Court Reporting Program

New career training starting March 15, 2021

Consider an exciting, in-demand career with a Certified Shorthand Reporter certificate.

Lamar State College Orange has partnered with Mark Kislingbury, a world-renowned professional court reporter and captioner to offer an 18-month court reporting program. The Mark Kislingbury Academy was developed to, unlike most court reporting schools, teach writing that uses as few strokes as possible versus writing out every word phonetically. This program will fully prepare students to pass the state and national tests that may be required in certain venues, such as Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) and Registered Professional Reporter (RPR).

Curriculum
Tuition and Scholarships
Admission Requirements
Enrollment Calendar
Books and Equipment
Frequently Asked Questions

What Court Reporters Do

A court reporter, also known as a stenographer, is hired to transcribe spoken or recorded speech into written form. The National Court Reporters Association has produced a short program that aired on PBS stations around the nation. To view this video, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK9ioni5qs

Work Environment

Most court reporters work in courts or legislatures. However, some people with a Certified Shorthand Reporter certificate work either from home or a central office providing broadcast captioning for television stations.

Program Description

This program will teach students how to become professional court reporters. The principal occupational skills will be taught using machine shorthand to write literary dictation at speeds up to 180 words per minute, jury charge dictation at speeds up to 200 words per minute, and question-and-answer testimony in legal settings at speeds up to 225 words per minute, all at a minimum of 95% accuracy. 

Students will learn how to transcribe dictation using CAT software (computer-assisted translation), create and format official court transcripts, mark and index exhibits, create mini-transcripts and ASCII disks, connect to other computers for providing Realtime and other technologies related to court reporting. They will receive advanced schooling in English vocabulary and usage, punctuation, proofreading and editing skills, current events, as well as law, legal and medical terminology. Students will receive instruction on court reporting procedures and will complete a practical internship. Graduates of the program will be thoroughly prepared to immediately obtain employment in both official and freelance court reporting positions.

Curriculum

Module 1 Beginning Court Reporting Machine Technology is an introductory course in conflict-free, real-time stenographic machine shorthand writing. Chapters 1 to 23 of Mark Kislingbury's theory book. Magnum Steno: Beginning Theory, will be covered. Students will learn brief forms for writing thousands of the most common words and phrases and a phonetic-based system for writing all words. They will learn all keys on the stenographic machine, proper writing posture and form, readback and transcription of notes, and dictionary building. Concepts covered include Philadelphia Shift, Finger Spelling, Numbers and Number Bar, and Introduction to Right-Hand Phrase Enders. The program consists of 6 modules each lasting 11 weeks with a 1-week break between each module. Our program is designed to be completed in 18-24 months. The Theory portion of the program is 9 months. Speed Building varies dependent on how quickly your fingers can pick up speed and stamina. Speed Building is greatly impacted by how well you learn your briefs in Theory, which is why we have chosen to focus first and foremost on Theory as your solid foundation for getting through Speed Building. It is possible to complete the Speed Building portion of the program in 12-15 months with dedicated practice, focus, and solid knowledge of the Magnum Steno Theory. 

Module 2 Intermediate Court Reporting Machine Technology is an intermediate course in conflict-free, real-time stenographic machine shorthand writing. Chapters 24 to 48 of Mark Kislingbury's theory book. Magnum Steno: Beginning Theory, will be covered. Students will continue to develop skills in high-level, efficient writing. Concepts covered include Question and Answer Court Reporting Symbols; Q&A Extensions; Legal, Testimony, and Jury Charge Terminology; Prefixes and Suffixes; State Names; Common First and Last Names; Years in One Stroke; and Advanced Right-Hand Phrase Enders.

Module 3 Advanced Court Reporting Machine Technology advanced course in conflict-free, real-time stenographic machine shorthand writing. Chapters 49 to 94 of Mark Kislingbury's theory book. Magnum Steno: Beginning Theory, will be covered. Students have already learned to write on the stenographic machine at a high level, but the course in this module continues to develop mastery. Concepts covered include Speaker Identification, Additional Finger Spelling, Advanced Prefixes and Suffixes, Common Countries and Regions, Geographical Directions, and Advanced Right-Hand Phrase Enders. Speed development ranges between 80 and 100 words per minute by end of the course. 

