Court Reporting and Captioning

Young lady on phone with laptop and textbooks

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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

Christine Leung

Christine Leung

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

Margaret Ortiz

Margaret Ortiz

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

(408) 741-2559

Terry Star

Terry Star

Continuing Education
Court Reporting, Captioning and Related Technologies Instructor

Eric Van Dorn

Eric Van Dorn

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

Sharon Vartanian

Sharon Vartanian

Continuing Education
Court Reporting and Captioning Instructor

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

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."

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."

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

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. Case CATalyst 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Real Time Translation, aka Educational Captioning) services, scoping assistance for court reporters, and transcription work.


Please contact Maggie Ortiz if you have more questions.

Last Updated 11/16/22