The Guardian

College of Court Reporting, est. 1984

May 2021

CCR Student Spotlight

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Keisha, CCR Intern, in ACTION!

Check her out right in front of the judge!

Photo credit: Clarksville Now

Click here to read the story.

Keisha Jarret, CCR voice writing student.

Why did you want to become a court reporter?

I learned about court reporting as a high school senior and it has always stuck with me as a career I'd love to have. The closer I get to finishing school, the more excited I am about the profession.


What is it like to start your internship?

I didn't sleep the night before my first day because of nerves! It has been super exciting for me. Everyone has been so kind and welcoming. The courtroom is very fast-paced but I love it. I treat each day as if I'm a paid employee. There is a lot to learn, so I take a lot of notes and ask questions when appropriate.


What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan on applying for a criminal court position with the State of Tennessee.

Whitney White, CCR steno student

1.) What got you interested in the program and what brought you to CCR?


I initially discovered Court Reporting through a process most Americans hate, but I absolutely enjoyed with my entire being: Jury Duty. To my extreme delight, I got chosen to serve on a jury. That’s when I fell in love with this field. Try as I might, I couldn’t stop staring at the Court Reporter with complete fascination and total envy of her job. I knew I had to go after it myself.

I like to believe I found my way to CCR through a bit of divine intervention. I was attending another Court Reporting school that I loved, but unfortunately faced closure. This led to me frantically trying to find an equally strong, if not better, Court Reporting school. At their recommendation, I attended a CCR webinar hosted by my old school with a Q and A session afterwards. I was blown away by how forthcoming and transparent CCR was with information, costs, and what to expect with all of their programs. Couple that with a staff that was seemingly eager to help with the transfer process, I knew this was the school for me. I am so grateful to have settled in nicely here.


2.) What has been the most challenging part of getting through school, and what are you doing to overcome it?


I think one of the most challenging parts of getting through school is knowing that, in regards to speed, you are going to fail more tests than you pass. You have to shift your entire perspective on the traditional academic process and grading scale to get through CR school with your sanity, self-respect, and dignity. I’ve adopted the “failing forward” mindset and had to let go of a lot of my perfectionist tendencies. Every failed test isn’t a failure. It’s an opportunity to gauge the temperature of where you’re at in a speed and to be honest with yourself. No excuses. Where are your weaknesses? What parts of your theory do you need to review? Are you practicing enough? What’s causing the hesitation? Every test taken offers the ability to hone your skill. This mindset in regards to test-taking helps me take each “failure” in stride, knowing that it’s all a part of my journey to 225 WPM. There’s absolutely no way around it, so it’s best to embrace it.


3.) What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given?


I’ve been given so much incredible advice from so many people in my life far wiser than myself that I could write an entire book on the topic. I’d have to say, in regards to Court Reporting, the best advice I’ve gotten, and simultaneously the hardest advice to follow, was from my first speed teacher here at CCR, Janel Noel. And that’s to just, “Let it go and write.” Stop worrying about realtime. Stop worrying about a perfect translation every time. Can you read your own writing? If you can, that’s good enough. I took this advice to heart and started practicing in My Readback on EV360 more and started focusing on my dictionary translation less, and like clockwork: I got better, my confidence improved, and I moved through a speed faster than I ever had before. Perfectionism is for editing; speedbuilding is for writing.


4.) What do you like to spend your free time doing?


I am honestly a huge nerd and I make no apologies for it. I love reading, listening to true-crime and history podcasts, watching every documentary about WWII the world has to offer, and arguing with my husband about current events. He graduated with a BA in Political Science and History, so I enjoy presenting my opinions as facts and riling him up. I’ve also recently gotten into Formula One motorsport after binging the docuseries “Drive to Survive” on Netflix. It’s honestly jarring how parallel F1 racing is to CR school: the pressure, the discipline, the isolation. It’s intense. Anyone is more than welcome to discuss with me how Daniel Ricciardo is currently the best driver in F1 motorsport at any time.


5.) Have any plans now that you finished school?


Upon finishing school, I have a lot of long-term goals I’d love to see come to fruition. With the stability a career in Court Reporting provides, it’d be wonderful to buy a home and finally give my dog the big backyard she deserves and perhaps start a family. I’ve always been interested in adopting or fostering, but wanted to be more financially secure before I begin that adventure. But first things first, I’d love to go on a celebratory trip! Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest have been on my vacation to-do list for a very long time.


6.) What is your dream job?


My dream job is to become an Official Court Reporter and work for a judge. The courtroom has always appealed to me. The idea of playing such a prominent role in our justice system, and ultimately democracy, by providing and protecting the record would be an honor. I would not take that responsibility lightly. I also love the stability and predictability an official position seems to allow. That said, I’m beyond open to where this skill takes me. I was inspired by CCR’s recent guest speaker for 2021’s Court Reporting and Captioning Week that initially sought out to become a Court Reporter but ended up pursuing CART in the working world. I love the versatility of this field and how rewarding each path you choose to take is.

