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Frequently Asked Questions 


Cuyahoga Community College’s Captioning and Court Reporting
(CCR)
program provides education and training that prepare you to succeed in rewarding, high-tech careers.

Career options include the following:

  • Working in the legal arena as a judicial court reporter
  • Working in education as a Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) provider
  • Working in the broadcast, environment as a closed captioner
  • Working in the medical field as a medical transcriptionist

You can design your career around your lifestyle and what works best for you. You may want to work from home; you may want to work more or less hours on different days of the week. A wide range of opportunities and flexibility are available to you once you complete the CCR program.

Frequently Asked Questions:
What do the terms captioning and court reporting mean?
What is my income potential?
What special equipment is required to be a court reporter?
What is the work environment for a court reporter?
What other jobs are available for someone trained in court reporting?
How long does it usually take to become a court reporter?
What does Tri-C cost and can I get financial aid?
What are the first classes I should register for?
How do I know if I qualify for this program?
Why should I choose Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)?
Who should I contact for information?


What do the terms captioning and court reporting mean?
Court reporting is the skill of taking down by machine or voice what is said during a particular proceeding and then transcribing it (through the use of special software) into written form. Court reporting is a generic term that also includes many other job opportunities for the person trained in the skill of taking verbatim dictation and its transcription.

Captioning is the immediate translation of what is being said onto a television monitor for viewing of the words by the hearing impaired. Government mandates require all live television programming to include captions.

CART providing is the transfer of court reporting skills to the educational environment. CART providers take down everything that is being said in a classroom and it is then displayed on a laptop for a hearing-impaired student.

What is my income potential?
Income varies depending on the career path chosen and experience of the individual reporter. According to statistics compiled by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the median income for court reporters is over $64,000 per year. Many reporters earn six-figure incomes with experience. Earning potential is often only limited by the amount of time a reporter is willing to work. The more you work, the more you earn.

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What special equipment is required to be a court reporter?
Court reporters and captioners use a shorthand machine called a steno machine or voice recognition software.

Machine Writers
The steno machine has 24 keys and a number bar. When the keys are depressed, they produce an English code which can be immediately translated into English by computer-aided-transcription software. Students entering the program will need to purchase a steno machine. The cost can range from $200 - $1500.  Students may use any style steno machine for Realtime Theory, the first course that requires the use of a steno machine. By the middle of Realtime Theory II, students must have a computer-compatible steno machine. 

Scholarships provide campus students with the use of a steno machine (value of $2000) for two years of program use. 

Voice Writers
Voice to text is translated using a speech recognition engine coupled with computer-aided transcription software written using a headset or mask. Students enrolled in Voicewriting I & II are expected to purchase Dragon NaturallySpeaking software.  The cost is approximately $600.  Students in the second semester take Voicewriting III are expected to purchase Eclipse Voice Student Software.  The cost is approximately $500.  A headset with microphone and earphones comes with the Dragon software, but students will also need to purchase a steno mask for use in Voicewriting III.  The cost is approximately $260.

Information about purchasing steno machines or voice recognition software and campus scholarships can be obtained from the CCR program office or on the CCR program website.

What is the work environment for a court reporter?

Court reporters and captioners are divided into the following categories:

  • Official court reporters- Those who work in a courtroom setting or do reporting for governmental agencies.  Examples of official court reporting include Supreme Court, county or family court, hearing reporters, and special courts or agencies of the local, state, or federal government.
  • Freelance reporters - Those who work for a freelance agency or are self-employed. Their work varies from day to day. One day they may be doing hearings for school boards or zoning commissions, the next day they may be doing depositions for lawyers. Sometimes freelance reporters will be hired by courts to do official reporting on a temporary basis. The majority of court reporters work in this area.
  • Captioning and CART providing – Closed captioners work in a variety of situations including broadcast captioning for television stations and web/Internet reporting for private businesses.  CART providers report for hearing impaired students in college and K-12 classrooms. Captioners largely work from home. CART providing can be done at home and sent to the remote student location or may be done in person if the CART provider is located near the college or classroom.

