In addition, the court reporting school should customize its training program for the student to pass state certification if required, in the state where you will be employed.

Read FAQ # 4 for more detailed information about the importance of court reporter certification.

The "Court Reporting and Captioning at Home" home study program focuses on RPR and state certification. It is a comprehensive program developed to prepare students to pass the RPR including, Court Reporting Academics, Speed Skills, and CAT software (Computer Aided Transcription). 

9. Does the Court Reporting School provide an externship/internship? 

An externship/internship provides students practical experience working with a court reporter, broadcast closed captioner, or CART provider to see firsthand what they have learned in their training. This externship/internship serves to build a network of professionals to assist students as they transition into professionals themselves. EVERY school or program should provide an externship/internship

10. Does the court reporting school or court reporting college train you for realtime court reporting, closed captioning, and CART Providing?  

Realtime training is essential. The future of court reporting is realtime. The student that is trained for realtime court reporting, closed captioning, and CART Providing will be able to enter any of these careers without having to extend his or her training. Again, court reporting theory is the most important factor in becoming a quality realtime writer. Read FAQ # 3 for more information about why the theory you choose can literally mean your success or failure.  Ask if the school is providing comprehensive captioning, and CART Providing training.

The "Court Reporting and Captioning at Home" program has the ability to train the  student simultaneously for all three realtime careers, realtime court reporting, closed captioning, and CART Providing, or for any one of the realtime careers separately.  The Realtime Reporting and Captioning Theory taught exclusively by CRAH is the only NCRA approved theory developed specifically for distance education, and containing a realtime court reporting, closed captioning, and CART Providing foundation.

Court Reporting and Captioning at Home provides comprehensive captioning and CART Providing education.  The technologically advanced materials include one of a kind studio produced video turtorials,  television broadcasts with transcripts, actual classroom lectures with transcripts, all formatting techniques, and required glossaries for the steno dictionary.