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School Spotlight: Anoka Technical College

By Jennifer Sati

A group of Anoka graduates who stopped by for a visit.

The Judicial Reporting/Captioning Program at Anoka Technical College is a successful program that has been graduating new career professionals for the past 20 years. Located in a northern suburb of Minneapolis, Minn., we offer an A.A.S. degree in judicial reporting, an advanced certificate in captioning, and a certificate in scoping. Students have the option of attending live classes on campus or participating in live classes via Zoom. We typically have an average of 45 to 80 students enrolled in the program. Our goal is to be a leader in the education of students who desire to be highly qualified court reporters, captioners, and CART providers.

Chelsea Lubbers

Chelsea Lubbers, a 225 wpm student at Anoka Tech said, “What I love about this program is the amount of support received from both my fellow students and from Jen, Jane, and Deb. I’ve recently passed my 200s and moved on to 225. When I found out, I couldn’t wait to share with everyone because I knew they would be excited along with me. This program has taught me patience, perseverance, time management, and overall given me so much confidence in myself. And for that I’m grateful.”

All courses are taught by instructors who bring a specific expertise from the field and share their knowledge with students in their classroom. Jane Schleusner, CRI; Merilee Johnson, RDR, CRR, CRC; Deb Longley, CRI; Jeanna Zunker, RPR; and I all bring a broad range of knowledge and experience from freelance, court, captioning, and technology to the classrooms.

Without a doubt, a key factor to the success of our program is the individualized and face-to-face attention each student receives from their instructors, whether in person or on Zoom. Beyond the speed requirement of 225 wpm, we work tirelessly to ensure our program is teaching the skills students need to be successful once they graduate, including court and freelance procedures, how to properly punctuate and produce transcripts, effective use of technology, and terminology. Our program considers the NCRA approval status an essential element and are proud to hold that designation.

All students learn a realtime theory and connect their realtime to their laptops the first semester of school. As students go through the program, they continuously add word entries to their dictionary, enter parentheticals, use EZ Speakers, create template pages, and learn other core dictionary and software functions. We have our own online repository of unlimited dictation material for students to use when practicing outside the classroom. On campus we have a court reporting lab with captioning stations. Our newest addition to our lab is a large-screen TV with an iCap encoder. The captioning classes are also offered to working reporters who wish to add captioning to their professional services.

The local support from our state association, Minnesota Association of Verbatim Reporters and Captioners, and their members is outstanding! Their support is an integral part of a student’s journey through school and as they enter their career as a new professional. Our state association stays involved with the students several times throughout the year by visiting, setting up fun activities, and finding ways to encourage and uplift the students. To celebrate Court Reporting & Captioning Week last month, Anoka Tech and MAVRC hosted a “Steno Zoom Gala.” In all there were 87 students, professional reporters, and captioners who participated. There were guest speakers, prizes, and then we wrapped up the night playing steno karaoke. What an exciting way to combine fun and networking.

The faculty at Anoka Tech truly enjoy what they are doing and have a passion to share this amazing profession with others. It is exhilarating to see students pass their speed tests and then graduate and become new professionals. To find out more about our program, please visit us at http://www.anokatech.edu/ProgramsCourses/AdminMgmt/JudicialReporting

Jennifer Sati, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI, is a program director at Anoka Technical College. Learn more about NCRA-approved schools and programs.

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