Broadcast Captioning School and Training Programs: How to Choose

Aspiring broadcast captioners can enroll in certificate or associate degree programs in broadcast captioning and information reporting technology. Online options are available, though students must be fully equipped with captioning hardware and software to be eligible.

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You can help provide service to the hearing-impaired by studying broadcast captioning, often offered through a degree or certificate program in court reporting. Many community or tech schools offer these programs, so tuition rates may have the most influence on which school you choose to attend.

Schools with Broadcast Captioning Programs

All of the following schools have programs that are two years or less for students interested in broadcast captioning careers.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition
Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland, OH 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,953 (in-state); $7,648 (out-of-state)
El Paso Community College El Paso, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,386 (in-state); $4,042 (out-of-state)
New York Career Institute New York, NY 2-year, Private Certificate, Associate's $13,650
Sumner College Portland, OR 2-year, Private Associate's $27,290
Prince Institute Elmhurst, IL 2-year, Private Certificate $10,485
SUNY College of Technology at Alfred Alfred, NY 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $8,057 (in-state); $14,617 (out-of-state)
Arlington Career Institute Grand Prairie, TX 2-year, Private Certificate $12,500
Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, WI 2-year, Public Associate's $4,064 (in-state); $5,990 (out-of-state)
South Coast College Orange, CA 2-year, Private Certificate, Associate's $42,849 (program cost)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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School Selection Criteria

Broadcast captioners must meet education requirements before taking the Certified Broadcast Captioning (CBC) exam. There are several factors to consider when choosing a school:

  • Associate degree programs generally take two years to complete, while a certificate program doesn't include general education requirements and can be completed in a year or less.
  • Students should verify that any program they consider is certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), a nonprofit professional organization that ensures programs meet certain professional standards.
  • Aspiring broadcast captioners will likely benefit from programs that teach research techniques and proper formatting for a variety of shows and events, and that place an emphasis on shorthand speed while maintaining proper grammar, coherence and punctuation.
  • Many programs require students to purchase a stenotype machine along with the captioning software, so students should keep these extra costs in mind.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in broadcast captioning are intended for court reporting professionals who wish to continue their education. Those entering the field with no experience are required to take additional speed-building courses. Before graduation, programs require students to pass stenograph tests with over 96% accuracy and conflict-free content.

Associate Degree Programs

The curricula for information reporting technology associate degree programs cover CART and judicial reporting, in addition to broadcast captioning. Many programs also include an internship as well as literary courses to develop grammatical skills.

Both private and public schools offer broadcast captioning programs. Cost and location are considerations, of course, but students should also look for a school that's certified by the NCRA and check on additional equipment costs.

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