Get comfy for professional development: Exciting upcoming NCRA webinars

Front view of a person sitting barefoot on a couch with their laptop on their knees, blocking their faceCourt reporters and captioners understand the value of continuing education and always improving one’s skills, but it can be challenging to attend in-person events. With NCRA webinars, you can learn more about your profession from the comfort of your own home or office (not to mention that you can attend them in your slippers – no one will know!).

NCRA has a wide variety of topics coming up in the next month. The JCR Weekly reached out to the presenters to help whet your appetite.

On Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. ET, Tori Pittman, FAPR, RDR, CRI, will present “Intersteno: Berlin and Beyond.” Pittman is a freelance reporter from North Carolina who has a passion for Intersteno. Intersteno is “a worldwide community uniting all those using a full range of speed writing methods to quickly produce high quality texts” (including steno lovers, keyboarding champions, and verbatim writers), and they host an international Congress every two years. In this 90-minute webinar, Pittman will talk about the networking and competition opportunities at Intersteno. She describes it as “international travel that is also a business expense” and explains that Intersteno attendees “learn about reporting in other countries while exploring fantastic locations.” The 2017 Intersteno Congress was held in Berlin, Germany (NCRA members performed very well in the competitions), and the next event is in 2019 in Sardinia, Italy.

On Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. ET, Lisa Jo Hubacher, RPR, CRI, will present “Thinking about Student Training.” Hubacher is an instructor at Madison Area Technical College (which is also her alma mater) in Madison, Wis. Madison Area Technical College received one of the final Training for Realtime Writers grants in 2014 due to its curriculum redesign. In this webinar, Hubacher will discuss this curriculum model, including the redesign’s impact on the program, what’s working, and what needs tweaking. As she describes it, the webinar will cover “how to design a program based on student needs without any curriculum-design knowledge.” Hubacher says she’ll also talk about why “‘But that’s the way we’ve always done it’ doesn’t fly anymore.” This is a must-attend webinar for anyone involved in training reporting students!

On Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. ET, Santo J. Aurelio, FAPR, RDR, will present “Legal Terms, Part 1.” Aurelio has presented several language-related webinars recently, including “What Reporters Must Know about Punctuation” and “English Grammar Gremlins: Ways to Conquer Them” (now both available as e-seminars). Aurelio will present on more than a hundred and fifty terms, but he admits, “I really get a special kick out of four of them: alibi (in another place), durance vile (imprisonment), eleemosynary (charitable), and Esq.” He adds, “If I must pick one, then I guess it would be Esq., which is merely a title of courtesy, but attorneys think that it means ‘one who is an attorney.’” Aurelio will provide “economical but cogent explanations” for the words that he hopes each attendee will easily remember.

Finally, on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. ET, Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, CRC, will present “Promoting the Profession.” Uviedo is an official in San Antonio, Texas, and she serves as co-chairperson for the Texas Court Reporters Association Student Recruitment Task Force. Her efforts in recruiting and mentoring court reporting students have won her the NCSA challenge not just once, but twice in a row; in 2015, she organized participation in 13 career fairs in 15 days in San Antonio. “It is so easy and rewarding volunteering for a recruitment event,” says Uviedo. “You have the potential to reach hundreds, even if you only talk to 50.” Uviedo has also found the value in promoting the profession over social media, and she hints that “one cool thing I’ll talk about is having attendees take selfies of themselves in front of their court reporting machines and having them spread posts about court reporting.”

Members who attend the webinars will be able to ask questions directly to the presenter and get them answered right away. But if you are not able to attend the live webinar, they will be available as on-demand e-seminars after the fact. Keep an eye on NCRA’s e-seminar library for these and other topics to help grow as a professional.

What can you do in a month to earn CEUs?

A middle-aged white woman listens attentively during a workshop while taking notes.The Sept. 30 deadline for this year’s CEU cycle is coming up quickly, but there’s still time to earn a few more last-minute credits, both in person and online. Even if your CEU cycle isn’t ending this year, these ideas can help you stay on track and possibly even get that requirement done early.

Attend a webinar or e-seminar

Webinars and e-seminars are a great way to learn some new skills in the comfort of your own home and, in terms of e-seminars, on your own schedule. There are three 90-minute live webinars scheduled for this September:

If none of these webinars fit your schedule, check out the NCRA e-seminar library for 60- and 90-minute sessions on topics that include business, CART and captioning, ethics, grammar and language, history, official reporting, personal development, realtime, technology, and more.

