Getting Started

Why do court reporters and captioners love our profession? Read here.

Step 1 – Enroll in an Intro to Steno Program (it’s free)

Project Steno’s Basic Training program (register at right) is a free introductory six-week program designed to introduce you to the rudiments of machine shorthand theory, the system used by professional court reporters and captioners to capture high-speed speech using a stenotype machine. In just a couple of hours of “class” time each week plus at-home practice time, you’ll learn how to write simple words in machine shorthand and become familiar with the steno keyboard. By the end of the program, you’ll know whether a career in court reporting or captioning appeals to you!  NCRA’s A-to-Z program is another introductory program.  Both programs are free.  Completion of one of these programs is required for Project Steno’s tuition assistance program.

(Watch TV news segment about court reporting or listen to podcast)

Register today for a free program and see how the magic is done!

You will be provided a loaner steno machine for your use. Check it out; enroll now. Some programs are conducted online, some in brick-and-mortar locations.  Identify one that suits your needs.  The only required investment is your time!  Inquire at or call 508.438.0314.

Is a court reporting or captioning career right for you? A free introductory program will help you answer that question!

Step 2 – Finding the Right Court Reporting School

You’ve completed Project Steno’s Basic Training or NCRA’s A-to-Z Program, you’ve discovered the careers of court reporting and captioning – now it’s time to explore schools.  Our goal is to help prospective students select the best program for them.

We are accepting new programs regularly.  Here is the current list of schools/programs that have signed on as Project Steno Partner Programs:

* Hardeman School of Court Reporting and Captioning (online program)
* PAF Training Programs, LLC (online program)
* Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA)
* Cuyahoga Community College (OH)
* Realtime Center for Learning (NY)
* San Antonio College (TX)
* Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting (TX)
* Tulsa Community College (OK)
* College of Court Reporting (Valparaiso, IN)
* EV360 Educational Solutions (online program)
* Maryland Community College’s Court Reporter Training Program (MD)
* Clark State College (OH)
* Stark State College (OH)
* Del Mar College (TX)
* Plaza College (NY)


Project Steno will make tuition assistance payments on your behalf directly to the Partner Program you choose. The right program, the right student – the right outcome. We want you to succeed!

Step 3 – Apply for Tuition Assistance through Project Steno

Once you have decided which Partner Program is  right for you, you can apply to Project Steno’s tuition assistance program.

Project Steno offers tuition assistance to students we believe have the time and motivation to finish school in two years.  Not all applicants will be accepted.  All applicants will be interviewed by members of the Project Steno board and/or advisory council. Students will be required to submit the following with their application.

  • Work resume (add a volunteer resume, if applicable)
  • Copy of your college transcripts (high school transcripts if no college)
  • Certificate of completion of Project Steno’s Basic Training or NCRA’s A-to-Z program
  • Letter of recommendation from your Basic Training or A-to-Z program instructor (not needed if A-to-Z is taken online)
  • A letter of recommendation from a personal reference AND a work reference
  • Essay describing desire to become a court reporter or captioner (400-500 words)
  • Include at the end of your essay which Partner Programs you have contacted, which program you have selected, and your anticipated start date.

Each of the submitted letters must be signed, dated, and contain the contact information (name, address, phone, email) of the author of the letter.  The performance and progress of all students receiving Project Steno tuition assistance shall be monitored by a member of the Project Steno team.  Failure to meet established benchmarks will jeopardize future tuition assistance.  Selected candidates will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding acknowledging monitoring, performance, and progress requirements.

New!  A student who has attended a Project Steno partner program and achieved the benchmark of 140 words per minute in one year may apply for tuition assistance.  

Download application: Application for Project Steno Tuition Assistance – Feb 2019

Email or call 508-438-0314 to start a discussion about your bright future in court reporting or captioning!

Want to Learn More about Basic Training?

Basic Training is a free program, sponsored by Project Steno, that lets you learn the basics of court reporting over six weeks. 

Basic (Steno) Training introduces candidates to the many career options available to today’s court reporting and captioning professionals.  The six-week program meets once a week for a hands-on opportunity to learn the basics of steno theory in a virtual classroom environment — a first step before entering a two-year educational program.  All materials (textbook/steno machines) will be provided at no charge.  

Basic Training offers a self-selection opportunity that helps one answer some important questions.  Is stenographic reporting the right career for me?  Do I have the interest, natural dexterity, grammar skills, motivation and discipline required to complete the next two years of school?  If the answer is Yes, Project Steno will connect candidates to our tuition assistance program.  

Getting your feet wet — trying out the stenographic reporting profession before committing to the time and investment of court reporting school — is a major component of Project Steno’s plan.

Project Steno’s Basic Training and NCRA’s A-to-Z Program provide six to eight weeks of training on basics of stenographic reporting with zero financial commitment and no long-term obligation.  Each program is free!

After completion of Basic Training or A-to-Z, selection of a court reporting school is the next step.  The Project Steno team will help you find the right program to meet your needs.

With completion of an introductory program and a demonstrated commitment to pursue a career in court reporting or captioning, Project Steno will provide you with tuition assistance.