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November is the perfect time to invest in yourself

November is National Career Development Month, established by the National Career Development Association, and it is the perfect time to invest in yourself, no matter the stage of your career, by participating in the NCRF Career Launcher program. It is also the perfect time for students to take advantage of the new quarterly NCRF Career Launcher Student Grants program being supported by the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF).

NCRF will be offering five to seven grants each quarter beginning in January 2022 that will cover the cost for students to participate in the Career Launcher program. Students interested in applying for the grant must complete an application form. Completed applications will be entered into a drawing to be held live on Facebook on Jan. 15, 2022. Applications not drawn as winners will be included in all future drawings in which five to seven more entries will be chosen. Future quarterly drawings will be held on April 15, Aug. 15, and Dec. 15 in 2022. Grant winners will be featured in an article in an issue of the JCR Weekly and the Up-to-Speed student newsletter.

The Career Launcher program, which successfully lifted off in July, is the perfect program to sharpen, hone, and polish your skills as a new court reporter. The 10-module, self-paced educational offering is supported by NCRF and was developed with the support of its Corrinne Clark Professionalism Institute. The program is offered through the NCRA Learning Center.

Career Launcher is designed to serve as a bridge for students and new professionals between graduation and their first job, exposing new reporters to myriad real-life situations, giving them the experience that would have taken years to gain in the field. Candidates who participate in the program will receive feedback from volunteer veteran court reporters who will review each assignment and offer guidance on transcript preparation.

“There is no better time to invest in yourself and your skills than now. Whether you are a newbie to this wonderful profession, midway through your career, or a seasoned veteran, by either taking the modules or signing up to volunteer as a reviewer, the benefits you will gain are priceless,” said NCRA President Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter and captioner from Salt Lake City, Utah.

The cost for the student 10-module Career Launcher program is currently $100 for members and $175 for nonmembers. Once registered, candidates have 10 months from the date of purchase to complete all of the modules. Upon completion of the entire program, participants will receive a certificate verifying that they have completed the program. No CEUs are currently awarded to students.

Starting Nov. 12, the program will also be offered at the cost of $279 for members and $350 for nonmembers with a total of 0.40 CEU awarded upon completion of the 10 modules. To learn more about the program or to register, visit the NCRA Learning Center.

Anyone interested in volunteering to serve as an NCRF Career Launcher reviewer can learn more or register at NCRF Career Launcher Reviewer Enrollment or by emailing Brenda Gill, NCRA Membership and Development Manager, at Career Launcher reviewers are eligible to receive 0.50 PDC (Professional Development Credits)* after reviewing transcripts from 10 modules.

*PDCs are Professional Development Credits, a subset of Continuing Education Units, which can be applied to the overall CEUs requirement for maintaining certification. PDCs may be granted for qualifying activities that do not include class time, such as qualifying on a Speed or Realtime Contest leg. Most individuals are limited to 1.0 PDC per cycle toward their continuing education requirements.

To learn more about the Career Launcher program, visit the website where you can watch an introductory video about it.

To read more about the Career Launcher program, see the article in the November/December print issue of the JCR.