Attend a pre-approved event, including state association conferences

Many state associations and other court reporter–related organizations are hosting conferences and seminars in September. In-person events give you the opportunity to network with other reporters and captioners while earning CEUs. Most events are one to three days, and several of them are in the first half of the month. Events are scheduled in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana/Wyoming/Idaho, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as Alberta, Canada, this month. Check out the full calendar of pre-approved events here, which includes the dates, location (geographic or online), and number of CEUs.

Learn CPR or first aid

The American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and other organizations often host seminars on CPR or first aid. Perhaps you can organize a few colleagues from your firm, court, or even your local area to team up for an event nearby. Court reporters and captioners have to be prepared for anything, so why not add safety to your list of skills? Learn more about the requirements for earning CEUs by learning CPR or first aid on

Transcribe oral histories

Members who participate in the Oral Histories Program through the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) may earn Professional Development Credits for their time. Members can apply up to 1.0 PDC to their CEU requirement per cycle. Transcribe a 30- to 90-minute pre-recorded interview of an American veteran, Holocaust survivor, or attorney who has provided pro bono services through Legal Aid. Many people find participating in the Oral Histories Program to be especially rewarding. “As court reporters, we sometimes are too focused on the financial side of what we do, but (volunteering) is giving back. Anyone thinking of participating in one of these events should just jump right in and do it. It’s well worth it,” said Kimberly Xavier, RDR, CRR, CRC, CMRS, CRI, an official court reporter from Arlington, Texas, and a U.S. Air Force veteran, who recently volunteered at NCRF’s third Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project initiative at the 86th Military Order of the Purple Heart 2017 Convention held in Dallas. Learn more at

Get credit for past events

You may have already participated in activities that have helped you earn CEUs or PDCs during the last year, and the only thing you need to do is fill out the proper form to get credit. If you promoted the profession at a career fair, law school, or other event; provided pro bono services; served on a state association board or committee (including the United States Court Reporting Association); or participated in a formal mentoring program, you may qualify for credit for your volunteerism. You can submit these CEUs and PDCs here.

Cycle extensions

If you need a four-month cycle extension (to Jan. 31) to finish those last CEUs, you can fill out the CEU extension request form by Sept. 30. Note that the deadline to complete CEUs or to request an extension is the same date.

View the full list of qualified continuing education activities at View other continuing education forms here or view your current transcript here. If you have any questions, please contact the NCRA credentialing coordinator.

Q&A: Checking in with Joe Aurelio

Santo “Joe” Aurelio, FAPR, RDR (Ret.), has always had an attraction to the English language, first as a court reporter and later as a professor of English. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University, and a doctorate in education from Boston University. After he retired from reporting because of a hearing loss, he became a visiting professor at colleges in the Boston area. He teaches a variety of subjects, but mainly English grammar and medicolegal terminology. He will be teaching two live webinars, What Reporters Must Know about Punctuation on July 12, 6-7:30 p.m. ET and The Strange Backgrounds of Familiar Words, Part 1 on Aug. 1, 6-7:30 p.m. ET. The JCR caught up with him to find out a little more about his background and the reason behind his interest in this topic.

Tell us a little about your career.

I started night school at the Boston Stenotype Institute, and on the first night I met a girl, Josephine, who later became my wife. In 1975, she started freelance reporting — and she’s still at it!

I ranged all over Massachusetts during my career. During my 39 years, I had a wealth of experiences. I took some important cases (my first murder case was my first case in Korea!). I met some dynamic attorneys while working at the state labor department. My job at the federal agency was to travel around New England taking the testimony from disabled applicants for Social Security aid (some of that was sad). My first case in Superior Court was a criminal case (I was to take many of those). Other than some horrendous murder cases, possibly the two most important cases that I took in Superior Court: one involved the New England Patriots football team and the other, of course, was the Boston Strangler. In a sentence, I’ve had an interesting reporting career with fine memories and opportunities to meet and/or report important persons.

When did you become an NCRA member?

I became an NCRA member, I believe, in 1957. I did so because I believe in unity. When reporters gather together and unite, they have strength and can chart their future course or at least help to chart that course. When reporters join, their dues help to pay for professional advice and lobbying efforts. It’s patently unfair for unregistered reporters to have the benefit of all of the strides that their fellow registered reporters have worked hard for. I am solidly aligned with local, regional, and national unions!

close up of a dictionary page

Photo by jwyg

What started your interest in learning more about language than just what you needed for court reporting?

Even as a little kid of 10 or so, I would fool around with language (I’ll be back in a flash with some cash in my sash). Later I remember saying such things as “She would feint a faint.” I was always very interested in homonyms (such as made/maid) and what I would call pseudohomonyms (accede/exceed). In short, I was interested in language many years before I started stenotype reporting. I remember when I was about 14, there was a manual typewriter at the train station where I used to sell newspapers, and I used to put in a quarter to unlock it so that I could type on it for 30 minutes.