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What other jobs are available for someone trained in court reporting?
There are many new opportunities for people who have this skill. Medical transcriptionists use the field of “rapid text input” because it is quicker than typing from dictated notes. Any business, education setting, industry, or service that requires fast input and transcription can use the skills of a realtime writer.

How long does it usually take to become a court reporter?
That depends on a number of factors. If you are a full-time student, you can expect to be in class a minimum of two years, but it may take longer to achieve the speed and accuracy required to begin work. Part-time students can expect to spend a minimum of three to four years in school. The single most important factor in determining program length is the amount of time devoted to practicing at home. Students should allow for two hours of practice per day as a minimum. Those who are able to practice for four or more hours per day will generally make faster speed progress than those who practice less.

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What does Tri-C cost and can I get financial aid?
The Student Financial Assistance office is dedicated to helping students find a way to pay for college including grants, loans, and scholarships. They can be reached at 1-800-954-8742 or through e-mail at financialaid@tri-c.edu.

Tuition rates beginning Fall 2012:

Cuyahoga County residents $ 97.88 per credit
Ohio residents (outside of Cuyahoga County) $125.11 per credit
Out-of-state residents $242.26 per credit

Associate of Applied Business degree in Court Reporting requires a total of 63-65 credit hours.

What are the first classes I should register for?
Machine Writers
The first-semester student can take CCR 1000, Introduction to Court Reporting and CCR 1350, Legal Terminology. Additionally, a student who is ready to begin the machine writing training portion of the program can take CCR 1300, Realtime Theory and CCR 1510, Realtime Theory Reinforcement 1.
Voice Writers
The first-semester student can take CCR 1100, Introduction to Voice Writing and CCR 1350, Legal Terminology. Additionally, a student who is ready to begin the voice writing training portion of the program can take CCR 1200 and 1210, Voice Writing I and II, along with CCR 1510, Realtime Theory Reinforcement 1.


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How do I know if I qualify for this program?
You must possess a high school diploma or have completed a General Education Development (GED) program.

Why should I choose Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)?
The CCR program at Tri-C offers you a quality education with nationally-recognized faculty at affordable prices (the lowest CCR program tuition in the state of Ohio).

  • Flexibility: We offer the flexibility of either day, evening, or online classes.  The entire CCR program is offered through distance learning for those who live outside the area or have schedules which do not permit attending traditional classes. Many of our students attend school and maintain full-time or part-time employment.
  • Job Placement Assistance: Tri-C graduates are in demand. Building relationships with working professionals plays a big part in the process. Students participate in a detailed internship which provides an opportunity to meet prospective employers while gaining valuable experience. Our recent graduates have all had jobs lined up before finishing the program.
  • Accreditation and Approval: Cuyahoga Community College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Credits earned at Tri-C are fully transferable.  The CCR program is certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
  • Faculty: Tri-C’s CCR program employs highly trained instructors who know the industry and have a genuine interest in the success of each student. All faculty members have experience working in the field and are certified through the NCRA. Full-time faculty also hold master’s degrees in Education and Technology. Classroom instruction includes focused education and one-on-one mentoring to facilitate student success.
  • Technology: Students receive hands-on instruction in realtime writing and the use of computer-aided-transcription software throughout the program. An online digital dictation practice library is available to students of the
  • Degrees and Certificates: Students who complete the CCR program are awarded an Associate of Applied Business (AAB) degree. Additionally, students will receive the short-term Court Reporting Technology certificate after successfully completing the first year of training. This benchmark in the CCR program can lead to employment as a medical transcriptionist or scopist.

Who should I contact for information?
Mardy Chaplin
Program Manager                                      
216-987-5214
Mardy.Chaplin@tri-c.edu

Captioning and Court Reporting Office
Western Campus, C-245A
11000 West Pleasant Valley Road
Parma, Ohio  44130
216-987-5113


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How to reach us

Mardy Chaplin
Program Manager                                      
216-987-5214
Mardy.Chaplin@tri-c.edu

Captioning and Court Reporting Office
Western Campus, C-245A
11000 West Pleasant Valley Road
Parma, Ohio  44130
216-987-5113
Contact Us Tri-C
800-954-8742
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216-987-3075
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866-806-2677

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