Erica Wofford, CCR steno student

1.) What got you interested in the program and what brought you to CCR?


I've worked as a paralegal for the past ten years and had a lot of interaction with court reporters. I have always been impressed with their skill, professionalism, and only heard great things from reporters about how much they love their jobs. I wanted some more flexibility and earning potential so, after much consideration, I decided to attend CCR.


2.) What has been the most challenging part of getting through school, and what are you doing to overcome it?


The most challenging part, by far, is speedbuilding. This is a difficult skill to learn and it takes a lot of practice and dedication, which is tough to do when working full time. Although it's challenging, every test that you pass shows your improvement. I "feel" my progress and when I look back at where I started, I'm proud that I've come such a long way in a short period of time.

3.) What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given?


I'm an overachiever so I just want to keep pushing myself even when I'm tired and not getting anywhere. I believe one of the teachers had told me in some testing feedback that she admired my persistence, but that I needed to just step away and try again tomorrow. Of course, the next day I got a pass on my first try. I've kept this in mind when I get frustrated with my progress. It makes such a difference trying again the next day with a fresh outlook!

4.) What do you like to spend your free time doing?


I started school in October 2019 and, honestly, I could not have timed it better because it's enabled me to continue working and attending school from home. Between juggling work, school, and COVID-19, my hobbies have changed a little! I used to love playing my flute, playing kickball, and hanging out with friends. Now, I like to go hiking and hopping on the back of my husband's motorcycle to get some fresh air.

5.) Have any plans now that you finished school?


Not quite done with school yet! I'm in the certificate program and I'm hoping to graduate in August if I can get my speeds up. However, when I do graduate I'm definitely going to celebrate!

6.) What is your dream job?


My dream job is to own and run my own business. I want to be my own boss and it was one of the determining factors in my decision to become a court reporter.

New Video from Project Steno

Project Steno: The Best Career You Never Heard Of

From the CCR archives...

Cleaning up messy notes and misstrokes

By: Kay Moody, MCRI, CPE

Many students and educators think that developing speed and skill in machine shorthand is accomplished by working on dictation material 20 to 40 words a minute over their goal speed. (Goal speed is 10 or 20 words a minute over the highest five-minute speed test you’ve passed with 95 percent accuracy or higher. In other words, if you passed a five-minute test at 80 words a minute, your goal speed is 100 to 120 words a minute.) It is true that this is how students increase their speed; but many times when students are limited to taking super-fast dictation, they lose control and develop sloppy notes that cannot be read or correctly translated. There are a couple of ways students can eliminate this problem and clean up their messy notes.
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Apply for the Horace Webb Scholarship! Application deadline is June 15 of each year.

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New Professional Reporter Grant

The New Professional Reporter Grant is awarded annually to a promising working court reporter in his or her first year out of school. The grant is $2,000 and helps support start-up expenses for a new court reporter, such as purchasing software and earning credentials.



Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant must be a current NCRA member.
  • The applicant must have graduated from a court reporting program.
  • The applicant must have graduated with a grade point average of at least a 3.5 overall, based on a 4.0 standard or equivalent, as verified by his/her transcript.
  • The applicant must submit a copy of his/her official transcript with this application.
  • The applicant must be in his/her first year out of school, as verified by an official transcript.
  • The applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from his/her employer or contracting agency attesting to the applicant's professional demeanor, attitude, and motivation.
  • The applicant must be working in any of the three career paths: judicial (official/freelance), CART, or captioning.

NOTE: Only one nomination will be accepted per employer or agency.

Nominations close on June 4, 2021

Monyeen Black Memorial Grant

The Monyeen Black Memorial Grant honors the memory of Monyeen Black, RPR, CRR, who passed away on January 11, 2021. She was an active member on the 100-Day Practice Group on Facebook. She was professionally certified in California and owned the agency MBreporting located in San Ramon. She worked as a deposition reporter.

This grant is offered through the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF). New professionals must meet the eligibility requirements and submit the completed documentation listed below to qualify for the grant.

New professionals who have passed the RPR certification are encouraged to apply for the 2021 award which is worth $1,000.

How to apply

The following criteria and documentation must be met and submitted to apply:

  • The applicant must be a current NCRA member.
  • The applicant must have passed the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification.
  • The applicant must be in his/her first two years of reporting with documentation as proof: e.g. agency letter, transcripts with dates.
  • The applicant must submit a letter of recommendation from his/her employer or contracting agency attesting to the applicant's professional demeanor and motivation.
  • The applicant must be working in any of the three career paths: Judicial (official/freelance), CART, or captioning.
  • Applicant must complete application including short essay question (250-500 words). Essay question: How, when, and why did you realize that a career in court reporting was right for you?
  • Complete and submit this Grant application form.

Application deadline: Friday, July 9, 2021 COB

Email to jlandsman@ncra.org