How does court reporting really work?

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyGood Morning Iowa aired a story on Feb. 16 featuring NCRA member Karen Teig, RPR, CRR, CMRS, an official court reporter in Cedar Rapids, and Patricia Ziegler, CRI, CPE, director of the court reporting program at Des Moines Area Community College in Newton. The two demonstrated how the steno machine works.

Watch the segment.

‘Niche’ offerings boost Newton’s DMACC campus

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyOn Feb. 2, the Newton Daily News posted an article about the unique programs the Des Moines Area Community College offers, including its court reporting program.

Read more.

State hopes to combat court reporter shortage before it starts

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyNews 9, Oklahoma City, aired a story on Jan. 11 about a new court reporting program at the Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee, Okla., aimed at helping to avoid a shortage of court reporters predicted to face the state.

Read more.

Go for the gold in NCRA’s Olympic student speed contest!

In celebration of Court Reporting & Captioning Week, the NCRA Student/Teacher Committee is sponsoring an Olympic-themed speed test offered to all students at varying test speeds. The tests consist of five minutes of dictation at a speed level that each individual student is either currently working on or has just passed. In order to be eligible to win, students must pass the test with 96 percent accuracy. (After all, it is the Olympics!) One Literary and one Q&A test will be offered, and the faculty at each school will be responsible for dictating and grading the material.*

How to win: All students who pass a test are eligible for prizes; winners will be drawn at random for first (gold), second (silver), and third (bronze) prizes.

  • Gold medal prize: NCRA’s RPR Study Guide ($125 value)
  • Silver medal prize: Choice of a one-year NCRA student membership ($46 value) or one leg of the RPR Skills Test ($72.50 value)
  • Bronze medal prize: $25 Starbucks gift card

All students who participate in the contest, even if they don’t pass a test, will have their names and schools published in the student newsletter and the JCR. NCRA wants to showcase the hard work that students and schools are doing to promote the court reporting and captioning professions.

*Full details and rules for the contest will be sent to your teachers, so please make sure they know you would like to participate. The contest will run from Feb. 10 through Feb. 17.

For more information, please contact Debbie Kriegshauser at or Ellen Goff at

Schools gear up to celebrate Court Reporting & Captioning Week

By Ellen Goff

February is the month to celebrate! NCRA has declared Feb. 10-17 the sixth annual National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, an event designed to encourage members and students in the court reporting and captioning professions to celebrate by hosting special events within the community and more. Up-to-Speed shares what court reporting programs are doing to mark this year’s event.

NCRA encourages all schools to get involved in Court Reporting & Captioning Week by highlighting the contributions of stenographic court reporters and captioners to society. Court Reporting & Captioning Week is a perfect opportunity for students to share with friends, family, and members of the community what their careers will involve and why they chose this field. Events held this week promote the profession and showcase the career opportunities in the court reporting and captioning fields.

Updated resources are available to assist with planning and promoting activities during the week such as press release templates, posters, brochures, presentations, and more. Resources are available at and include materials tailored to members, schools, and state associations. Be sure to let NCRA know how you plan to celebrate by sharing your stories and photos via email at

Here’s a list of what some of the nation’s court reporting schools are planning to mark the event:

Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, Ohio

Court Reporting & Captioning Week will be widely celebrated at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). The students and faculty of the captioning and court reporting program will be hosting a panel of industry professionals for a discussion and Q&A session focused on encouraging students to “Envision Your Career!” Professionals will share their stories and advice about entering the field and building a career in court reporting and captioning.

Also during the week, Tri-C’s court reporting and captioning club will be conducting their annual Write-a-Thon fundraiser. Students will recruit sponsors who will pledge funds for every hour that the students practice their writing during the day. The Write-a-Thon will be held as a large group event in the main galleria on campus, so students will be able to show off their skills.

“We’re excited to hold our Write-a-Thon during Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2018,” says Todd Robie, president of the court reporting and captioning club. “This event is the cornerstone of our club’s efforts throughout the year to raise funding for our student members to attend professional events such as the NCRA Convention & Expo or the Ohio Court Reporters Association Annual Conference.”

