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Dee Boenau: Be a Captioner

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is the next starting class?

A. Our school is on the quarter system, with a week's break between each quarter and two weeks between Fall and Winter quarters. Generally, quarters begin on the first Monday or Tuesday of January, April, July, and October. 

Theory 101 class: 

Fall (2023): Tuesday, October 10th, 2023. 

Q. What time are classes held? 

A. Theory classes are held from 6- 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Mondays/Wednesdays or Tuesdays/Thursdays, alternating quarterly. Speedbuilding classes are held two days per week for two hours each day, times varying with instructor. Academic classes are held in the mornings. Times for courses are subject to change and are scheduled prior to the start of each quarter. All classes are live-recorded to accommodate student work conflicts or absences.

Q. Are classes on-site or remote?

A. All classes are held online with certified, experienced instructors via the Zoom platform. The Zoom platform allows students to share their screens so that teachers can observe their posture and their writing and offer suggestions for further progress.

Q. Are classes recorded for playback and later practice if I must miss a class?

A. Yes. All classes are live and also recorded, uploaded to our learning material platform, which is (owned by PowerSchool).

Q. How much is tuition? 

A. Tuition is $350/month, charged to the student’s designated credit card on the 1st of each month. This monthly fee includes live instruction and subscription to the 24/7/365 online practice dictation and testing platform,, and technical support.

Q. What other costs may I expect at HSCRC? 

A. To begin study, a student needs a steno machine with realtime cable, a laptop or computer running Windows 10 or 11 with camera and good quality audio card, broadband internet, a set of headphones, a notebook or 3-ring binder, a back-supporting chair, and a quiet place to practice and study. The “StenEd Realtime Theory” textbook and “How to Say It and Write It Correctly” reference book are $94 plus S&H ($74+$20 + tax for FL residents). We send these to you and charge your credit card. In year two, expect to spend about $120 for the textbook/workbook set, “Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation” by Margie Wakeman Wells, which the student buys directly from a few weeks before taking ENG 101.

Q. How long does it take to get through school? 

A. Our curriculum is designed for 2 to 2.5 years. The 2-year target requires the student to achieve passing grades on tests at each speed (80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, and 225 wpm) after completion of six months of Theory, and successful completion of academic courses taken after Theory, one or two per quarter. A student who takes one academic course per quarter will finish in 2.5 years. Much is dependent on a student’s time available to do focused practice.

Q. What are the academic courses offered by HSCRC?

A. The academic courses offered by HSCRC are those required by the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) General Requirements and Minimum Standards for Approved Court Reporting Programs (GRMS) established by CASE (Council on Approved Student Education). They are: English Grammar, Punctuation, and Vocabulary; Computer and Translation Software; Medical Systems and Terminology; Legal Structure and Terminology; Transcription Skills; Intro to CART Captioning; and Internship, which includes Certification Test Preparation.

Q. Does HSCRC allow students to take a leave of absence? 

A. Yes. Students may need to take a leave of absence due to family or financial circumstances. HSCRC holds a student’s place upon a 30-day cancellation notice, with the next month’s payment covering the returning student’s first month of tuition.

Q. Can a student withdraw from HSCRC without penalty?

A. A student may withdraw from HSCRC with 30 days’ notice. A month’s tuition is charged for early withdrawal. If the student returns within 12 months, the first month will be free.

Q. Is the students credit card always charged on the 1st of the month?

A. Yes. However, a student can request payment on another date with two weeks’ notice.

Q. What are the grade requirements for completion of a course? 

A. Transcription with 95% accuracy on 5-minute dictations is required for passing a speed test. Two passed tests are required in each genre (one-voice literary material, one-voice jury charge material, and two-voice testimony material) before proceeding to the next speed class. The 95% accuracy rubric is from the NCRA standards in “What is an Error?” published for all students.

Q. May a student go through HSCRC at their own pace? 

A. After completion of six months of Theory, students may advance through speed classes at their own pace.

Q. How many outside-of-class practice hours are required?

A. HSCRC requires its students to practice on the steno machine 10 hours per week outside of class hours. This practice can be in the form of drills, writing from text, games, or dictation. We require students to submit two transcriptions each week. We believe that practice in editing and reading notes is needed for students to see and drill through their weaknesses and also to edit quickly and efficiently for quick transcript turnaround as a working court reporter.

Q. Is HSCRC accredited? 

A. No. We are a training facility and not a college. Students may progress in speed at their own pace, not having to wait for the next quarter. We award Certificates of Completion, not diplomas.

Q. When was HSCRC founded? 

A. HSCRC was founded in 2016 to help replace soon-retiring reporters in this country. Gayl Hardeman founded the GHK School in 1976 in Tampa. It was NCRA-approved and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and sold in 1992.  HSCRC follows NCRA guidelines.

Q. How many students finish the course? 

A. The national average is about 20% of those who begin steno study will finish it. Candidates with grit, determination, and love of language will find joy in challenging themselves to succeed. Some students start, take a break, and return to finish the course. HSCRC is a flexible training facility and understands that life can get in the way of goals, but focused practice will pay off!

Q. Does HSCRC have tuition assistance?  

A. No, it does not. We will work with a student who faces financial difficulties, but we feel our tuition is reasonably priced, with expert instruction from experienced, certified reporting teachers who encourage, guide, and motivate students to achieve their goals.

Q. Do I have to take a Project Steno Basic Training Course or NCRA Discover Steno A to Z course before enrolling in HSCRC? 

A. No, it is not required. It is a good idea to take one of these courses to find out if you really do like writing on the steno machine and if you understand the steno language concept before investing in steno education. The courses introduce you to the steno machine keyboard and phonetic way of writing words in chords of consonants and vowels – akin to the piano.

Q. What theory does HSCRC teach?

A. We teach a phonetic realtime theory, the revised StenEd Realtime Theory, with modifications by Gayl Hardeman that emphasize word-building and briefs that make sense and can be remembered at speed.  Other theories, such as Magnum Theory, are also based on StenEd.

Q. If I have more questions may I call or write?

A. Absolutely, yes! Please call Gayl at 813-404-2488 or write to her at She’ll be happy to answer your questions. She’s still in love with this profession and wants you to have “the best career you never heard of!”

Watch this amazing video from Project Steno:

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