Information Reporting Technology

  • Heading

    Captioning (AAS, CP)
    Judicial (AAS, CP)
    CART (AAS, CP)

  • Overview


    This program prepares students for careers in judicial reporting and live event broadcast captioning. After taking several fundamental courses, students may choose between judicial reporting, CART reporting, and captioning reporting options that are designed to prepare students for certification tests. This program is the only one in Missouri certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). This entire program is available online and is certified by NCRA.

    Job opportunities are abundant for those who possess judicial reporting and captioning skills. For example:

    • Employment of court reporters is projected to grow 18 percent, faster than average for all occupations between 2008 and 2018
    • Freelance reporters now have the ability to digitally capture their depositions
    • CART reporters are assisting students who are deaf and hearing-impaired through the use of real-time technology
    • Convention reporters now can provide captioning assistance to individuals who are late-deafened
    • Broadcast captioners can assist millions of deaf and hearing-impaired individuals by captioning late-breaking weather alerts

    Court reporters capture the words spoken by everyone during a court or deposition proceeding. Court reporters then prepare verbatim transcripts of proceedings. The official record or transcript helps safeguard the legal process. When litigants want to exercise their right to appeal, they will use the transcript to provide an accurate record of what transpired during their case.

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings are expected to outnumber jobseekers, particularly for real-time broadcast captioners and translators.

    Persons interested in information reporting technology should possess:

    • Proficient keyboarding skills
    • Excellent listening skills
    • Excellent English grammar, vocabulary and punctuation skills
    • Knowledge about computer hardware and software applications
  • Career Opportunities


    Job Resources

    • For information on the job outlook in the information reporting technology profession, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and search specific job titles. Also available: information on median pay, entry-level education, number of jobs and more.
    • To learn about the top openings in specific cities across Missouri visit the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
    • For specific real-time information on wages and job prospects in the STLCC region, visit STLCC Career Coach.
  • Faculty


    Patricia Ziegler, Ed.D
    Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator
    Phone: 314-984-7433

    Beth Bee
    Adjunct Instructor

    Randy Dunn

    Peggy Lange
    Adjunct Instructor

    Judy Larson
    Adjunct Instructor

    Brenda Russell

  • Resources
  • Additional Information



    How long has the school been in existence?

    St. Louis Community College was established in 1962. Court reporting has been taught at STLCC since the early 1970s.

    What is the length of the program? Average time to reach speeds?

    The Information Reporting Technology-Judicial AAS degree program is designed to be completed in two years. The normal completion time for STLCC students to complete the program is 3-5 years, depending on progression in speed classes. This is a skill-building program in which students are required to pass tests writing on a shorthand machine at high speeds with 97 percent accuracy. Time to acquire this skill is directly related to the amount of practice time on the steno machine.

    Many STLCC students are non-traditional students who have other responsibilities (working 40-plus hours, family commitments, etc.); the time to complete the program may be higher for students with these time constraints. NOTE: According to NCRA, the national average time to complete a court reporting program of study is three years.

    What percentage of students who enroll graduate? Become reporters?

    According to NCRA, the completion rate for court reporting students enrolled in NCRA-certified schools is 5 percent nationwide. The completion rate at STLCC is between 5 and 15 percent.  Most graduates become reporters after passing the state and/or national certification tests.

    What types of reporting jobs do your graduates get?

    The most common type of jobs for STLCC graduates is working as freelance reporters, either with an agency or as an independent freelance reporter. The St. Louis metro area has several large, regional freelance agencies that hire STLCC graduates. Reporters frequently become official court reporters after several years of freelance reporting. Other graduates become CART providers for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals and/or broadcast captioners for TV captioning. Captioners also are hired for webcasting business and corporate events.

    If the state has a reporter certification requirement, what is the success rate of the school’s graduates? After how many attempts?

    The state of Missouri certification requirement is the Certified Court Reporter (CCR) test, which consists of the following:

      • A written knowledge test;
      • QA @225 wpm with 95% accuracy;
      • Medical QA  @200 wpm with 95% accuracy; and
      • JC/Literary @180 wpm.

    Most students pass the written knowledge test on the first attempt.  Most students take the skills portions of the test several times. The speed tests can be passed one test at a time (not all at once).

    How many hours of live and taped dictation are there per day per quarter/semester?

        • The STLCC calendar consists of two 16-week semesters and one 11-week summer session. Most IRT classes are three credits each.
        • On-campus classes meet two nights a week for a total of three hours. Live dictation is provided during classes.
        • Online students have access to classes 24 hours a day, seven days a week via the Internet. The college uses Blackboard as the online learning platform at no additional charge.
        • Instructors post practice dictation online for each class on a weekly basis. Students may utilize the posted material as much as they wish.
        • Tests are posted for a limited time. Students are required to transcribe at least one test each week.
        • In addition, the college provides dictation material in the STLCC Electronic Reserves. Students have access to this material 24/7 as well.

