Court Reporting and Captioning


Young lady on phone with laptop and textbooks

Meet Online with a Professional Studies Counselor

The West Valley College Court Reporting and Captioning Department has been offering quality career training programs for over 40 years and is recognized by the Court Reporters Board of California. These careers are more relevant than ever. Trained court reporters and captioners are in high demand to meet the increased need for litigation, captioning services, text-video synchronization, webcasting, transcription, scoping, and proofreading.

Stenography machine

All students in the program are trained with innovative techniques to help them meet the requirements for state and national certification. In the Bay Area, starting salaries in the field range from $75,000 to over $100,000. A wave of retirements by active court reporters, coupled with increased demand for captioners, is expected to create thousands of job openings around the country including over 2,000 in California. Choose Court Reporting or Captioning and you can begin these rewarding and respected careers.

We serve students throughout California. Our face-to-face classes are offered synchronously to students on campus and also off campus using high-quality video conferencing.

Recipient of U.S. Department of Education Grant P116K100012, "Training for Real Time Writers" 2011–2015

To attend using our free Zoom video conferencing, please read the directions below:

Please download Zoom Video Communications. Use is free for Career Night and for our students.

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device: Simply click on the following link and follow the directions. When you are prompted to enter your name, please use your real first and last name. If it automatically fills in your computer profile name, please click on it and enter your first and last name.

  1. If your link is not active or you are having trouble:
  2. Highlight the link.
  3. Hit Control, Copy (if you have a PC) or Command, Copy (if you have a Mac)
  4. Click on your URL box (top left of screen)
  5. Click Control, View (PC) or Command, View (Mac)
  6. Hit Enter and follow the directions.

Once Zoom has already been loaded, for future meetings (classes) you can simply:

  1. Click on the Zoom Desktop Icon on Desktop or a Zoom folder in your All Programs menu.
  2. Log on by clicking Join when the words Join or Host a Meeting appear.
  3. Enter the meeting ID.

The meeting ID for this information session is: 250 212 825. (Do not put in spaces.)

You may also join by clicking on or copying it into your URL box and entering the meeting ID for your class.

To join from a dial-in phone line:

Dial: +1 (415) 762-9988 or +1 (646) 568-7788

Enter the meeting ID for your class.

Participant ID: Shown after joining the meeting

International numbers available:

We will open the meeting about ten minutes before the information/orientation session. If you have trouble logging on, please call Margaret (Maggie) Ortiz at (408) 318-4158.

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  • Select Term
  • Subject: Noncredit Court Reporting

Court Reporting students apply through CCCApply.

Court Reporting Faculty

Linda Lawson

Linda Lawson

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

(408) 741-2439
[email protected]

Christine Leung

Christine Leung

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

[email protected]

Margaret Ortiz

Margaret Ortiz

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

(408) 741-2559
[email protected]

Terry Star

Terry Star

Continuing Education
Court Reporting, Captioning and Related Technologies Instructor

[email protected]

Eric Van Dorn

Eric Van Dorn

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

[email protected]

Sharon Vartanian

Sharon Vartanian

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

[email protected]

Court Reporting Employment Outlook

Salary Chart

USBLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition:

"Employment of court reporters is projected to grow 18 percent, faster than the average for all occupations between 2008 and 2018. Demand for court reporter services will be spurred by the continuing need for accurate transcription of proceedings in courts and in pretrial depositions, by the growing need to create captions for live television, and by the need to provide other real-time broadcast captioning and translating services for the deaf and the hard of hearing."

US News and World Report, Dec. 2009:

"As one of the 50 Best Careers of 2010, this (Court Reporting) should have strong growth over the next decade."

"The outlook: Excellent. Bolstering demand is the growing need for live television captioning and translating services for the hearing impaired." Yahoo! Education:

"About two-thirds of court reporters are freelancers and can accept work assignments when it's convenient for them. Some work can be completed at home, so the exact hours and dress code are up to you."

Frequently Asked Questions

Our program is open to all California students and there are no registration fees! NOTE: You must live in California to take noncredit courses from the college, including our courses.

Thank you for your interest in our program! The West Valley College (WVC) Court Reporting program, recognized as a qualifying program by the Court Reporters Board of California, currently has students enrolled from all over the state. We hope that we will be able to help you begin and/or continue and complete your court reporting education and California Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) licensing exam preparation. Our program is free to students (no registration or campus fees), and we can serve students from anywhere in California as well as California residents who may be currently living out of state. Students may qualify for licensing using either stenographic machine writing or voice writing. Please see the online WVC schedule for class information.

