Our Mission and Plan

Project Steno promotes the stenographic court reporting/captioning profession through social media and community outreach, with the goal of building a robust pipeline of students into school and graduating them in two years.

Project Steno March 2019 report


Step 1 – Getting the RIGHT Students into Court Reporting School

The first step with Project Steno is to engage prospective court reporting/captioning students in one of two introduction-to-steno programs being delivered by volunteer court reporters across the U.S.  It’s simple. Attend Project Steno’s Basic Training or NCRA’s A-to-Z program.  In 24 hours over six to eight weeks, these programs will deliver on their 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 introductory programs and identify candidates most likely to succeed in school.

Importantly:  These introductory programs are NOT a substitute for court reporting school. Consider them a screening tool to let candidates decide for themselves whether a stenographic 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 complete Basic Training or A-to-Z 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.

Project Steno will develop and publish statistics about our students as they progress at these schools and programs to help prospective students make an informed choice of school.

Step 3 – Reducing the Cost of 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.

Not all applicants will be interviewed or accepted.  Applications can be found at the Getting Started button on this website.

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.

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted Project Steno too:  the pipeline of donations we need to continue our tuition assistance program has come to a halt.  We have funds set aside to meet commitments to existing students, but we are unable to accept new tuition assistance requests at this time.

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.

Introductory programs throughout the U.S. offer potential students an introduction to court reporting and captioning — 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 a speed of 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 your education is a major part of the Project Steno solution.