If you remember your days from your master’s and doctorate, what did you find was the difference you brought to your studies as a court reporter?

I went back to school late. I was almost 50 when I started my serious studying. My bachelor’s was 1983, the master’s was 1985, and the doctorate was 1989. What I think I brought to my studies was a deep focus that I had to use as a reporter: listening very carefully to every word spoken. In other words, because I was so serious about listening to and capturing every single word in court, I think that that held me in great stead in listening to my professors.

Frankly, it was very difficult to earn three degrees at night while working full-time in a busy court. How’d I do it? By being very motivated because I saw the handwriting on the wall: my hearing loss was making my daily job hard to do. I only succeeded in performing a creditable job in court by having a lot of speed (I passed a 280) and knowing and liking a great deal of English. And that’s how I lasted until 1990. (I wanted to teach in college, and to do that, one needs a lot of degrees.)

You’ve given one seminar for NCRA members recently, and you’re planning another one. What do you hope court reporters and captioners learn from your sessions?

I’ve done one webinar, and soon I’ll do another. I know that a lot of people, including reporters, have great difficulty with English, especially homonyms and pseudohomonyms. Mistakes are being made daily, and the reporters who commit them are not even aware that they’re using the wrong word or spelling a word incorrectly or malpunctuating a sentence. Well, even though I haven’t touched a stenotype since 1990, I still consider myself a reporter, and I feel that it’s my duty to correct or to help correct those who make those types of errors — and I want to do that until I hang up my skates. What I hope reporters will learn from these webinars is that I’d like all of them to learn and use the correct word or punctuation always.

Is there some advice that you would like all reporters and captioners to take to heart?

My advice to all reporters and captioners is to have the highest respect and fealty to the art and profession of reporting. It is an honorable profession. Think of it: Reporters are responsible for taking and transcribing all of the words of everybody. What could be more important than that? I rest my case.

NCRA partner Excelsior College offers webinars to aid in transfers

Excelsior College, Albany, N.Y., has announced that it is offering monthly “Transfer Made Easy” webinars to assist new students with transferring educational records from other organizations.

Excelsior College is an accredited, nonprofit educational institution that offers members and their spouses or domestic partners the opportunity to pursue higher-learning education at a reduced tuition rate. NCRA and Excelsior College partnered in 2016 as part of the Association’s continuing efforts to build the industry and business skills of current and future members by supporting member career development.

The monthly webinars are held on the first Wednesday of each month and run from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. The goal of the seminars is to provide an overview of Excelsior College for NCRA students that includes partnership benefits such as tuition discounts and fee waivers, individual schools and degree programs that are available to them, student services that will help them succeed, and next steps for getting started.

For more information, contact or call 518-608-8399. Online registration for the webinars is also available.

How to determine if your activity is eligible for CEUs or PDCs

By Sandra Bryant

NCRA offers many courses in our e-seminar library and at the NCRA Convention & Expo and the NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference where our members can earn continuing education credit towards their certification requirements. We also provide approval for many events held by other organizations throughout the year, and we have pre-qualified many distance learning opportunities.

NCRA does not require members to use only NCRA events, approved events, or pre-qualified learning opportunities to fulfill their requirements. Individuals may take courses from other sources so long as these courses adhere to our continuing education rules. The rules list some courses, such as first aid and CPR classes, that qualify for credit but are not provided by NCRA or included among approved events or pre-qualified learning opportunities.

If a member wishes to take a course outside of NCRA events, approved events, or pre-qualified learning opportunities, the member should request a determination of eligibility before taking the course. The member should email the Continuing Education Coordinator the following information:

  1. The course title and description
  2. The duration of the course in hours
  3. The name and qualifications of the instructor
  4. How the proof of completion will be provided
  5. Which Section under Article III of the continuing education rules the course falls under (ex: Section 3.01 Language Skills, Literature, and Linguistics)

If the course is determined eligible for credit, the member will receive an email stating how much credit will be awarded for the course and a note will be made in the member’s record. The member will still be required to provide the required information upon completion and pay submission fees. If the course is determined ineligible for credit, NCRA will explain why the course is ineligible.

If the member is seeking approval for PDCs for an activity not specifically detailed in Article IV of the continuing education rules, the member should request determination of eligibility before participating in the activity. The member should email the Continuing Education Coordinator with the following information:

  1. The program or activity description
  2. The duration of the program/activity
  3. How the proof of participation will be provided
  4. Which Section under Article IV of the continuing education rules the program or activity falls under (ex: Section 4.01 Promoting the Profession to External Audiences)

If the program or activity is determined to be eligible for PDCs, the member will receive and email stating how much credit will be awarded for the program or activity and a note will be made in the member’s record. The member will still be required to provide the required documentation to submit for credit and pay submission fees. If the course is determined ineligible for credit, NCRA will explain why the course is ineligible.

