Court Reporting and Captioning Frequently Asked Questions:

Student Typing

  • How long does it take to complete the program?

    As stated at in a brochure published by the Court Reporters Board of California, "Court Reporting is designed to be a three- to four-year program, assuming strict adherence to daily attendance and practice on the machine five hours per day. Court reporting students also have to do transcribing and academic homework in addition to machine practice. Court reporting school is a full-time job. While a few students have attained the required speed in less time, they are rare. It is self-paced, challenging, and requires self-discipline and a high degree of motivation."

  • Are there programs in the department that take less time?

    Yes, we have scoping* and proofreading, transcription and office support, and captioning programs that take less time. Depending upon the speed level, students have found employment in the the fields of scoping and proofreading for court reporters, legal, medical, and general transcription, office support, and  captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing college students and other individuals. 

    *Scoping is a special kind of proofreading for stenographic languages, also called "theories."

  • Is the program offered online?

    All courses offered within the department are available in the "synchronous" learning modality.  This means that students may attend our live classes on campus or from a remote location, using our free-to-students Zoom video-conferencing software.  We serve students throughout California and have students from San Jose to San Diego!  Students must have their own  device with a camera and microphone --  desktop, laptop, pad, or smart phone-- in order to attend class from off campus.  Academic courses required for our program have traditional online sections.
  • Do I need any special equipment? 
  • Yes.  Students need to provide their own laptop computers and stenographic machine writers, aka "steno machines."  We recommend that students purchase used steno machines for use while in school and we provide resources for identifying and finding functional used machines for purchase.  Students will also need to pay for the use of one of two student computer-aided transcription software choices.  This fee is paid directly to the company that provides the software.  There is a one-time $100 charge for students to use Total Eclipse software offered by Advantage Software.  CaseCATalyst software, offered by Stenograph Corporation, is offered to our students for $495 and this fee can be applied to the purchase of the professional version of the software later on.  


    Please contact Margaret Ortiz, at, for questions regarding synchronous and online education.

  • Do you have evening classes?

    Yes, some. At this time, evening classes are available for speedbuilding up to the 140 word-per-minute level. If enrollment warrants, evening speedbuilding classes may also be offered for the higher speed levels and for theory classes. Academic classes are also offered during evening hours.

  • How much does the program cost?

    The cost of tuition at a California community college is currently $46 per unit. Court reporting classes vary from one to 6.5 units. The cost for a typical semester is approximately $470 including tuition, fees, and parking.

  • Is financial aid available?

    Yes. Please fill out and submit the FAFSA form when applying to the college.  Check with the Financial Aid office at West Valley College to determine your eligibility.

  • Do you offer job placement?

    We will provide contact information for court, deposition, and captioning/CART job employment opportunities. To our knowledge, all West Valley Valley College court reporting graduates from the last five-plus years are currently working in the field.  Additionally, we have both current and former students employed providing CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation, aka Educational Captioning) services, scoping assistance for court reporters, and transcription work.

last published: 4/1/18