All our classes are offered live via Zoom video conferencing. Some courses may be offered both on campus and via Zoom at the same time. You need to have a computer, laptop, pad, or phone with Windows, a good internet connection, microphone, and camera (already built into most devices) to attend off campus.

The class schedule is available on the West Valley College website in both online and PDF forms. Please use the online class search since there have been recent changes to the schedule. Type in or scroll down to “Noncredit Court Reporting” to get to our course offerings.

Steno machine students must have their own electronic stenographic machine writers (steno machines), PC laptop computers or Macs with PC capability -- desktops are okay if you are logging on from home -- and must purchase student access to Total Eclipse, from Advantage Software, a one-time $100 fee while you are enrolled in the program. Please see the acceptable steno machine recommendations at the end of the FAQs.

It is suggested that voice writing students have at 16 gigabytes of RAM on their laptops (32 GB is preferable), EclipseVox student software, Dragon Professional Individual speech recognition software, and a voice silencer (mask) and/or a separate microphone or headset.

Do not purchase student software access from Advantage Software, the makers of Eclipse software, until you are registered for class and can use the West Valley College discount ($100 cost for our students versus over $300 for non-West Valley College students).

Stenographic machine theory students need to purchase StenEd Realtime Theory Pack #2, ISBN 9780938643159. We recommend you order it directly from the StenEd website. Click on “Packages” in the blue header and it’s the first item on the page.

Voice writing students need to purchase Realtime Voice Writing by Bettye A. Keyes, 10th Edition ISBN 978-0-9891134-5-8 or the 11th Edition ISBN 978-0-9891134-8-9 published by Realtime University. This package is available through the campus bookstore and can be shipped to you. If the book is on backorder, or if you prefer, you may order it directly from Bettye A. Keyes.

Textbooks for other courses can also be found in the Online Searchable Class Schedule under Noncredit Court Reporting once the schedule is published or from your instructors once you’re registered for class if the instructor can get a better price and access from the publisher.

If you are just beginning a court reporting and/or captioning program, you should plan on taking one of the following courses.

If you want to learn the steno machine, please register for the following courses:

  • NCCC 001: Stenographic Machine Theory 1
  • NCCC 004: CAT Software Basics

If you want to learn voice writing, register for the following course:

  • NCCC 005: Voice Writing Theory

Note: If these courses are full when you try to register, please add yourself to the waitlist in case anyone drops and a space opens up – no guarantees.

If you have already taken courses through another court reporting program, please check the West Valley College online schedule for additional course information including advanced theory courses, speed building courses, and our academic courses.

Stenographic machine theory students need to purchase StenEd Realtime Theory Pack #2, ISBN 9780938643159. We recommend you order it directly from the StenEd website. Click on “Packages” in the blue header and it’s the first item on the page.

Voice writing students need to purchase Realtime Voice Writing by Bettye Keyes, 10th edition, published by Realtime U, ISBN 13: 9780989113472. This package is available through the campus bookstore and can be shipped to you. If the book is on backorder, or if you prefer, you may order it directly from Bettye A. Keyes.

Textbooks for other courses can also be found in the Online Searchable Class Schedule under Noncredit Court Reporting once the schedule is published.

All courses within our program, with the exception of the court reporting internship course, which is taken at the end of the program, are now free.

Financial aid is not available to students enrolled in our program since enrollment is free. However, if you choose to enroll in another program offered by the college in addition to the court reporting program, you may be able to qualify for financial aid for courses associated with that program.

Students who need financial or other support to take courses at the college should contact our Student Needs program. They also have laptops for loan.

Follow the directions on the apply page.

You should receive your West Valley College Student ID number in an email almost immediately or within two or three days. Once you have your student ID number, you can register by logging on to the WV Portal. Once in the Portal, click on “Student,” then "Registration." Fill out and submit the questionnaire, then follow the directions to register. The easiest way is to register is by using the five-digit CRN (Course Registration Number) for the class. The CRN for each course is in the schedule.

  • Click on the drop-down and hit “Submit” for the term (Fall or Spring or Summer).
  • Click in the “Student” box
  • Click in the “Register” box
  • Click in the “Add or Drop Courses” box and type in the applicable CRN (Course Registration Number) for each course.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me anytime on my cell: (408) 318-4158. If I can't answer immediately, I will call you back as soon as possible.