If you have any questions, please contact the Continuing Education Coordinator.

Sandra Bryant is NCRA’s Credentialing Coordinator.

New webinars from NCRA in January

computer keyboard

Photo by Anonymous Account

Need continuing education credits (CEUs) or just looking for a good webinar? NCRA is offering three new webinars for members in January that address the importance of good communication, transitioning from court reporting to captioning, and sparking inner motivation.

On Jan. 18 from 7-8 p.m. ET, members can tune in to hear Lynette Eggers, CRI, CPE, and learn how good relationships are built on the foundation of effective communication through a webinar entitled “Communicate with Power and Influence.” Eggers, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of court reporting and coaching, holds two master’s degrees and has served on a number of NCRA committees. A past instructor for NCRA’s Total Immersion pilot program, she is a recognized Certified Professional Coach and owner of Life to Grow Coaching & Leadership. The cost of the webinar is $79 and earns 0.1 CEU. To learn more or to register, visit NCRA’s webinar page.

Next on the schedule is “Transitioning from Court Reporting to Captioning,” a 90-minute webinar on Jan. 24, from 6:30-8 p.m. ET, co-presented by Steve Clark, CRC, and Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC. The webinar is designed help answer common questions professionals have when making the transition from the courtroom to the world of freelance work or the broadcast and CART captioning arena. The cost of the webinar is $99 and is equal to 0.15 CEU. To learn more, or to register, visit NCRA’s webinar page.

On Jan. 26, from 7-8 p.m. ET, Eggers is back with a webinar called “Lighting Your Fire! — Sparking Your Inner Motivation and Potential,” designed to help participants understand how to become more effective and fulfilled as an individual and learn more about building a greater sense of purpose and more. The cost of the webinar is $79 and is equal to 0.1 CEU. To learn more or to register, visit NCRA’s webinar page.

Mark your calendars with learning opportunities through NCRA


Photo by Dafne Cholet

Make your plan to earn CEUs and tackle your educational needs this year. Whether you are working toward earning your RPR or your cycle ends Jan. 31 or Sept. 30, NCRA can help you get ahead.

In addition, NCRA members can earn CEUs by passing the skills or written portion of certain tests, such as the RMR, RDR, CRR, or CLVS exams.

Here is a short selection of dates and events (dates are subject to change).

Jan. 31 — 9/30/16 cycle extension deadline

Feb. 12-14 — 2017 Firm Owners Executive Conference, Tucson, Ariz.

March 1-31 — Registration period for April RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

April 5 — Second quarter online skills test registration opens

April 8-20 — RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Test dates

June 1-30 — Registration period for July RPR and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

July 5 — Third quarter online skills test registration opens

July 8-20 — RPR and CLVS Written Knowledge Test dates

Aug. 10-13 — 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo, Las Vegas, Nev.

Sept. 1-30 — Registration period for October RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

Sept. 30 — Submission deadline for CEUs and PDCs for members with a 9/30/17 cycle ending

Oct. 5 — Fourth quarter online skills test registration opens

Oct. 7-19 — RPR, RDR, CRC, and CLVS Written Knowledge Tests

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 11-18), Memorial Day (May 30), and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are also all good opportunities to schedule Veterans History Project Days to earn PDCs. And don’t forget that online skills testing is available year round.

In addition, NCRA is planning webinars throughout the year, which will be announced in the JCR Weekly and on the NCRA Facebook and Twitter pages as they are available. Watch for more information in the JCR, in the JCR Weekly, and on for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.

NCRA Kindle Fire winner announced

By Jennifer Late

More prizes available for membership renewal

A record number of members have renewed their 2017 membership in October. These renewals were driven in part by a chance to win a Kindle Fire.

NCRA membership renewal Kindle Fire winner

The lucky winner for October 2016 is Karla Jagusch, RPR, of Overland Park, Kan. She has been a court reporter for over 38 years, 36 of which she has been an official court reporter for the First and Tenth Judicial Districts of the State of Kansas. Karla explains why she renewed her membership: “I feel it is important and my obligation to support the association that supports me as a court reporter.”

Click here to renew now!

