Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology Program

Open House

Court Reporting Open House

Thursday, December 6th from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Oak Forest Center, Room 5190, 16333 S. Kilbourn, Oak Forest, Illinois

The Open House will showcase this profession which offers a wide-open job market and excellent income potential.  To RSVP or for more information call (708) 596-2000, ext. 3217 or email LCooke@ssc.edu.



View of a Court Reporting ClassCourt reporting is an interesting, challenging profession which offers a wide-open job market, flexible work schedule, and excellent income potential ($64,672 average income). Sophisticated technology has created exciting work in broadcast captioning and stenointerpreting. Broadcast captioners can earn $70,000+ and work out of their homes.

Mission

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in the Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology program is designed to present a conflict-free theory and to develop the necessary machine shorthand skills leading to an eventual 225 words per minute writing speed. This will prepare the student to take the Illinois Certified Shorthand Reporter Examination, which is the professional certifying exam for the State of Illinois or the Registered Professional Reporters exam, which is the national certification exam.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of the court reporting program, students will be able to:

  • Write a realtime translation theory at a minimum of 86 percent accuracy.
  • Perform an analysis of shorthand notes by reading back fluently.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of law and legal terminology and medical terminology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of professional issues, continuing education, and the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics.
  • Perform proper transcription using a computer-aided transcription software package.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the different employments opportunities for machine shorthand writers.
  • Write and transcribe with correct punctuation in correct format testimony at 225 wpm, jury charge at 200 wpm, and literary at 180 wpm with at least 95 percent accuracy.
  • Perform 40 hours of verified internship, preparing a 40-page complete transcript, summarizing the experience in a one-page page.
  • Qualify for the national or state certification examinations which requires writing for five minutes at the following speeds: Two-voice, 225 wpm; Literary, 180 wpm; Jury Charge or General, 200 wpm; and taking a written knowledge examination.

As the silent, “Keeper of the Record,” the life of the court reporter centers around words. The reporter takes testimony from people in all walks of life – engineers, doctors, attorneys, scientists, tradesmen – and every day new terminology is encountered. It is this aspect of reporting that makes it challenging, interesting, and exciting. After a few years of working, the reporter becomes well versed in many different areas of life.

To prepare for this challenge, students are encouraged to improve their literacy. They should read newspapers, books, and magazines. They should even read unusual items such as sewer covers and construction seals on sidewalks because the names of the companies that manufacture those items will come up someday.

A major component of the program is the development of English grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary skills. Legal Terminology, Medical Terminology, and Court Practicum are among the other courses that will prepare the student to function as a professional court reporter.

South Suburban College’s National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) – approved program is the only court reporting program in the south suburban region!

Admission to the Program

Students must be admitted into the Court Reporting Program before registering for any other COR classes. A combination of two-voice, jury, theory and/or literary must be taken. General Education classes must be taken along with machine classes or credit given via transcript. A successful court reporter is a well-rounded individual, thus completion of a variety of academic classes is essential. Summer classes are mandatory.Placement into college-level English on the Placement test is a requirement for COR 100. Students must have a typing speed of 45 wpm. Students must successfully pass COR 100 and OAT 170 before applying for Admission into the Court Reporting Program. To apply, submit a copy of college transcripts, a one-page personal statement of goals and commitment, and a letter of reference from a Certified Shorthand Reporter with business card attached to the Program Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology Program

The world of the professional court reporter is rapidly changing because of the sophisticated equipment that today’s reporter uses. These are some of the areas in which reporters may work and average salaries:

  • Judicial Reporting – $64,672*
  • Broadcast Captioning – from $35,000 to $75,000+*
  • Stenointerpreting or CART reporters – $35,000 to $65,000*
  • Webcasting – $100 – $200 per hour*

* Figures on income were supplied by the National Court Reporters Association in February 2012.

Reporting is a profession which offers independence, flexibility, mobility, excellent income, and challenging, exciting work environments. According to research conducted by Ducker Worldwide, more than 5,500 new court reporting jobs are anticipated across the U.S. by 2018. A recent ruling by the FCC requiring that all television programs be captioned by 2006 is creating a huge demand for broadcast captioners. The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act has created a tremendous need for stenointerpreters on our campuses. The job market for traditional reporters, those who write trials, depositions, village board meetings, etc., remains wide open.

For more information about the profession of court reporting, visit the National Court Reporters Association’s websites at www.ncraonline.com and www.bestfuture.com.

