Entirely online associate's degree programs in court reporting are offered at several mainly for-profit schools. Students may meet remotely on a weekly basis for virtual lectures and practice activities with their teachers. Individuals learn about common court reporting practices, legal and medical terminology, shorthand methods, real-time reporting and accurate transcriptions. Online students will need access to a stenotype machine. Programs can help students train for the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) certification exam.
Associate's Degree in Court Reporting
An online associate's degree program in court reporting imparts the skills necessary to rapidly and accurately transcribe conversations, legal proceedings, speeches and other events where spoken words need to be preserved in writing. Students learn to use stenography machines and computer-aided transcription technology to translate text to speech in real time or near real time. Some programs may also offer courses in broadcast captioning. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum requirement for enrollment in an associate's degree program.
Program Information and Requirements
An online associate's degree in court reporting is typically earned in two years and can be completed entirely online. Classes in this program are held in a virtual classroom, where students follow along with lectures, participate in discussions and turn in completed assignments.
Schools may use a content management system, such as Blackboard, which allows students access to course content at any time of day, though many assignments have specific due dates. E-mail and online forums provide additional opportunities for interaction with instructors and other students. Technical requirements include a personal computer, Internet access and stenotype machine.
List of Common Court Reporting Courses
Court reporting associate's degree programs include a few credits of general education that are relevant to the subject. Such courses might include anatomy and physiology, English composition or communications.
American Law Fundamentals
Student in this course receive an overview of the American legal system and major areas of law. State, federal and appeals courts, civil law, criminal law, contracts, torts, property rights and family law are among the topics covered.
Court Reporting Procedures
This course explains the duties of a court reporter when at work in a courtroom and immerses students in the process of transcribing speech with speed and accuracy. Topics covered include real time transcribing, video for court reporters, courtroom procedures and the difference between depositions, hearings and trials.
Students in this course learn the basic theory of shorthand, how to hear speech phonetically and the use of a shorthand or stenography machine. Coursework is paced to gradually build speed and accuracy.
This course teaches students the process of preparing legal documents and transcripts for depositions, hearings and trials. Students are expected to achieve a minimum threshold for speed and accuracy.
Career Information for Court Reporting Graduates
Graduates of an associate's degree program in court reporting are qualified for positions as voice court reporters and stenographic court reporters. They may also find positions monitoring and generating real time captions for press conferences, training seminars, sales meetings, TV shows as well as local, state and federal government hearings. Two percent employment growth was predicted for court reporters between the years 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. PayScale.com reported that as of October 2016, court reporters earned a median salary of $47,720.
Continuing Education Information
Some schools that offer associate's degree programs in court reporting also offer online bachelor's degree programs in the subject. Licensing requirements for voice writers vary by state. As a substitute for a state license, the National Verbatim Reports Association offers Certified Verbatim Reporter, Certificate of Merit and Real-Time Verbatim Reporter certification examinations at scheduled times and locations.
Fully online associate's degree programs in court reporting are available to train students in transcript preparation, court reporting procedures and computerized shorthand, in preparation for the court reporters certification exam. Graduates need to obtain state licensure, and may choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in the field.