Chat with an Advisor Request Information

Legal & Law Programs ►Court Reporting/Captioning/CART Certificate Program

Correspondence Program - Includes lifetime support

This self-paced, home study program is designed to train beginning students to be real-time writing steno machine writers, and prepare them for careers in court reporting, broadcast (closed) captioning, and CART providing. As they write on the steno machine, the words appear in English on a computer screen or a television screen. These exciting careers are in demand and provide job security.

Court reporting allows individuals to work for agencies/firms, the government, or to own their own business as a freelance court reporter. Closed captioning, writing the captions beneath television programs for hearing impaired persons, allows individuals to work entirely from home. CART (Communications Access Real-time Translation) is primarily writing for hearing impaired students and may be accomplished by working entirely from home or going to the assignment.

The Job Outlook

Employment of court reporters is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for court reporter services will be influenced by new federal legislation requiring increased captioning for the Internet and other technologies. Those with experience and training in techniques for helping deaf and hard-of-hearing people, such as real-time captioning and Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART), will have the best job prospects. The median annual wage for court reporters was $47,700 in May 2010.

These exciting careers are filled by people from all walks of life. We have trained students from 17 years old to some in their early 60s. It is not necessary to have a college degree. Students with a high school diploma or GED may enter any of the three careers of court reporting, captioning, and CART providing. They require no prior experience. Students need an internet connection to access their Support Department through emails. This is a self-paced program, and all training is accomplished from your home, except for a court reporting internship. Captioning and CART providing internships are generally performed via the internet. Students with average intelligence, average ability to memorize, and average dexterity can accomplish this training. It requires motivation and discipline to practice.

Program Description
There are no prerequisites. Students learn theory (how to write on the steno machine), build speed to 225 wpm, learn CAT (computer aided transcription) software, learn career specific academics, perform an internship, and prepare for certification examinations. This skills-based program requires significant practice by the student to reach the level of proficiency to work in these careers. Successful graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

All materials and instruction are included at a cost of tuition. A steno machine is also included. CAT software is included without charge during training. However, all professional reporters, captioners, and CART providers must furnish their own CAT software throughout their career.

Speed Building Practice Regimen

One of the most important components of the CRAH program is our speed building process. CRAH provides a speed building practice regimen developed for each student based upon the number of hours he can practice most days to ensure he makes the fastest progress possible building his speed. If you’ve had prior training, you know that the longest phase of your training is speed building. The developer of the CRAH program completed her speed building in 90 days by practicing around the clock and utilizing a speed building practice regimen similar to the practice regimen developed for CRAH students. (This is not typical for most students.) However, it is not necessary to take 2-7 years to train in a traditional school setting, an online program, nor to spend $20,000 to $50,000 for the training.

Court Reporting and Captioning at Home has had some students who completed the THEORY training in 5-6 weeks, but 2 to 3 months is not unusual for most students. The CRAH program allows students to maintain their present employment and/or take care of their children at home while completing their training from the comfort of their homes at hours that are convenient for them. This program is customized for each student. If you are proficient in some of the academics, you do not have to devote time to them.

Court Reporting and Captioning at Home is a complete, comprehensive program and a very structured program. People of average intelligence and average dexterity can complete this training if they have the motivation and discipline to practice. It does not require more discipline to train from home than it does in a traditional school or an online program.

The minimum number of hours a student could complete his/her skills training would be approximately 1800 hours. That would require practicing 5 hours per day 6 days per week for one year. Most students are more likely to practice 3 hours per day or less for a longer period of time.

PLEASE NOTE: The length of time it takes you to reach 225 wpm with 98% accuracy will depend upon the amount of time you invest in study and practice. There is no standard completion time.

CRAH offers unlimited instruction and support through program materials and the Support Department which is available 365 days per year for as long as a student requires it. If they move, get married, have children, etc., and have to put their training aside, students can return to it at any time and resume their training where they left off. There is no time limit for completion with the CRAH program.

What are the software or hardware requirements?

Students need a computer and internet service to access their support.

Can I use a Mac computer?
During the first half of training, yes, you may use a Mac computer. However, because all CAT (computer aided transcription) software programs are Windows based, when you begin the CAT software phase of your training, you will be required to either use a Windows-based computer or to partition off a segment of your Mac computer for Windows.

How does the program work?

The program components are shipped to the student via UPS Ground in most cases. Students follow this regimen to learn the theory: (1) watch the lesson on the DVD Tutorial; (2) memorize the letters and words introduced in that lesson in the Theory Manual; (3) practice writing the letters and words by listening to an audio drill dictated for the lesson; and (4) take a short written test covering the lesson.

To build speed, students follow a speed building practice regimen developed for each student by their Support Staff based upon the number of hours the student has available to practice each day. Each speed level contains audio practice materials and tests. All students are on the honor system. As the student is ready to take a test, the Support Staff will email them the answer sheet for their use in grading their exam.

Students review the academics, take tests at the end of each lesson, and grade them utilizing the answer sheets on the page following the test.

