I am learning about modern-day court reporting schools and some of the options that are available for people who want to go to school. I am interested in the schools, the students, the teachers, and school owners.
Today I am attending the STAR midyear conference in Las Vegas. John Wenclawski and Dave Wynne just gave a report during the Stenograph forum on their two schools, the Prince School in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Denver Academy of Court Reporting. Both schools teach exclusively steno writers. What is very interesting to me is the percentage of students who are online and are successful at passing tests. In Denver, 50% of the students are online and 60% have a hybrid program with the brick-and-mortar school as well as being online which gives students more flexibility.
Speaking to Dave Wynne of Stenograph, I learned that their two schools, the Denver Academy of Court Reporting and the Prince School of Court Reporting each offer a 30-month program, and the students when they successfully complete the school get an Associate’s degree. Wynne commented, “One of the biggest misconceptions is there is less interaction with an on-line school. In reality, the teacher posts questions that every student has to answer and participate. There is no hiding online. Everyone does read-backs.”
I understand that Bryan College in Los Angeles has an online program as does the Court Reporting Institute of Dallas.
As someone who has graduated from court reporting school, I believe the toughest part of getting certified and building speed is discipline. YOU MUST BECOME ONE WITH THE MACHINE! It is like being a professional piano player, tennis player, or singer. You have to practice, practice, practice until you are almost perfect. Giving up is not an option. Of course, if you don’t have any natural ability, and hopefully you will know this intuitively, or you don’t have a passion for speed building or striving for perfection, you probably should not choose to be in court reporting school.
Periodically, I get calls or emails from people who find my name asking me if I think they should go to court reporting school. Most of these inquiries are from complete strangers. I always ask a litany of questions: Have you ever taken a typing class? Did you enjoy the class and think it was fun to get faster and try to be perfect? Are you at all fast at typing? Did you take piano? Were you good at piano? Did you enjoy the process of learning piano? Are you a disciplined person? Do you want to be a court reporter with all of your heart? Do you understand you have to go to school every single day and practice every single day? ARE YOU A DISCIPLINED PERSON?
Now, I also get the question: Do you think going to an online school is okay? Are they any good?
My answer is YES. I believe online court reporting schools offer great opportunity especially for people who do not live near a brick-and-mortar school. We need court reporters in our industry. I believe the average age of a court reporter these days is 47. We need students to have access to schools all over the country. Being online gives you the chance to be a court reporter no matter where you live. If I had a niece or nephew who was interested in court reporting, I would not hesitate to recommend an online school – BUT ALWAYS WITH MY WARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS IN ALL KINDS OF SCHOOLS – BE DISCIPLINED. GO TO SCHOOL. BE GREAT.
I plan on interviewing some students in the upcoming weeks who are in the high speeds and going to school online. I would love to receive Tweets about any experiences people have.