Brown College of Court Reporting, Atlanta, Ga.

Brown College of Court Reporting is marking Court Reporting & Captioning Week with a week of games and prizes, guest speakers, and alumni to celebrate the profession and encourage students.

Monday: Grammar jam — Students will pick teams and go head to head in a Jeopardy!-style game show for prizes.

Tuesday: Financial literacy — A financial planner will be on campus to show students how to set themselves up for success.

Wednesday: Alumni event — Networking with fellow grads

Thursday: Guest speaker — Court reporter and mentor Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, will be sharing advice on what it takes to be a successful reporter.

Des Moines Area Community College, Newton, Iowa

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is planning a field trip with current students to the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines. They hope to visit a number of courtrooms, speak with reporters and judges, and visit with the court administrator about official positions in Iowa.

On Feb. 17, DMACC will host an open house and information session at the Newton campus. The event will include realtime demonstrations, a panel discussion with court reporters, and a tour of campus for prospective students.

Atlantic Technical College, Coconut Creek, Fla.

The Atlantic Technical College (ATC) court reporting program will be celebrating Court Reporting & Captioning Week with the following activities:

  • ATC court reporting students will tour the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Members of the Broward County Schools Court Reporting Advisory Committee will visit court reporting classes as guest speakers. They will share information with students about court reporting careers and South Florida court reporting agencies.
  • Students from various programs throughout the campus will be invited to tour the court reporting program to learn more about the program and court reporting careers available upon graduation.
  • NCRA’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week will be featured on ATC’s Facebook page.
  • ATC court reporting students will be participating in NCRA student activities.

Key College, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Key College’s court reporting program announces a weeklong celebration of Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

  • Three $1,000 scholarships will be given to new students. Winners will be selected by Florida employers within the court reporting industry.
  • High school students will be offered free, four-week introductory classes.
  • Guest speakers from the industry will be captioned and streamed to online students.
  • Alumni guests will provide real-world experiences and insight into the different opportunities available for graduates.
  • A banquet will be held honoring graduates who achieved the National Honor Society distinction.

All activities, as well as a tribute to Court Reporting & Captioning Week, will be featured on the school website and advertising.

The College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind.

The College of Court Reporting (CCR) is planning to initiate and participate in several informative activities throughout Court Reporting & Captioning Week. First, CCR will focus on spreading the word about the court reporting profession to the community through fun competitions and seminars that will be held in local high school classrooms. CCR will also be posting to various social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) all week in order to share information about the field of court reporting and captioning. Finally, CCR will again participate in the Veteran’s History Project, which is a favorite of administrators and students alike.

“We believe that court reporting and captioning is worthy of national recognition and we are proud to take part in this national initiative,” said Nicky Rodriquez, admissions director at CCR.

Midstate College in Peoria, Ill.

Midstate College will be promoting a weeklong historical display about machine shorthand, starting with the Miles Bartholomew machine and ending with information about current machines and career options. Several machines and artifacts from a private collection will be part of the exhibit in the school’s library. In addition, a virtual display will be available at

Plaza College, Forest Hills, N.Y.

During Court Reporting & Captioning Week, Plaza College will be celebrating with some exciting on-campus events:

Admissions open house: Students interested in a career in court reporting will have the opportunity to tour campus, see a realtime demonstration on a steno machine, and speak to court reporters currently working in the field. Program Director Oscar Garzon will also provide an overview of the program and career opportunities for graduates.

Mock trial: The paralegal and court reporting students will be conducting a mock trial during College Hour for all interested students to experience.

Visits from agencies: Throughout the week, various agencies from the area will be visiting classrooms to speak to graduating students about career opportunities and provide some encouraging words to students in their early semesters.


