Major grant to court reporting studies in CA

Due to a high demand for court reporters, the Cerritos College Court Reporting Department was given a $95,000 grant to motivate students to become court reporters.

Approximately 200 of the 20,000 students that attend Cerritos are majoring in court reporting.

Court Reporting professor Vykii Morgan is aware of the shortage of students in this department and feels many would consider majoring in court reporting if they were aware of the benefits. “It’s a tough program but [it’s] very rewarding,” Morgan said. According to Morgan an AA degree is not necessary to become a court reporter, although earning one is how Cerritos College defines one of the ways a student may graduate.

Similar to the bar exam, a court reporter needs to pass the State Certified Shorthand Reporters Examination. Less than 50 percent pass the exam the first time, however one may take the SRE as many times as desired. The SRE is offered three times a year. Students who do not pass may go to work as non-certified reporters.

Non-certified reporters or “hearing reporters” cannot work in the court or take depositions but have many other options for work such as: working for the state, taking down hearings and taking down arbitration. “There are a lot of opportunities for students of all levels in the program,” court reporting professor Mary Balmages said. Those who are successful in passing the SRE and work in the Judicial Arena are able to type 200 words per minute and those working for the Federal Government and National Court Reporters Association are able to type 225 words per minute.

Court reporting is one of the many jobs that can be achieved with the skills that the department teaches. The department also teaches skills for captioners in broadcast, CART reporters, scopists, proofreaders, and rapid text entry jobs that work for police departments and insurance companies.

Source: Talon Marks