    How often is multi-voice dictation given?

    Two-voice dictation is provided weekly in all speed classes. Three-voice dictation is provided in the Medical TM/Colloquy class.

    How many days a week will I be expected to attend classes?

    Students are encouraged to practice on their steno machines at least six days a week. A minimum of 10-15 hours of practice is required to progress in this major. Students are encouraged to practice 20 hours a week for maximum benefit.

    Students in night classes meet twice a week; online students have unlimited access to online classes. Assignments must be submitted by the due date, as announced by the instructor. See  No. 6 regarding above for information on class structure.

    What are the class sizes?

    Theory and academic classes typically have 10-25 students. Speed-building classes and upper-level classes are smaller (8-15 students).

    How many teachers are employed in the program?

    The college employs one full-time instructor and 4-6 adjunct instructors in the IRT program.

    What are the teachers’ credentials and/or teaching or reporting experience?

        • The full-time instructor has 20 years of teaching experience and an earned doctorate in education with emphasis on court reporting education.
        • Two adjunct instructors are former full-time faculty members of the college, each with 20-30 years of teaching experience and master’s degrees.
        • Two adjunct instructors are working reporters, each with more than 15 years of court reporting experience and state/national certifications.
        • One adjunct instructor is an academic administrator with many years of teaching experience and a master’s degree.

    How many court reporting instructors are CRIs (Certified Reporting Instructors)?

    Currently, one instructor is a CRI.

    Is theory taught using realtime? If not, is realtime training given?

    This program teaches StenEd theory. Realtime is not required in the first two terms of enrollment while learning theory. Instruction in realtime is recommended in the third term of enrollment.

    At what point in the curriculum is extensive Computer Aided Transcription (CAT) training introduced?

        • Students are strongly encouraged to take CAT training on Eclipse software in the third term of the program.
        • Most students purchase the student version of the CAT software Eclipse (computer-aided transcription) at a cost of $400.  Assignments in the Introduction to CAT class include how to purchase and install the CAT software. (Not available through traditional office supply stores.)
        • The Eclipse CAT software is also available for student use in the BA201 computer lab. There is no charge for students to use the software in that lab.

    What are the school’s graduation requirements?

    Students are required to pass the following five-minute speed takes in order to graduate.


    Testimony 225 95 1
    Testimony 225 97 2
    Medical QA 200 97 2
    Jury Charge 200 95 1
    Jury Charge 200 97 2
    Literary 180 95 1
    Literary 180 97 2

    Academic course requirements for graduation are found in the college Catalog for both the Associate in Applied Science degree and the Certificate of Proficiency.

    Does the school have an internship program? Yes.

        • All IRT students are required to complete a 50-hour internship in the IRT253-Workplace Learning class.
        • This internship is an unpaid position.
        • The college will arrange the internship with input from the student.
        • Internships can take place in locations outside the St. Louis area.

    Is employment assistance available?

        • The Career and Employment Services office at STLCC provides assistance to students in locating employment opportunities. More information can be found on the STLCC web site at Career and Employment Services.
        • Numerous networking opportunities with area court reporters are available for students. These contacts often provide a foundation for career opportunities.

    What are the entrance requirements of the institution?

    Information is available at Admissions and Registration link on the STLCC website.

    Are students required to purchase or rent a stenotype writer?

        • Students have several options regarding the steno machine.
        • Option 1: Steno machines are available for check-out from the BA201 computer lab at no charge.  A valid STLCC student ID is required.  These machines are only available for use in this computer lab.
        • Option 2: The Stenograph Protégé machine is available on a purchase plan from the Meramec Bookstore (students living in the STL metro area only). Students make one payment for three terms (one year) with no interest. After the third payment is made, the student owns the machine. A partial refund is available if the machine is returned in good working condition during that time. Payment details as of 2010-11 (approx.): $800 first payment, $525 second payment, $525 third payment.
        • Other Options: Some students know a working reporter who has an older machine that is no longer being used. Some students choose to purchase a used steno machine from other sources.

    NOTE: Students need an electric, computer-compatible steno machine beginning in the third term of enrollment.

    What student services are available? Counseling? Financial aid? Tutoring?

    STLCC offers a wide range of student services, including counseling, financial aid and academic resources (including tutoring). More information can be found at Student Resources.

    Transfer or Returning Student Questionaire


    The Information Reporting Technology program is offered at our Meramec campus, as well as online. Students may take general education classes toward this degree at any of our four campuses, our five education centers, and online.


    Back to the top
Print This Page

Career and Technical Education Programs