Schools for Aspiring Court Recorders: How to Choose

Most court reporters are able to transcribe 225 words per minute and are certified and licensed by the state, as well as the National Court Reporters Association. Certificate and associate degree programs are available in the field.

Court recorders, more commonly known as court reporters, use stenograph machines and computer-aided transcription software to record court proceedings or depositions. Aspiring court reporters typically earn a certificate or associate degree from a 2-year community college or a private training institute.

Schools with Court Recording Programs

Court reporting training is primarily available from 2-year schools, including the following:

College/University Location Institution Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Anoka Technical College Anoka, MN 2-year, Public Associate's $5,584
College of Marin Kentfield, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,488 (in-state), $9,258 (out-of-state)
Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh, PA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $7,298 (in-state), $10,440 (out-of-state)
Green River College Auburn, WA 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,344 (in-state), $4,751 (out-of-state)
West Valley College Saratoga, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,186 (in-state), $4,978 (out-of-state)
San Antonio College San Antonio, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $5,550 (in-state), $10,740 (out-of-state)
Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, WI 2-year, Public Associate's $4,064 (in-state), $5,990 (out-of-state)
El Paso Community College El Paso, TX 2-year, Public Associate's $2,386 (in-state), $4,042 (out-of-state)
Clark State Community College Springfield, OH 2-year, Public Associate's $3,359 (in-state), $6,271 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Considerations for students include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Associate degree programs consist of more years of study than certificate programs, but they also include general education coursework to give students a broader knowledge base.
  • Many programs require students to be computer proficient and able to type at least 45 words per minute prior to applying to or beginning the program.
  • After identifying educational goals, students must ensure that the school and program are accredited by both a state accrediting agency and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
  • Associate degree programs typically require students to complete a 40- to 50-hour internship or apprenticeship in a courtroom in addition to creating a 40- to 60-page transcript.

Certificate of Completion - Court Reporting

Court reporter certificate programs require an average of 60 credit-hours. Coursework focuses only on reporting skills as they relate to legal proceedings. Some programs provide more instruction on American legal practices by teaching students how to use law libraries, along with courtroom and deposition procedures. Upon graduation from these programs, students are able to apply and sit for the NCRA licensure exam.

Associate Degree in Judicial Reporting

Typical court reporting associate degree programs are offered as an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science or an Associate in Occupational Studies. Associate degree programs consist of two years of study, including general education and court reporting courses as well as internships. Graduates may be eligible to sit for the NCRA examination to become certified as a Registered Professional Reporter. Coursework is more advanced than that of certificate programs.

Individuals with an interest in becoming court reporters can train for the profession by completing either a certificate or an associate degree in the subject. The type of program that you select will depend largely on your career goals, and it's important to choose an accredited school.

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