Technology Court Reporting Technologies - In this course the students learn how to use the highly specialized court reporting software so that they can more quickly and efficiently edit transcripts; among the dozens of commands learned are search, replace, hyphenate, word or character deletion, insertion of punctuation, capitalization, changing paragraphs to Q., A., or colloquy, seeking computer help in deciphering slightly off stenographic notes, as well as the use of macros launched from the steno machine for the purpose of automatically fixing mistakes. This course helps the students to more efficiently edit their numerous speed tests that must be taken.

Module 4 Court Reporting Speed and Academics Part 1 in this course students begin to develop speed in machine shorthand writing, with particular emphasis on Mark Kislingbury's speed building methods. Students are given question and answer, literary, and jury charge dictation material at speeds of 80 to 120 words per minute. Students will be taught to apply the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation to produce quality transcripts. For successful completion of this course, 95% accuracy on 5 minutes of unfamiliar dictation at 120 words per minute is required.

English Homophones 1 - the field of court reporting demands exceptional English skills. This course will teach students to recognize and distinguish between homophones: words that sound the same/similar but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Students will learn the differences in meaning and spelling of hundreds of homophones, such as "slight" and "sleight;" "imminent" and "eminent;" "compliment" and "complement;" and "confirmation" and "conformation," in order to develop the ability to decipher correct homophones in context.

Medical Terminology 1 -in this course students are given an overview of basic human physiology and its related medical terminology. Students study word structure, word roots, prefixes, and suffixes to learn proper pronunciation, spelling, and usage of medical terms. Knowledge of medical terms serves court reporting students well in both quality transcript production and certification testing.

Module 5 Court Reporting Speed and Academics Part 2 In this course students continue to develop speed in machine shorthand writing, with particular emphasis on Mark Kislingbury's speed building methods. Students are given question and answer, literary, and jury charge dictation material at speeds of 140 to 180 words per minute. Students will continue to apply the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation to produce quality transcripts. For successful completion of this course, 95% accuracy on 5 minutes of unfamiliar dictation at 180 words per minute is required.

English Homophones 2 - a continuation of English Homophones 1, students will recognize and distinguish between homophones: words that sound the same/similar but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Students will learn the differences in meaning and spelling of hundreds of homophones, in order to perfect the ability to decipher correct homophones in context.
Medical Terminology 2 - a continuation of Medical Terminology 1, this course covers more medical terminology. Students study word structure, word roots, prefixes, and suffixes to learn proper pronunciation, spelling, and usage of medical terms. Knowledge of medical terms serves court reporting students well in both quality transcript production and certification testing.
Punctuation - in this course students will learn how to punctuate spoken language according to the rules of English. Special consideration is given to punctuation for the spoken word, versus the written word, given how spoken language can deviate from standard English sentence construction. Students explore difficult punctuation scenarios from actual transcripts, including broken, layered, and incoherent speech; and discuss proper punctuation. Concepts covered include proper placement of periods,
commas, dashes, semicolons, quotation marks, etc.

Module 6 Court Reporting Speed and Academics Part 3 in this course students continue to develop and finalize speed requirements in machine shorthand writing. Students are given question and answer, literary, and jury charge dictation material at speeds of 200 to 225 words per minute. Students will continue to apply the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation to produce quality transcripts. For successful completion of this course, 95% accuracy on 5 minutes of unfamiliar dictation at 225 words per minute is required.

Court Reporting Procedures - this course addresses the role of the court reporter on the job. Students will learn how to properly perform features of a court reporting job, including how to mark and handle exhibits, identify multiple speakers, swear in witnesses, and format transcripts. Attorney-court reporter interaction is covered, and absolute professionalism in dress and action is emphasized.
Court Reporting Internship - students in high speeds (generally in the 200-wpm range) will benefit from going out on the job with actual court reporters. The internship requires a total of 40 hours as well as the production of a 40-page transcript. Students will benefit greatly from this interaction with professional court reporters through exposure to real-world scenarios and life on the job.
Certification Preparation (lab only, self-study) - students are given materials to study on their own, including materials on state laws regarding court reporting practice, as well as material on legal Latin terminology, in order to maximize their success on official certification testing for becoming a professional court reporter.

