Court reporting offered at Cerritos


Maria Morales/TM

Esmeralda Infante

Court Reporting has progressed over the years and the program at Cerritos is making sure that its students get all the knowledge and preparation they need to succeed in their careers.

“Court reporting used to be only part of the court system, but nowadays it is used everywhere,” said Vykki Morgan, court reporting coach.

Court reporting is used in closed captioning in TV sitcoms such as “Jerry Springer,” as well as in the entertainment industry.

“A student of ours works for the Academy Awards every year. She types out the actor/actresses speeches. It’s pretty amazing to see the types of jobs one could get with court reporting,” Morgan mentioned.

Students part of the program also get to work with disabled students.

“They are there to take notes for the students and type the notes into a laptop so the disabled students can then read it from there,” explained Mary Balmages, court reporting coach.

Court reporting graduates may also work at the police department doing police reports.

The program at Cerritos is open to the public; all who want to learn this career can just sign up and pay their required class fees.

“Some private programs charge up to $1,000 a month to be part of the court reporting program, but here at Cerritos we don’t do that,” Morgan said.

The only student-purchased item is the shorthand machine that is required. Their price range is around $1,400.

The court reporting program is approved by the National Court Reporting Association.

“Apart from being well-qualified, we have the largest programs in the public school district,” Morgan said.

One particular subject that Morgan was excited to see happening was that now the Cerritos court reporting program can be done online.

“It’s really exciting to have, because we have students from all over joining our program. We even have a student from Hawaii that belongs to our program,” Morgan mentioned.

There are certain requirements that a student must take in order to achieve his certificate, just like any other program here at Cerritos.

Requirements include:

  • machine shorthand and transcription,
  • English and vocabulary,
  • medical,
  • legal,
  • transcript procedures,
  • apprenticeship training,
  • technology and
  • resource materials.

Apart from the classes needed, the students must also take a state exam.

“There are two parts to the state exam. The first part is the machine part; students must be able to type 200 words or more per minute with four people talking in 12 minutes.

“That first part has to be at least 97.5 percent accurate,” Balmages said. “Along with the first part, the second part of the exam is their academics. They are tested from everything from English to legal aspect of court reporting.”

For those students who need help passing their state exam, classes are offered that the students can take up to three times.

Orientations are also offered for the students to part take in and come learn what the program offers and the steps needed to achieve your certification.

“We offer an orientation once a month. We list them on our Web page so the students can know where to meet and what time,” Morgan explained.

The upcoming orientation is scheduled to be March 21 at 12:30 p.m. in the court reporting computer lab.