Students can no longer rent machines at SSC. Students must contact the vendor, STENOGRAPH, to rent, purchase or lease steno machines.
As was previously mentioned, the sophisticated computerized steno machine that reporters use today allows them to perform realtime translation; that is, instant translation of their steno notes. With this technology, they can write court proceedings for a hearing-impaired witness, a classroom lecture for a hearing-impaired student, the broadcast captioning for television shows, and corporate stockholders’ meetings for webcasting purposes. Those reporters who perform realtime writing are highly skilled individuals who must write at speeds upwards of 200 wpm at 98 percent accuracy for hours at a time. Consider the court reporters who caption the Olympic telecasts. Before the telecasts they have to program their computer translation dictionaries with the names of every country, athlete, and coach participating in the games, along with any other words that may come up during the shows. This is a task that takes months to complete. Then during the telecast, the reporter must write all of these difficult words instantly. Obviously this can be a very stressful assignment, but one that is also extremely interesting, exciting, and financially rewarding. And the majority of broadcast captioners are working out of their homes – tremendous flexibility.
Given the state of our high-tech society and the great strides we have made in developing electronic and computer technology, one might think that court reporters could be easily replaced by an electronic recording system. However, electronic recording has been attempted in many areas of the country for as long as reporters have existed, and the results have always been the same: No system has been developed that is as effective and efficient as the court reporter who uses our sophisticated computerized steno machine. First of all, attorneys want a written record to review; and producing a written record from a tape-recorded or videotaped version of a proceeding presents many problems. Identifying multiple speakers in a large courtroom is difficult. Extraneous noises such as coughing or shuffling of papers cause speech to become inaudible. When speakers overlap, those words are inaudible and lost forever. When people speak unreasonably fast or mumble or speak with heavy accents, those words are lost forever. In each of these situations, however, the court reporter takes control and cautions people to slow down, to speak one at a time, to repeat testimony, etc. If the recording equipment malfunctions or is not turned on, entire sections of testimony are lost. In addition, only the court reporter using computer-aided transcription can effectively offer instant translation for hearing-impaired individuals in courtrooms, depositions, classrooms, and elsewhere. The need for court reporters to provide realtime translation has increased tremendously with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
One of the very attractive aspects of freelance court reporting is the flexibility of schedule which it offers. Many reporters work on a part-time basis and produce their transcripts in the comfort of their homes, which is particularly attractive for the working mother. There is an extreme shortage of court reporters all around the United States and abroad, which gives the reporter excellent mobility.
The education and training are stressful, yet rewarding. Prospective students should be intelligent, disciplined, motivated, and they should possess above-average language skills, along with computer literacy. If you are interested in becoming a vital part of the judicial system or performing any of the many applications of realtime reporting, then court reporting may be the profession for you.

Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology AAS Degree (COR.AAS)

Placement into college-level English on the Placement test is a requirement for COR 100. Students must have a typing speed of 45 wpm. Students must successfully pass COR 100 and OAT 170 before applying for Admission into the Court Reporting Program. To apply, submit a copy of college transcripts, a one-page personal statement of goals and commitment, and a letter of reference from a Certified Shorthand Reporter with business card attached to the Program Coordinator. Apply for admission after successfully completing COR 100.

Students must be admitted into the Court Reporting Program before registering for any other COR classes. A combination of two-voice, jury, theory and/or literary must be taken. General Education classes must be taken along with machine classes or credit given via transcript. A successful court reporter is a well-rounded individual, thus completion of a variety of academic classes is essential. Summer classes are mandatory.

Overview for College Success Credits
Overview for College Success (OCS 121) is a class that will help you plan and assist you in becoming a better student and support you in your work/life balance. OCS 121 credit is not calculated in the course minimum credit totals listed in this section.
OCS 121 Overview for College Success 1
Program Prerequisites Credits
Admission in the program.
COR 100 Introduction to Machine Theory 6
OAT 170 Business English 3
Cluster 1 Credits
ENG 101 Composition and Rhetoric 3
COR 103 Introduction to Two-Voice Dictation 80 1.5
COR 104 Transcription & Punctuation 2
COR 106 Theory Reinforcement & Speed 1.5
COR 109 Introduction to Jury Charge Dictation 90 1.5
COR 113 Two-Voice Dictation 100 1.5
COR 115 Jury Charge Dictation 100 1.5
Summer Term Credits
SPE 108 Speech 3
COR 117 Two-Voice Dictation 115 1.5
COR 119 Jury Charge Dictation 130 1.5
Cluster 2 Credits
COR 121 Two-Voice Dictation 130 1.5
COR 123 Jury Charge 145 1.5
COR 108 Computer-Aided Transcription 3
GROUP IV

GROUP V

Mathematics Elective
OR
Physical and Life Science Elective
3
COR 171 Legal Terminology 3
COR 127 Two-Voice Dictation 145 1.5
COR 131 Jury Charge 160 1.5
COR 133 Literary 120 1.5
Cluster 3 Credits
COR 137 Two-Voice Dictation 160 1.5
COR 139 Jury Charge 175 1.5
COR 141 Literary 135 1.5
HIT 103 Medical Terminology 3
GROUP III Social and Behavioral Science Elective 3
COR 201 Two-Voice Dictation 175 w/ Medical 140 1.5
COR 203 Jury Charge 190 1.5
COR 205 Literary 150 1.5
COR 206 Court Practicum 1
COR 208 CSR Prep 1
Cluster 4 Credits
COR 207 Two-Voice Dictation 190 w/ Medical 155 1.5
COR 209 Jury Charge 200 1.5
COR 213 Literary 165 1.5
GROUP II Humanities Elective 3
COR 215 Two-Voice Dictation 210 w/ Medical 170 1.5
COR 217 Literary 180 1.5
COR 219 Two-Voice Dictation 225 1.5
COR 221 Jury Charge Elective (1.5)
Minimum for Degree: 72