Tuition and Scholarships

Tuition for each module is $1,500 and the total cost of tuition is $9,000. All payments are non-refundable after the registration deadline. 

Payment Options

  1. Installment plan - Monthly payment of $500 is due on the 1st of each month for 18 months. Each module will have to be paid in full to progress to the next module.
  2. Scholarships - Scholarships from the school are given on a case by case, need basis and only after completion of an interview scheduled with school administration. If approved, this scholarship will only cover a small portion of the total tuition.
  3. Loans - LSCO has partnered with Sabine Federal Credit Union to offer a low rate educational loan.
    • Maximum Loan Amount: $10,000
    • Payback: up to 48 months
    Features:
    • Only one loan per student per member at a time
    • Loan will be made to the member with the ability to repay the loan (credit will be pulled and member must qualify)
    • Repayment will start immediately (no grace period)
    • Loan requires proof of registration or enrollment
    Best rate is 5% and that will be for the best-rated credit score. It will go up in 2 percent increments with the highest rate being 13%. Students will be required to open at least a $5 savings account to become a member before the loan can be funded. A savings account does not have to be opened prior to applying for the loan.

Admission Requirements

  • Students must be at least 17 years of age or older.
  • All applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent GED to enroll.
  • All applicants must have good hearing ability or use a hearing device.
  • Students must be able to listen carefully and sit for short periods of 60-90 minutes uninterrupted.
  • All applicants must complete a pre-admitting interview with a school director prior to enrollment. Previous court reporting, captioning or CART experience are not required to be admitted to the school.
  • All applicants must complete a background check with Precheck, the cost is $38.00.

Enrollment Calendar

Spring 2021 (Online 2021-2022 Academic Year)

Last day to enroll: February 15, 2021

All documents/payments due for enrollment: February 22, 2021

Module 1 - Beginning Court Reporting Machine Technology March 15, 2021 – May 28, 2021

Module 2 - Intermediate Court Reporting Machine Technology June 7, 2021 – August 20, 2021

Module 3 - Advanced Court Reporting Machine Technology August 30, 2021- November 12, 2021

Module 4 - Court Reporting Speed and Academics Part 1 Dates TBD

(Campus will be close for the Christmas Holiday December 21, 2021 – December 31, 2021)

Module 5 - Court Reporting Speed and Academics Part 2 Dates TBD

Module 6 - Court Reporting Speed and Academics Part 3 Dates TBD

Student Books and Equipment Purchase List

Students are required to purchase all of their own textbooks, software and steno writer. Beginning in Module IV, there is a monthly software rental rate of $50 per student per month paid directly to ev360 for the use of their software for speed building.

Books:

  • Course: Theory
    • You will need this for the first day of class.
    • Magnum Steno Theory book, Third Edition
      • You can purchase this at www.magnumsteno.com, Store
      • You may use the student discount code of stu644 for your book purchase
  • Course: Medical Terminology
    • You will need this in your second quarter.
    • Medical Terminology: A Short Course (5th edition) by DaviEllen Chabner. MUST BE THE 5th Edition
      • You can purchase this on Amazon, eBay, or any online book retailer that you can find that carries this edition of the book. Price can vary depending on if you buy it new or used.
  • Course: English Terminology
    • This is an optional purchase and not required for the course. If you would like to use it to supplement the course, you will not use it until your second quarter of Theory.
    • How to Say It and Write It Correctly NOW (2nd Edition) by Dr. Santo J. Aurelio. **MUST BE THE 2nd Edition
      • You can search the same online retailers for copies of this book. Price may vary.

Equipment: (You will need these for your first day of class.)

  • Laptop:
    • Must NOT be a Mac or a netbook. MUST run on Windows, Vista, 7,8, or 10
    • Should have at least one USB port, 8 GB or more of RAM, at least a 256 GB SSD drive, and a 2.0+ GHz processor.
    • Microsoft Office and PDF reader required.
    • CAT Software:
      • Case Catalyst student software can be purchased at www.stenograph.com
      • Writer: (You may use any make/model of writer as long as it has the required features below; whether it is a professional/student writer and/or new/used, is your preference.)