Students, instructors, staff, and alumni of court reporting programs are encouraged to share their Court Reporting & Captioning Week activities on social media using the hashtag #DiscoverSteno. And please share any scheduled events and programs with NCRA by sending them to

Ellen Goff is NCRA’s Professional Development Manager. She can be reached at

Community college program to help address shortage of court reporters

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyThe Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, Okla., launched a new 18-month court reporting program in December that is taught by NCRA member Allison Hall, RMR, CRR, a court reporter at the Tulsa County Courthouse, according to an article posted Dec. 28 in the Tulsa Business & Legal News.

Read more.

NCRA student member featured graduation speaker

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyThe Gadsden Times (Alabama) reported on Dec. 14 that NCRA student member Dorothy Dusendschon was a featured speaker at the Gadsden State Community College’s fall commencement ceremony on Dec. 19. Dusendschon, who previously earned an associate’s degree from the college, received an Associate of Applied Science in realtime reporting at the commencement ceremony.

Read more.

DMACC students help pack meals for hurricane victims

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyCourt reporting students from the Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa joined students from the school’s nursing program and hundreds of other volunteers to help package 20,000 meals to help fight hunger, according to an article posted by the Newton Daily News on Nov. 14. The meals will be going to the disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico.

Read more.

Alfred State court reporting program ranked No. 1

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyOn Oct. 27, Alfred State College, Alfred, N.Y., announced that its court reporting program has been ranked number one by U.S. News and World Report. Alfred State is an NCRA-approved court reporting program.

Read more.

Read more news about court reporting schools and programs.

Get comfy for professional development: Exciting upcoming NCRA webinars

Front view of a person sitting barefoot on a couch with their laptop on their knees, blocking their faceCourt reporters and captioners understand the value of continuing education and always improving one’s skills, but it can be challenging to attend in-person events. With NCRA webinars, you can learn more about your profession from the comfort of your own home or office (not to mention that you can attend them in your slippers – no one will know!).

NCRA has a wide variety of topics coming up in the next month. The JCR Weekly reached out to the presenters to help whet your appetite.

On Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. ET, Tori Pittman, FAPR, RDR, CRI, will present “NCRA members performed very well in the competitions), and the next event is in 2019 in Sardinia, Italy.

On Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. ET, Lisa Jo Hubacher, RPR, CRI, will present “Training for Realtime Writers grants in 2014 due to its curriculum redesign. In this webinar, Hubacher will discuss this curriculum model, including the redesign’s impact on the program, what’s working, and what needs tweaking. As she describes it, the webinar will cover “how to design a program based on student needs without any curriculum-design knowledge.” Hubacher says she’ll also talk about why “‘But that’s the way we’ve always done it’ doesn’t fly anymore.” This is a must-attend webinar for anyone involved in training reporting students!

On Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. ET, Santo J. Aurelio, FAPR, RDR, will present “Legal Terms, Part 1.” Aurelio has presented several language-related webinars recently, including “What Reporters Must Know about Punctuation” and “English Grammar Gremlins: Ways to Conquer Them” (now both available as e-seminars). Aurelio will present on more than a hundred and fifty terms, but he admits, “I really get a special kick out of four of them: alibi (in another place), durance vile (imprisonment), eleemosynary (charitable), and Esq.” He adds, “If I must pick one, then I guess it would be Esq., which is merely a title of courtesy, but attorneys think that it means ‘one who is an attorney.’” Aurelio will provide “economical but cogent explanations” for the words that he hopes each attendee will easily remember.

Finally, on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. ET, Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, CRC, will present “won her the NCSA challenge not just once, but twice in a row; in 2015, she organized participation in 13 career fairs in 15 days in San Antonio. “It is so easy and rewarding volunteering for a recruitment event,” says Uviedo. “You have the potential to reach hundreds, even if you only talk to 50.” Uviedo has also found the value in promoting the profession over social media, and she hints that “one cool thing I’ll talk about is having attendees take selfies of themselves in front of their court reporting machines and having them spread posts about court reporting.”

Members who attend the webinars will be able to ask questions directly to the presenter and get them answered right away. But if you are not able to attend the live webinar, they will be available as on-demand e-seminars after the fact. Keep an eye on NCRA’s e-seminar library for these and other topics to help grow as a professional.