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There’s still time!

By Natalie Dippenaar

This is part two of a three-part series. Part one was titled, “What can I do in a month?

Why do I need CEUs?

First, let’s explain that CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to 10 hours of participation in an accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice their professions. To answer the question more directly, many certifications and professions ranging from lawyers to hair dressers, require professionals to participate in continuing education programs for a certain number of hours every year in order to keep their certificates or skills current. The field of court reporting and captioning demands that its practitioners acquire and maintain a broad base of knowledge. This is important – it means your skills will stay up to date and your certification is truly worth all the effort you have put into it.

How can I earn CEUs?

There are several last-minute options to earn CEUs if your cycle is expiring at the end of the month. Members can sign up for webinars scheduled throughout the month of September. In addition, e-seminars and book and article tests, to name a few, are a great way to earn last-minute CEUs at on your own schedule.

Webinars can earn you 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.

  • Friday, Sept. 16: 5 – 6 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Disability awareness and etiquette: More than one out of every five individuals in the United States has a disability. As the baby boomer population ages, the prevalence of disability is expected to increase. People with disabilities are entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to anyone. Yet many of us have not had personal experience with a person who has a disability and/or have not been exposed to a wide variety of types of disabilities and, thus, feel awkward or inadequately prepared to interact or respond appropriately. This session will review common disabilities and discuss courtesies and responses that are applicable in everyday interactions. Individuals will have an opportunity to dialogue about personal experiences and discuss specific situations with the presenter, Robin Jones. Register here.

  • Thursday, Sept. 22: 4 – 5 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Developing resiliency: Six powerful strategies to thrive at work: During this webcast, Dr. Kevin Nourse and Dr. Lynn Schmidt will introduce the Resiliency Framework, which was developed from extensive research and interviews. The framework consists of six strategies that help people thrive in the face of career challenges. Attend this session to find out which resiliency strategy you need to strengthen to increase your career satisfaction and viability. You will take a brief assessment to determine your resiliency needs, and you will leave with at least one action that you can take immediately to increase your resiliency. By using the six resiliency strategies, you can create a career defined by growth, success, and satisfaction. Register here.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 1 – 2 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Practicing in the digital age: How to evolve with your attorneys: In a recent survey, 97 percent of attorneys said they believe electronic case management can mitigate the risk of missing critical details. Attorneys today are under constant pressure to produce an accurate, efficient work product with the expectation of providing exceptional client service. Attendees will learn how transcript workflow technology benefits both you and your clients by relieving pressures and producing secure, flexible transcripts efficiently. Brought to you by Thomson Reuters. Register here.

Watch the CEU Corner and visit the NCRA webinar website for late additions to the schedule.

E-seminars can earn you 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.

  • 90 apps in 90 minutes:In this fast-paced, high-energy session, learn from Christine Phipps, RPR, and Sara Wood about the latest and best apps that can help you improve your productivity, organize your day, and provide you with the necessary tools to be a rock star in the field. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
  • How to caption sports like a pro!An overview of captioning sports for the seasoned captioner, and newbies, too! We’ll start with the opportunities available, where to begin, dictionary management, and how to prep! Tips, tricks, and sports-related terminology. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
  • How to make the most out of the best practices for CART captioning: Learn about CART captioning best practices with Sami Silvia, RMR, CRR, CRC, and Carol Studenmund, RDR, CRR, CRC. The e-seminar discusses the roles of all the parties involved in bringing access to people with hearing disabilities through CART captioning. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
  • Empower hour with Julie: This webinar, taught by Julie Lessa, RPR, discusses equipping, empowering, and educating women on safety. She presents different lethal and nonlethal options for protecting yourself in different situations. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
  • Medical captioning: Mirabai Knight, RDR, CRR, CRC, discusses how prefixes, suffixes, research skills, fingerspelling techniques, and other strategies that can be used to build a robust medical dictionary. 0.15 CEU. Register here.

Courting Disaster game: Play a game, purchase the e-seminar, and earn 0.15 CEUs. Courting Disaster is the first online learning game designed to simulate the unique challenges that court reporters face every day. The game is free to play and offers a one-of-a-kind interactive learning experience for court reporters, students, and anyone interested in the reporting profession. To earn CEU credits, purchase the follow-up e-seminar that explores the issues encountered in the game in more detail. To play now, register here.

What about earning PDCs?

Members may earn up to 1.0 Professional Development Credit (PDC) to apply towards their current cycle requirements. Generally speaking, PDCs acknowledge that many members give back to the profession in many ways, including through providing pro bono service, promoting the profession at career days, or other service, and that those activities can increase a person’s knowledge of the world around them. PDCs may not be applied to CLVS or reinstatement continuing education requirements.

  • Article tests: You can earn 0.25 PDC by reading one of the listed articles and then passing a short multiple-choice test. The questions are based on the material in the article, although some may require additional research. The passing score is 75%, and tests are marked Pass or Fail. Each test may only be taken once, and your results will be automatically downloaded to your official NCRA transcript within 5-7 business days, reflecting the day you completed the test. But remember, units will only be awarded to participants who pass the exam and tests may not be repeated. Check out the list of articles and read more here.
  • Book tests: You can earn 0.25 PDC by reading one of the books approved by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR) and then taking a short multiple-choice test. The passing score is 85% and each test may be taken only once. Click here for the list of approved books and to take a book test.
  • Distance learning ideas: The Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR) and the NCRA Independent Self-Study Task Force Committee (ISSTFC) have pre-qualified a number of third party providers/programs as activities acceptable for CEUs or PDCs. Click here for the list of approved programs.
  • Oral Histories Program: You can earn 0.25 PDC per completed transcript from an interview of a veteran, Holocaust survivor, or attorney who participated in Legal Aid, through NCRF’s Oral Histories Program. The completed veterans transcripts must be mailed to NCRF, so keep postal time in mind if you’re facing the September deadline. The transcripts for Holocaust survivors and Legal Aid, however, are submitted electronically, which gets you your credits even faster. Contact NCRF’s Foundation Manager, April Weiner, at for more information.

What if I run out of time without finishing my required number of CEUs?

If you’ve run out of time, you can opt to pay for a four-month extension from Sept. 30 to Jan. 31, 2017. The processing fee is $99. Click here for a Cycle Extension Request Form.

And don’t forget, it’s cheaper to submit your CEUs online!

For more information, visit Ways to Earn Continuing Education.

Natalie Dippenaar is NCRA’s Professional Development Program Manager. She can be reached at