Alfred State College of Technology, located in Alfred, N.Y., offers an associate degree program for those who are looking to earn their first college degree while training for a career in court reporting. For those who have already earned a degree, they offer a certificate program which enables those students to attend part time, taking only the classes needed to train specifically for a career in court reporting.
Another unique feature of Alfred State’s programs is that most of the theory and steno courses are offered in smaller seven-week classes so that students who need to repeat a class can restart that class in a short amount of time. The seven-week format has improved the retention rate because it allows students to attend continuously with no breaks. The college was even able to extend the seven-week classes to summer session so all students can attend continuously all year.
Two years ago Alfred State’s court reporting programs went entirely online because the demand was much greater for the online option than the on-campus option. Students who wish to have the college experience by living at or near the college may take their general education classes in the classroom and their court reporting classes online.
“What I love about Alfred State’s Court Reporting program is how structured it is,” said student Tara Thomas. “The classes are arranged in a way that builds a strong foundation in realtime theory, which helps to set the students up for success once they enter the speed classes. Many of the theory classes have prerecorded videos to go along with each day’s lesson where the professor explains what the lesson is about and fills the students in on new short forms and phrases. This helps the online learning environment feel like you are in a classroom with the professor.”
Thomas also had high praise for the faculty. “The support that the professors provide is another reason why I love Alfred State’s Court Reporting program,” she said. “This is a very challenging program, and students go through a whirlwind of emotions along this journey. Being able to reach out to the professors who once were in our same shoes helps encourage us to keep moving forward. I look forward to obtaining my certificate in court reporting with the help of Alfred State’s program.”
Court Reporting Program Coordinator Melissa Blake, CRI, CPE, said, “Alfred State’s court reporting enrollment has doubled since switching to the seven-week format for the steno courses. We are still gathering data to determine how the switch has affected retention rates, but preliminary statistics look promising!”