Colorado residents with an interest in court reporting will be glad to know that they have many wonderful educational options in the state. In addition to having several different schools to choose from to reach their career goals, there are also different programs at each school.
The same program will not be right for every prospective court reporter- mainly because there are different types of court reporters. These include stenographic courtroom reporters, electronic court reporters, and voice writing court reporters. Your first step, then, is to decide what kind of courtroom reporter you wish to be. Only then can you choose the school and the specific program that is the best fit for you.
Those who are seeking a traditional education, meaning one in which they actually physically attend classes, have two major choices. Though there are several other schools offering court reporting programs in the state, the two big ones and the ones that most successful court reporters attend are the Prince Institute and Colorado Technical University.
The Prince Institute is the only one of these two that is certified by the National Court Reporters Association. It is located in beautiful Westminster and offers an associate’s degree in realtime reporting and/or CART captioning. Colorado Technical University has several similar options and is located in Denver.
Of course, in today’s world, not all learning has to be done the old fashioned way. In fact, you can become a courtroom reporter without ever physically attending an actual class thanks to online schools. Popular options for online schooling in the state include Bryan College and the Prince Institute, which has online programs in addition to its traditional programs.
Of course, there are thousands of other online schools out there as well, and you are in no way limited to just these two programs. Keep in mind, however, that any school that you choose to attend should be fully accredited and should preferably be certified by the National Association of Courtroom Reporters.
Once you have your degree, you will also need to think about whether you intend to pursue further certification and/or licensure. Licensure is not required to work for independent agencies as a court reporter, but it is required to work in the actual judicial system.
It is a very basic RPR licensure, which involves passing a statewide test, and most people with thorough educational backgrounds will have no problem passing it.
Certification is another matter. Certification is fully optional, but having a certification in some area of court reporting or, better yet, having multiple certifications can greatly increase your chances of being hired and/or of moving up the career ranks much more quickly.
Certifications in the field are offered by a variety of institutions. Just as you have to spend some time researching different educational programs and schools to find the right fit, you must also do the same with choosing a certification program and a certification if you choose to go that route.