Stenography Method

In the legal system, court reporters are literally front and center.

In courtrooms, depositions, and other legal proceedings, court reporters play a vital and valued role. They’re the ones responsible for creating a complete and accurate record of courtroom proceedings and depositions. Whether they work in the courtroom or are hired by attorneys or companies, it’s an exciting, demanding, and rewarding career.

Stenography is a highly specialized skill that requires considerable training, placing these reporters in an elite group of professionals. Stenographic court reporters use a computer and a stenotype machine, striking specific combinations of keys and applying a shorthand language to record words and phrases with lightning speed and precision. Brown College graduates master this skill at 225 words per minute with 95 percent accuracy. Many liken stenography more to playing classical piano than to typing words.

Mastering the stenography method takes patience and dedication, driven by the knowledge that a range of compelling and lucrative opportunities lie ahead. Our faculty are expert instructors with a deep knowledge of the industry and a desire to see their students succeed.

Have you ever had your hands on a steno machine?

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The atmosphere that the instructors create is full of encouragement and always motivating. Their desire to see you succeed comes across in their interactions and the way that they teach their classes. 

Amanda Jones
Student at Brown College of Court Reporting

Curriculum

The Court Reporting Program at Brown College is designed to prepare students to take the state certification exam and to prepare the students for an entry-level position in the court reporting field.

This is a representative sample of a court reporting program at Brown College of Court Reporting. Click here for the full curriculum.

Academics Credit Hours
Introduction to Machine Shorthand Theory 14

This course introduces the student to basic theory principles: brief forms, phrases, writing by sound, and mastering the keyboard. Students are exposed to business letters, literary material, proper names, and numbers. Readback and basic transcription
skills are introduced. Daily assignments are given. At the completion of this course, students should be writing approximately 50 WPM with 97.5% accuracy.

Introduction to Realtime Reporting 2

This course begins with an introduction to court reporting and court reporting in America today, with a short history of court reporting.

Theory Reinforcement 2

This course reinforces theory skills and introduces new writing principles and
abbreviations to speedbuilding classes. Prerequisite: THE101

Advanced Theory 4

This course introduces the student to all the common functions of the steno
machine. Additionally, students will master the theory concepts introduced in THE100. Prerequisite: THE100

Punctuation and Usage 4

Because spoken English often does not conform to the formal rules of grammar, this course teaches students how to punctuate anything they may be required to transcribe. In addition to punctuation, subjects covered are numbers, hyphens, capitalization, and abbreviations. Prerequisite: EN10

Vocabulary Development 2

The study of word origins, structure, and meaning presented in this course improves students’ vocabularies and their confidence in word usage.

Proofreading 2

This is an introduction to proofreaders’ marks and the principles of proofreading, as well as a comprehensive review of problem areas, including sound-alikes, oneword/two-word confusions, spelling, possessives, capitalization, hyphenation,and general punctuation. Prerequisite: EN10, EN20, EN30, 140 speed level

Civil and Criminal Law 2

This course provides a basic introduction to the American legal system. The role of the Supreme Court is discussed, as well as the organization and jurisdiction
of the federal and state courts. Students also learn how to research citations and use reference materials. Civil and criminal procedural and substantive laws are surveyed.

Legal Terminology 2

Students study the origin and use of legal terms and how they are applied in the law of equity, torts, domestic relations, agency, bailments, real estate, etc.

Court Reporting Procedures 2

This course prepares students to perform their official reporting responsibilities: marking exhibits; indexing and storing notes; and preparing financial records,
information sheets, and other materials. Instruction is also given in expert witness testimony, voir dire, speaker identification, interruptions, procedures in chamber, and sidebar conferences. Official and freelance reporters’ ethical responsibilities
are discussed in detail.

Medical Terminology 3

This course covers both general medical terminology and medical terminology connected with specific body systems. Prerequisite: 100 Speed Level

Medical Anatomy/Physiology 3

This course covers general anatomy (structure) and physiology (function) and the anatomy and physiology of specific body systems.
Prerequisite: 200 Speed Level, Concurrent Enrollment in JAPLAB

Court Reporting Technology II, III, and IV 4
Court Externship 2

The College arranges for students at the 200 WPM speedbuilding level who have passed one 180 Literary test at 97.6% as well as one 200 Q&A tests to begin their Court Externship. Students will spend at least 40 hours with an official court reporter during actual court sessions. The supervising reporter must verify that the student experienced at least 20 hours of actual writing time. The student must
transcribe 40 pages of the proceedings for grading purposes, and submit a narrative report summarizing the externship experience for course credit.
Prerequisite: D7L18B, D7J18B, D5Q18B, D5Q20A, CRTII, CRTIII

Freelance Externship 2

The College arranges for students at the 200 WPM speedbuilding level who have passed one 180 Literary test at 97.6% as well as one 200 Q&A tests to begin their Court Externship. Students will spend at least 40 hours with a freelance court reporter during actual court sessions. The supervising reporter must verify that
the student experienced at least 20 hours of actual writing time. The student must transcribe 40 pages of the proceedings for grading purposes, and submit a narrative report summarizing the externship experience for course credit.
Prerequisite: D7L18B, D7J18B, D7Q20B, CRTII, CRTIII

Speed Building

Students must pass speed tests at the required speed and accuracy percentage (see catalog) in order to progress to the next level. Length of time to complete the program is based on the individual’s ability to pick up the skill. Full-time students enrolled in our steno program typically need 36 months, or more, for completion.

Practicing the stenography machine outside of class time is a crucial element for success with this program.

Speed Courses Credit Hours
60 WPM 2

This class develops speed and skill. Students must pass one five-minute test at 60 WPM with 97.5% accuracy. Readback skills and theory skills are extensively reinforced. Vocabulary development is stressed. Prerequisite: THE100

80 WPM 2

Students must pass one five-minute test at 80 WPM with 97.5% accuracy. Readback skills are extensively reinforced. Vocabulary development is stressed. They must also achieve an accuracy level of 93% accuracy on one set of notes on a test passed at 60 or 80 WPM. Prerequisite: 60 Speed Level

100 WPM 2

Students must pass one five-minute test at 100 WPM with 97.5% accuracy. Vocabulary development is stressed. Readback skills are extensively reinforced. Notes on one passed 80 or 100 WPM test must have an accuracy level of 93% accuracy. Prerequisite: 80 Speed Level

120 WPM 2
140 WPM 2
160 WPM 2
180 WPM 2
200 WPM 2
225 WPM 4

Students must pass one five-minute 225 WPM Q&A test at 95% accuracy. In addition to the test requirements, students must transcribe one mock RPR or mock CVR test in its entirety in order to complete the 225 speed level requirements. (No segment of the actual RPR or CVR need be passed to complete this requirement. However, any segment of the actual RPR or CVR passed will be credited to the student as a speed test, if applicable.) Students must complete required production work. Readback skills are extensively reinforced. Vocabulary development is stressed. Prerequisite: 200 Speed Level

Multi-Voice Class

Our multi-voice class simulates an actual legal proceeding, using three to four instructors to play various roles in the court: judge, witness, and counsel. Students transcribe the mock proceeding and are asked to submit a saleable transcript.