Why Project Steno?


Step 1 – Getting the RIGHT Students into Court Reporting School

The first step with Project Steno is to engage prospective court reporting students in one of NCRA’s many A-to-Z programs being delivered by volunteer court reporters across the U.S.  It’s simple.  In 24 hours over six to eight weeks, A-to-Z delivers on its purpose:

  • Expose large populations of prospective students to the profession;
  • Teach them the fundamentals of shorthand theory and acclimate them to the steno machine;
  • Assess successful graduates of the A-to-Z Program and identify candidates most likely to succeed in court reporting school.

Importantly:  A-to-Z is NOT a substitute for court reporting school. It’s a screening tool to let candidates decide for themselves whether a court reporting career might be a good choice for them – without committing to a big decision with the corresponding financial expense.

Step 2 – Sending Students to the Right Court Reporting School

Students who graduate an A-to-Z Program and are accepted by Project Steno will be offered tuition assistance – if they choose to attend a Project Steno Partner Program.  Project Steno has criteria for schools to meet so we can monitor a student’s progress.   We will develop statistics about schools – enrollment size, cost, graduation rate, student testimonials, commitment to adhere to Project Steno goals/milestones/requirements – to help students make an informed choice of school.

Step 3 – Reducing the Cost of Court Reporting Tuition for Students

Once a student is accepted into Project Steno’s tuition assistance program and has chosen a Partner Program, we will provide payments directly to the school on the student’s behalf – as long as the student continues to achieve educational milestones.

Step 4 – Monitoring Project Steno Students for Adequate Progress

We will monitor student progress and help mentor those who are faltering – because we are invested in their success!  Students who meet our milestones will graduate in two years.

Why the shortage?  With technology creating new jobs (and often eliminating many older jobs), a common misperception about court reporting became entrenched:  Court reporters will be replaced by technology.  Enrollment at court reporting schools plummeted.

The truth was, rather than being replaced by technology, court reporters harnessed its power and increased their value to the legal community, and created the new careers of broadcast captioner and CART provider.

A-to-Z Programs throughout the U.S. offer potential students an introduction to court reporting — without making a financial commitment.

Project Steno will partner with any school whose program meets our goals and is geared to graduate students in two years.  We require students to reach 140 wpm by end of year one.  We require programs to use training tools such as Realtime Coach and provide individual coaching based on each student’s specific needs.

Offering ongoing tuition assistance to reduce the cost of a court reporting education is a major part of the Project Steno solution.