Required features:

  • Extended asterisk key to the right
  • Extended -DZ keys
  • Realtime cable.

Recommend Writer models and purchasing sites:

Recommended models: Luminex/Luminex CSE, Wave, Diamante

Recommended purchasing sites:

www.stenograph.com

www.acculaw.com

www.stenoworks.com

http://stenosearch.com/_connect/classified.htm

Kimi’s Court Reporter Thrift Shop – Facebook Group

CSR Exam Requirements

In order to work in the state of Texas as a court reporter you must meet the following qualifications:

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Pass the state certification exam (CSR)
  • Pass a state and federal criminal history background check

(CSR) Court Reporters Certification

Applicants must first qualify through the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC) each time they sit for an exam. Visit the Texas Judicial Branch Court Reporters Certification Exam webpage for more information. Applicants must then register for the certification exam with the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA), which is administering the exam on behalf of the JBCC. Visit the Texas Court Reporters Association CSR Skills Exam webpage for more information. Registration must be completed at least 30 days before each exam.

Written Exam $75

Oral/Skills Exam $125 

General Information/Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are you accredited and do you participate in FAFSA or federal funding?

A: Lamar State College Orange is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate of arts, associate of science, associate of applied science degrees, and certificates of completion. At this time, we are not participating in FAFSA or any federal funding but other payment options are available. 

Q: Do you meet my state’s requirements for CSR schools?

A: You will need to contact your state CSR board or look up that information individually. There is not national reciprocity for CSR’s, which means each state develops and enforces their own standards and requirements. We teach to meet the Texas CSR exam and the RPR (National Court Reporters Organization) exam requirements. Usually, this is satisfactory in most states, but some states do have specific school requirements for their CSR’s. 

Q: What are the pre-requisites for this program?

A: Basic computer skills are vital in the program and necessary for the class. A student must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED and pass a background check. 

Q: Is this program offered online and/or face to face?

A: Our program is designed to be accessible to everyone, anywhere in the world. At this time our program is only offered online but in order to remain as accessible as possible, this program is offered as an interactive online experience. 

Q: How long is the court reporting program?

A: Court reporting is a skill, and this program is about the development of that skill. Our program is designed to be completed in 18 months (6 modules, each 11 weeks long). It is possible that some of the students might take a little longer to complete the program. 

To promote quick progress, a student must focus and dedicate themselves to the task at hand. Be prepared to treat school like a job. Attendance, Listening/Testing to Live Dictation, and practice at home are essential elements that will complement your natural ability and move you toward completion. 

Q: Do you teach captioning or CART?

A: We do not teach the courses for certification in those specific career fields. Court reporting and stenography is, however, the foundation on which you will build the skills for those certifications, and our graduates who have wanted to go into real-time or captioning/CART have been able to do so within one to two years of graduation our program. 

Q: How much time will I need to devote to this?

A: You will spend approximately four hours a day, five days out of the week on class and homework, and two hours on the other two days- at the required minimum. It is highly possible that you might find that you require more study and practice time than what we require at the minimum. 

Q: How much does a Court Reporter make in Texas?

A: Texas is the third highest paying state for court employers in terms of salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2019, court reporters earned an annual mean wage of $73,070. Therefore, if you are thinking of pursuing a career in this field in Texas, you are on the right track as jobs are expected to increase in this field too in the coming years. 

Q: What is the career outlook for Court Reporters in Texas?

A: According to BLS’s May 2019 statistics, Texas was ranked No.2 in terms of employment of court reporters in the United States. 1,450 court reporters were reported to be working in the state at the time. Career outlook for court reporters in Texas remains bright. 

Registration

To register for this course, complete the Registration Form.

For more information contact:

Community and Workforce Education at Workforce@lsco.edu
320 Green Ave. (office)
410 Front St. (mail)
Phone: (409) 882-3321
Fax: (409) 882-5096
Director - Thera Celestine
Coordinator - Denisha Keszeg