Just go to the West Valley College website and you will find course offerings using the Online Class Schedule. (Students who are new to court reporting may start the program in the fall or spring semester or the summer session.) NOTE: You must look under “Noncredit Court Reporting.”

The West Valley College 2023-2024 catalog is also available on the college website.

Please type in “Noncredit Court Reporting” in the search box to find our program and course information.

Yes! The Court Reporters Board school curriculum requirements count class hours successfully completed and passed -- not credits – and we continue to be a recognized program that can qualify students to take the California Certified Shorthand Reporters written and skills examinations for licensing. (Court reporters must be licensed by the state in order to work in California.)

Yes. College of Court Reporting, a well-respected court reporting college in Hobart, Indiana, offers our advanced theory students and speed-building students access to their online, structured "ev360 Ultimate" practice and testing program for supplemental practice and testing (Jury Charge, Literary, and Two Voice) at a greatly reduced cost. (This is optional.) We also have recorded practice materials that we share with students at no cost, and students may also record class dictation to use for additional practice.

Yes. We have a testing process for students who log on remotely and will have a proctor available to observe transcription of qualifiers using video conferencing.

They can be found in the class schedule. This summer, our courses will be listed under “Noncredit Court Reporting and Captioning” and in the “School of Continuing Education” section.

Please register for the speed class with your current speed goal. (If you’ve been out of school for a while, please register accordingly. If you have questions and/or need theory review, please contact Maggie Ortiz to assist you with proper course placement.)

The speed focus for the 80 – 140 classes and the 160 – 180 and 200– 220 classes start with the highest speed, then the next lowest, and so on. We normally administer one test for each speed each day of class.

Our courses are cross listed with multiple skill levels/speeds: Three levels of theory, 80, 100, 120, and 140 speeds in one class, 160 and 180 in another, and 200 and 220 in another so students can “push” or “trail” lessons or speeds and to ensure that we have enough enrollment in each class. Since there is lab time built into the classes, students should transcribe or practice on their own when not participating in their theory lesson (lecture) or target speed portion of the class while still in the classroom or logged on to class.

As long as the school is a California Community College, UC, or California State College or University, we will accept relevant courses for certificate purposes. If it is a private school, and recognized by the Court Reporters Board of California, we will honor classroom “clock hours” for the Court Reporters Board of California requirements, but the courses may not be accepted for certificates of completion issued by West Valley College. (You do not need to receive a certificate of completion from the college to take the state licensing exams.)

Zoom meeting links will be posted on Canvas, our learning management system, before the semester begins.

We hope that you will consider enrolling in the West Valley College Court Reporting program. We care about our students and we are here to support you in your court reporting studies.

Before classes begin, you should procure a steno machine, also called a writer before taking this course if you don’t already have one. Used machines are recommended. We recommend you consider one of the following steno machines:

  • Wave (used) student writer
  • Luminex (new or used) student writer
  • Cybra (used)
  • Mira (used)
  • Diamonte (used)
  • Protégé (used)

Stenograph is having a supply chain issue, so your best bet – cost-wise too – is to buy a used machine. Sources include Stenograph, LLC; Stenoworks, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Acculaw, StenoSearch, JM Steno, and Mercari.

As an alternative to regular steno machines to get started in theory class, if you are unable to get a steno machine, we recently found out about the TinyMod from one of our students – she purchased the TinyMod because she was traveling and couldn’t take her full-size machine. It’s a keyboard that connects to your computer and not an actual steno machine.

“The TinyMod is easy to use; even easier to link to Eclipse (steno translation software). And the support folks at Eclipse actually did help me connect the TinyMod, but much of what they showed me is the what (instructor) Linda (Lawson) taught us in the CAT (software) class. The vendor who sold me the TinyMod did give me great instructions as well (It's the Gemini Piper model, which is in our Eclipse software drop down menu options for writers). I do not need to use Plover's dictionary. (My note: Do not use the Plover dictionary. We ask for the StenEd software dictionary to be loaded on all student software.) This machine would benefit folks who are just starting out with steno during Theory 1 during that awkward start-up phase when you don't have all your technology yet etc. It took 2 days for me to get the TinyMod. One day for the person to build it, and 2 days in the mail. $140 + $9 shipping #worthit "

TinyMod machine


Please contact Maggie Ortiz if you have more questions.

Last Updated 5/10/24