Have you considered being a court reporter? It is possible to pick up all the coursework you need online and receive an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in Court Reporting. For those of you who are working and perhaps have families, you have a lot on your plate. An online Court Reporting degree is a great way to increase your skills in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Court Reporting coursework online generally provides a mix of real-time and self-paced curriculum activities that are simply conducted by way of the Internet.
If you’re not familiar with online coursework, keep in mind that it requires a fair amount of self-discipline as you will receive coursework weekly and expected to be able to finish your assignments on time. Most online courses have more than adequate help if you need it not only from teachers but students as well. As you can imagine, online Court Reporting coursework requires computer skills making use of your writing skills as well as your ability to research and use a word processor. Generally, this poses no problem for most students even students who are not all that familiar with computers.
Most institutions that offer Court Reporting coursework offer two online/offline programs which simply includes full-time and part-time curriculum. All you need to do is choose the appropriate program for you. Generally speaking, full-time Court Reporting curriculum involves a minimum of 26 hours a week meaning that is the amount of time you will spend online working on your coursework. On the other hand, part-time Court Reporting programs involve a minimum of approximately 15 hours a week online working on that program. Depending on the particular classes you’re taking at the time, your weekly hourly schedule will vary. Nevertheless, consider the amount of stress reduction just from not having to commute (a lot of time wasted there) as well as the money you will save on gas.
Court Reporting Certification and Curriculum
Most Court Reporting programs prepare you to become a Certified Court Reporter. This is carried out by teaching you to develop machine shorthand speed up to 225 words a minute and a typing speed up to 50 words per minute (wpm) on a computer. You will also learn proper English grammar and punctuation along with a medical and legal vocabularies including anatomy, speech, psychology, courtroom and deposition procedures as well as transcription on computer. Once you have passed and completed your program, you can seek positions such as an official court reporter, stenographer, captioner, freelance or deposition reporter.
Court Reporting coursework includes everything you need to seek a Court Reporting position. The coursework is fairly standard no matter where you go and includes:
- Four courses in Court Reporting Theory including basic and advanced
- Court Reporting English
- Machine shorthand and computer entry speed building
- A couple of courses in reporting technologies
- A course in reporting procedures
- Coursework in English composition I and II (essay writing)
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Speech principles
- General psychology
- Legal and law terminology
Most programs run for 120 weeks and include 85 quarter credit hours of Court Reporting curriculum and any associated lab work along with 23 quarter credit hours of general education (GenEds) for a total of 108 quarter credit hours which is standard. Vocational coursework is regulated like any other coursework for example in the south by the Southern Association of Colleges or SACS in the U.S. There are other regional associations of colleges that cover other parts of the U.S. These regional associations of colleges overlap and are very effective in maintaining high standards of education throughout the U.S. These systems make is easy for students to transfer and pursue higher level degrees outside their own regions such as transferring from New England colleges to Florida colleges or California colleges, for example. The common acceptance of regional accreditation stands for quality and any college you attend whether in class or online should carry a regional accreditation.
What Do I need Computer Wise?
A Court Reporting program generally requires specific components. Before you can be accepted into a Court Reporting program, you must certify that you have the required technologies which include:
- Desktop or laptop computer, Pentium 4 minimum with a minimum of 1 Gigabyte (1GB) of read access memory (RAM)
- 40 GB hard drive min
- Windows 2000, XP, Vista 7, 8 – this varies depending on the college so make sure to check
- Monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse
- Need 2 free USB ports
- Speakers and sound card
- Graphics accelerator card
- CD ROM drive
- Java and Flash
- Web Browsers: Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher (IE6), possibly Firefox or Google Chrome. Not all colleges support AOL or WebTV browsers so check on that.
- Cookies must be enabled
- And of course you need online access such as cable, DSL or other high speed connection. High speed is important here.
From Wikimedia Commons: Female stenographer
This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. All rights relinquished.
Susan has studied at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Biomedical Institute in Galveston, Texas and the University of South Florida in Tampa and received a Ph.D. in Biology with a major in Neuroscience and minors in physics and mathematics. Area of research is in brain transplantation and behavior testing with twenty years of teaching experience. Fields of interest include the physical basis of memory and learning, brain repair and regeneration as well as neuro-development. As an educator, has taught thousands of students at the college level in anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, marinebiology, nutrition, communications, radiography, ultrasound, mathematics and physics. She enjoys reading current scientific literature and simplifying the material making it readily available to the public.