Court reporters and captioners record testimony during trials and other governmental proceedings. Their services are also increasingly in demand to provide live television captioning for the hearing-impaired. There are no schools in New Jersey that offer postsecondary programs in court reporting. The closest options are the three schools in New York approved by the National Court Reporters Association, each of which offers a certificate program in the field. At one of them, an associate's degree in the field is also available.
Alfred State College (SUNY College of Technology at Alfred)
At Alfred State College in Alfred, New York, aspiring court reporters can earn a certificate in court reporting and captioning. Over the course of this four-semester program, students build high-speed transcription skills using shorthand and transcription technology. At the end, they must pass a test of their speed and accuracy. Coursework is available both on campus and online. Students must also complete an internship that consists of at least 25 hours of writing time and 15 hours of research and dictionary preparation.
Long Island Business Institute
The College for Career Education within the Long Island Business Institute, which is located in Flushing, New York, offers a career-focused program in court reporting and captioning. In addition to introducing students to the basic technologies used for transcription and developing their skills, these programs also offer job placement assistance. They help students find internship opportunities, and students can work with a career services coordinator that can help them write their resumes and improve their interview skills so that they can find a job in the field.
New York Career Institute
At the New York Career Institute in New York City, aspiring court reporters can earn a Real Time Court Reporter Associate of Occupational Science (AOS) degree. In addition to completing general education coursework, students learn to use computer-assisted writing software and build their transcription speed to 225 words per minute. They also learn about courtroom proceedings and gain familiarity with basic medical and legal terminology. In total, students must complete 72 credit hours of coursework in order to graduate with an AOS.
A related certificate option at the New York Career Institute is the Stenotype Hearing Reporter Certificate. This program provides training in the same court-related transcription topics as AOS programs, but it includes fewer core courses, and only requires 60 credit hours to complete. When they finish, students are ready to take exams to become a Certified Broadcast Captioner or a Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) Reporter.
Certification is required to work as a court reporter in New Jersey, and an education at a court reporting school will prepare students to take the required exam administered by the state Division of Consumer Affairs. After passing this exam, the candidate must complete an application for certification as a court reporter.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Court Reporting Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Alfred State College||4-year, public; remote town||Certificate in Court Reporting and Captioning||$11,542**|
|Long Island Business Institute||2-year, private for-profit; large city||Certificate in Court Reporting and Captioning||$14,279 per year*|
|New York Career Institute||2-year, private for-profit; large city||Real Time Court Reporter AOS
Stenotype Hearing Reporter Certificate
|$13,650 per year*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Alfred State College