Dee Boenau: Be a Captioner

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How much is the tuition?  

The monthly tuition is $350 per month.  There is no long-term contract, nor do you have to pay for the entire quarter/semester up front.

Are there any other fees?  

- There is a non-refundable $100 admissions application fee due at the time of submitting your application.

- You must purchase a theory textbook online for $74.00.  

- If you don't own a steno machine, you can rent one from us (if available), or we can refer you to a company that sells/rents machines.

- An HSCRC realtime-capable machine is $25 per month with a $200 security deposit.

- Software must be purchased before the start of the program.  To purchase the student version of CaseCAT software ($345), go to Stenograph.

Do you offer this course online?  

Yes.  All students attend via webcam and participate together.  Classes are recorded for later practice or review. 

Do you accept financial aid?  

No.  Many schools are closing their doors in part due to their accepting of financial aid.  If a school accepts financial aid, it is required to admit everyone, regardless of their ability to successfully complete the course.  Many students end up with over $30,000 of debt, whether they graduate or not. We have made our school as affordable as possible, allowing our students to graduate DEBT-FREE.

How long does it take to become a court reporter/captioner?  

Once you learn the keys that represent all the sounds of the English language, which takes three months, and you learn how to write alphabets, numbers, prefixes, suffixes, and root words, which takes another three months, you start writing longer passages at increasing speeds, from 1 minute at 80 wpm to 5 minutes at 225 wpm and higher.

 

The average amount of speed increase is one month for every 10 wpm gain. so about 16 months -- for an AVERAGE total of 22 months.  "One month" assumes 24 hours of in-class time plus 40 hours of outside practice, including reading notes and writing drills.

Why your school instead of another school?  

There are many good schools.  Gayl Hardeman is a recognized and award winning teacher who knows firsthand the subject matters and technology required of steno writers.  We have hired excellent, experienced, and knowledgable teachers who share her values.  Our teachers prepare students to enter the fields of court reporting as well as academic, business, personal, and broadcast captioning.  We provide academic courses (English, punctuation, vocabulary, medical and legal terminology, court reporting procedures, and translation software) along with supervised internships and certification prep for the national certification exam.

Do I need a college degree to be accepted to HSCRC?  

NO.  However, students who have a broad education, whether by virtue of having a college degree or by reading widely, have an easier time recognizing and writing words phonetically in a variety of subject matters.

Won’t Siri (Automated Speech Recognition or ASR) make stenography obsolete?

We don’t think so.  Siri is good for anticipated language in known settings, and it is getting better.  Captioners and reporters can capture different accents and volumes, even when a chair scrapes next to them or a siren screams outside. The human brain, trained in realtime stenography or voicewriting, is far superior to the limited capabilities of Siri.

Isn’t stenography a dying profession?

No.  It is a growing profession.  While electronic recording has been installed in some low-transcript civil courts, other courts have returned to having live court reporters present instead of E.R. because of convictions overturned due to botched recordings and poor monitoring.  Further, demand is growing for realtime speech-to-text display to provide equal communication access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have learning disabilities – opening opportunities in education, in the law, in medicine, in employment, and in entertainment.

What is CART?

Now called CART Captioning, “CART” is communication access realtime transcription – or text.  CART Captioning is personal or corporate captioning – for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

What is the difference between CART and Broadcast Captioning?  

Broadcast captioning is realtime speech-to-text display via an encoder to line 21 of the television or video screen, which usually displays 32 characters per line of text.  Sports events and programs, news programs, weather all call for realtime broadcast captioning.  Off-line, post-production captioning is done for movies by captioners or AV people trained to use caption software.

CART is an ADA accommodation for communication access.  Companies hire CART captioners for trainings, webinars, conventions, classes, staff meetings, interviews.  Medical facilities hire CART captioners for appointments, pre-surgery and post-surgery exchanges, as well as counseling services. Courts hire CART captioners to provide speech-to-text for litigants or jurors who need communication access.