CAT (computer aided transcription) software is provided without charge during training for students who do not already own CAT software. Support for the CAT software is provided by the CAT software vendor. It is very similar to Microsoft Word, but it has the added feature of translating steno notes into English.


This NCRA?approved theory is the only theory developed specifically for home study students. The unique concept of this theory provides the student with a real-time writing foundation for court reporting, broadcast (closed) captioning, and CART providing.

The COLOR CODED theory manual was developed to allow students to easily understand the terminology and make progress each day.

It is the only theory correlated with a DVD TUTORIAL to illustrate everything the student needs to see, i.e., how to attach the tripod to the steno machine, proper height of the steno machine, proper posture, where to place each finger on each key, and how to write each of the 20 theory lessons. It is like having a mentor sitting beside you.

Speed Building

The speed building and skills portions of the CRAH program were also developed specifically for home study. This unique and revolutionary speed building technique is incorporated with the Court Reporting and Captioning Theory and allows the student to complete speed building much faster and more prepared to enter these careers than old?fashioned traditional methods. All dictation materials were custom developed for this program and are the quality of the certification exams administered by the National Court Reporters Association as the developer of this program served on the NCRA’s Test Advisory Committee in 2007.

Computer Aided Transcription (CAT) Software

Free CAT (Computer Aided Transcription) Software Training ? Utilizing “Real-time Reporting and Captioning Theory,” the only NCRA?approved theory developed

specifically for home study students, with a 60,000+ word capability pre?built Steno Dictionary and Stenovations Digital Cat software. The steno dictionary allows the CAT software to translate steno into English, and this prebuilt steno dictionary saves students several hundred hours in training by not having to develop their own from the beginning. There is no charge for CAT software during training. However, the majority of court reporters, captioners, and CART providers must provide their own CAT software when they begin working professionally. Some CAT software vendors will allow students to work for 90 days prior to making their first payment.

Academics ? Court Reporting


  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Vocabulary
  • Court Reporting Procedures, Ethics, and Technology
  • Legal Terminology
  • Medical Terminology and Anatomy
  • Transcript Production

Academics are necessary, because they are on court reporting certification examinations. These academics were developed by CRAH specifically for home study students and include lessons, tests, and answer sheets. If students require any assistance, the Support Department, comprised of credentialed court reporters, is there to assist them.

Academics ? Captioning and CART Providing

Materials relevant to Captioning and CART Providing are: Introduction to Captioning and CART Providing, Format and Style, Optional Real-time Writing Concepts, Glossaries, Grading, Frequently Asked Questions, Equipment, Software and Dictionary Building, CD and DVD practice materials specific to each career.


Court Reporting ? The Support Staff will develop an internship for each court reporting

student at hours that are convenient for them. They do not have to interrupt their current work schedule to perform an internship. This internship allows students to see firsthand what they have learned in their training. It also allows them to establish relationships with local court reporters and court reporting firms/agencies.

Captioning ? The student’s writing will be assessed by a captioning employer either in

their office locally or via the internet. Usually the student is required to write for 20?30 minutes. The captioning company will evaluate the writing and might offer employment immediately or they may offer suggestions for improvement if necessary. Students may have their writing evaluated several times before they are offered employment.

CART Providing – The student’s writing will be assessed by a CART providing employer either in their office locally or via the internet. The student is usually required to write a professor’s lecture or pre?dictated material. Students may be offered employment after the first evaluation or their writing may be evaluated several times before they are offered employment.


Upon completion of training, students are prepared to pass any state CSR exam or the national RPR examination. Certification is not required in approximately half the states in the United States.

Certification Preparation

Approximately half the states in the United States require court reporters to be certified. This program prepares students to pass any state or the national certification examination.

There is no certification requirement for captioning and CART providing. However, there are certification examinations administered by the National Court Reporters Association that students may take voluntarily.

Instructor: Linda Bland, RMR, RPR, CSR, CPE

  • Completed her Court Reporting Training in 5 Months
  • Passed the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter Examination) administered by the NCRA twice, the first time shortly after completing training
  • Registered Merit Reporter (260 words per minute) by NCRA examination as well as Registered Professional Reporter
  • (RPR) and Certified Program Evaluator (CPE) for the NCRA
  • Served on the NCRA’s Test Advisory Committee (TAC) that develops the national RPR, RMR and RDR certification examinations, and the test she developed was chosen to be administered at the May, 2007 RPR examination
  • Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) by testing in Illinois, Texas, and Tennessee
  • Over 25 years’ experience as a professional real-time writer court reporter and court reporting and broadcast captioning educator
  • Former Southern Association of Colleges and Schools team member and evaluator of SACs accredited Court Reporting Schools
  • Former Owner and President of one of the largest NCRA-Approved Schools in the United States
  • Developer and author of the state-of-the-art “Real-time Reporting and Captioning Theory,” which allows students to complete training
  • much faster than old-fashioned, complex theories on the market today
  • Developer and author of a unique and revolutionary speed building technique incorporated with the Real-time Reporting and Captioning Theory allowing the student to complete training much faster and more prepared to enter these careers than old-fashioned traditional methods
  • Member of NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) since 1978