Individuals interested in educational transcription can earn an associate's degree in the field with an emphasis in communication access real-time translation (CART). The classwork is designed to develop proficiency in transcribing words spoken in real-time. Learning about the culture of the deaf community is often included in the curriculum, as well as hands-on training experiences.
For those looking to pursue a journalism career focused on reporting on education, an associate's degree program in journalism provides an appropriate foundation through classroom and practical experience. The curriculum trains them in writing, editing, reporting, and desktop publishing.
Associate's Degree in Educational Reporting
Educational reporters must be proficient in CART technology, so programs usually include courses to hone those skills. With CART, students might accompany a deaf/hard of hearing pupil to class and type a real-time translation for the pupil to read. Students typically develop a CART dictionary to use in transcriptions in addition to studying grammar and spelling. Course offerings may include:
- Deaf culture
- Building speed
- Business math
- Business English
- Court reporting basics
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Associate's Degree in Journalism
A student studying for an associate's degree in journalism will learn about writing for any type of media. Usually offered at a community college, journalism programs teach students the basics of news gathering, feature writing, multimedia reporting, professional standards, and ethics. Students can gain experience by working for a newspaper, television station, or other media outlet. The associate's degree program will also include core curriculum classes, and journalism course topics may include the following:
- Opinion writing
- Web design
- Mass communications in America
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says employment of all types of court reporters will grow by 2% from 2014-2024, about slower than average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). The BLS said transcribers trained in CART would have the best job prospects due to the aging population that may need transcription services, not for education, but at medical appointments or public gatherings. The median annual salary for all court reporters was $49,500 in May 2015, the BLS reported.
The BLS forecasts that employment of reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts would decline by 9% from 2014-2024, due to mergers of news organizations and decreases in readership and viewership by the public. The BLS said job opportunities would be best at small newspapers and in smaller television and radio markets. The median annual salary for reporters was $36,360 in May 2015, the BLS noted.
Continuing Education and Certification
Most associate's degree programs in court reporting train students to meet the certification standards of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). The NCRA offers the Certified CART Provider (CCP) designation, which requires applicants meet speed and accuracy requirements as well as pass a knowledge test. CCPs must complete NCRA continuing education requirements to maintain their professional certifications.
While an associate's degree in journalism provides a potential reporter with a strong journalism foundation, the BLS states that most employers in this field prefer someone with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Some bachelor's degree programs offer courses in education reporting so students can learn how to cover a school board meeting and find human interest stories in the schools.
The term 'educational reporter' can refer to either a court reporter or a journalist who focuses on topics in education. There are associate's degree options for each career path; these programs incorporate lectures and hands-on experience.