HOBART, IN -- From its home base in Northwest Indiana, College of Court Reporting (CCR) offers an associate’s degree program for aspiring court reporters and has been doing so since 1984. What began as an educational entrepreneurship in Kay Moody’s living room is now a successful hybrid online and onsite school, accredited by ACICS and certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). CCR offers both academic courses and hands-on skill-development courses that take stenography students from writing 0 to 225 words per minute.
And, yes, court reporting is still relevant; it’s actually in demand, as pointed out in TRIBLive’s article about Pennsylvania’s fleet of retiring reporters.
CCR began teaching online in 2002 and eventually became the first court reporting school to be certified by NCRA. Since setting that trend, CCR has continuously pushed the delivery of its curriculum to become more efficient. This effort led to the creation of the school’s very own learning management system, ev360®, which evaluates students’ progress in minute-by-minute segments -- a departure from court reporting’s traditional five-minute evaluation method. The new method of assessment has contributed to a 20 percent increase in CCR’s student success rates.
So how does this independent brick and mortar continue to thrive despite training students to go into a career that is constantly being threatened by new technology?
It embraces technology and contributes to an evolving field with fresh, innovative approaches to education. And the school isn’t halting its progress anytime soon.
“Our goal as a school is to incorporate the newest technology into our instruction so that students leave CCR ready to compete for most relevant jobs,” says President Jeff Moody. These words are telling of CCR’s push for collaboration between educators and employers.
To put words into action, CCR is poised to launch a new way to learn in an online setting: the Living Open Online Curriculum, or LOOC™. Universities across the country have adopted the Massive Open Online Curriculum (MOOC) as a way to give huge markets of learners access to the best professors at affordable rates.
Unfortunately, MOOCs in their current state do not lead to any type of professional certification, and the curriculum that they deliver is taught in a cookie-cutter fashion to large bodies of students. College of Court Reporting’s LOOC™ shares only one similarity with MOOCs in that it is designed to allow the college to offer its best courses to students at costs far lower than current tuition rates; however, it is fundamentally different in a couple ways.
LOOCs™ are designed with the idea that qualified professionals should be able to freely create and develop online course curriculum for the motivated learners of the twenty-first century, and students should have something to show for their enrollments.
CCR is partnering with employers, professionals, and established educators in the field to create new, customized courses that address the most pertinent skills in court reporting education. Not only will LOOCs™ feed into students’ certification, but they will also present students with smaller, more individualized content. This means that course instructors will be able to be more prescriptive in their approach to shaping their future employees; i.e. providing better instruction, detailed feedback, and meaningful assessments.
And because the instructors of these courses are employers and professionals already in the field of court reporting, students can begin networking for jobs as soon as they login their first LOOC™.
LOOCs™ could also be influential in increasing enrollments at colleges and universities. An article published by the Washington Post identifies a sharp drop in post-secondary enrollment in one region on the East Coast. The article offers a solution to the problem by pointing out that an Evangelical Christian school in Virginia used online education to boost enrollment by 37 percent since 2010, catering to students who seek convenient, affordable ways to educate themselves. To follow suit, educators must find cost-effective ways to provide this new type of classroom. Fortunately, course content can be easily integrated into the flexible LOOC™ format at a fraction of the cost of developing original online platforms.
The face of post-secondary education is evolving, and CCR is already thinking about how LOOCs™ could push them to the forefront of online education: What if LOOCs™ were adopted by employers and professionals in fields other than court reporting? LOOCs™ could be influential in developing a career-ready, tech-savvy workforce in ANY career field. As colleges attempt to turn around declining onsite enrollments, LOOCs™ become a viable option for reaching students of the Twenty First Century.
College of Court Reporting was the first online program in the country to be certified by the National Court Reporters Association. With a higher graduation rate than the national average for court reporting schools, CCR looks to improve still as the school enters its 30th anniversary of operation. For more information on furthering your education, contact Nicky at 866-294-3974.