Photo by: Erik Araujo. Used and adapted with permission via Creative Commons

Renew before Dec. 1 and be entered to win

Members still have a chance to be rewarded for renewing before Dec. 1. NCRA will give away an upgraded Premium Plus listing on the online NCRA Sourcebook. Any Registered, Participating, or Associate member who has renewed before Dec. 1 will have their name entered into a drawing for this upgraded listing for January through December 2017.

NCRA continues to work for its members

  • Online skills testing: Whether you are just starting testing for your RPR or going for your CRC or another advanced certification, you can now complete your skills tests from the comfort of your own home. With more opportunities to test, you will be able to achieve your certification goals faster and increase your earning potential.
  • CRC Workshop & Certification: Based on member demand for more training in the field, NCRA created the new Certified Realtime Captioner program designed just for captioners.
  • FCC Captioning Quality Standards: NCRA’s Government Relations team has been working with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance and the Federal Communications Commission to develop new captioning quality standards.
  • Increased online education opportunities: NCRA has expanded its first-class educational programming via webinars and e-seminars vetted to ensure they meet the needs of the marketplace. New online webinars and e-seminars are added each month for members to purchase, view, and earn CEUs.
  • Exhibiting at the ABA TechShow: NCRA has been advocating for you with judges, attorneys, paralegals, clerks, and other legal professionals. With a focus on what your certifications mean and the value of realtime, NCRA is raising the overall awareness of the profession with the people who matter.
  • For CLVS members: A stronger CLVS emphasis was added to the NCRA Convention & Expo, helping videographers network directly with the court reporting membership. By popular demand, new seminars and webinars were created to help CLVSs stay on the cutting edge of technology.

NCRA membership cards

In an effort to embrace technology, NCRA will continue our practice of sending only electronic membership cards to members via email. Members can expect to receive their membership card within approximately four weeks of renewing if they have a valid email address and have not previously opted out of Constant Contact email messaging.

Jennifer Late is NCRA’s Membership & Marketing Manager. She can be reached at

So you have an extension; now what?

By Natalie Dippenaar

This is part three of a three-part series. Part one was titled, “What can I do in a month?and part two was titled, “There’s still time!

Time is on your side!

If you haven’t yet earned all your credits to maintain your certification, you may opt to get an extension for four additional months by submitting NCRA’s cycle extension form. Four months is plenty of time to earn your credits and keep your credentials active. If you pay for an extension, you will have until Jan. 31, so get started now.

  • If you are an RPR, what about becoming an RMR? Online skills testing is available year round and the next series of written knowledge tests opens in Dec. 1-30 for testing in January 2017. Members who pass the NCRA Skills Test or the Written Knowledge Test (WKT) portion of the RMR, RDR, CRR, CLVS (if already an RPR), or CRC (if an RPR) will earn 0.25 Professional Development Credits (PDCs).
  • Take a course or class online or in person. Consider these topics:
    1. Language skills, literature, and linguistics
    2. The reporting profession, law, and the court system
    3. Medicine and medical terminology
    4. Court reporting software and technology
    5. Legal and business technology
    6. Legal videography
    7. Trial presentation
    8. Business administration

Attend a pre-approved state association convention or participate in third-party vendor training. Listings of pre-approved events being held during the next few months can be found through the calendar on the Pre-Approved Events page.

    • Sign up for a live webinar to earn 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.
      • Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016: 1 – 2 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

      Practicing in the digital age: How to evolve with your attorneys

      In a recent ALM survey, 97 percent of attorneys believed electronic case management can mitigate the risk of missing critical details. Attorneys today are under constant pressure to produce an accurate, efficient work product with the expectation of providing exceptional client service. Attendees will learn how transcript workflow technology benefits both you and your clients by relieving pressures and producing secure, flexible transcripts efficiently. Brought to you by Thomson Reuters. Register here.

      • Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016: 3 – 4.30pm ET (0.15 CEU)

      Mentoring students for tomorrow’s professionals

      What is involved in successfully mentoring students in a court reporting program? What do schools need from professionals? Current best practices along with common pitfalls for the implementation and maintenance of effective mentorship activities will be discussed. Make a difference in students’ lives through mentoring! Register here.

      Watch the CEU Corner and visit the NCRA webinar website regularly for new additions.

    • Sign up for an e-seminar to earn 0.1 or 0.15 CEU. There are more than 190 e-seminars in the NCRA catalog. Buy before the end of September to save on seminars you want to watch through October! You can take them when it’s convenient. The deal runs through Sept. 30.

Recently added e-seminars include:

    • Disability awareness and etiquette: More than one out of every five individuals has a disability in the United States. This session will review common disabilities and discuss courtesies and responses that are applicable in everyday interactions. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
    • Podcasting to promote your business: In this seminar, Steve Lubetkin, CLVS, co-author with Donna Papacosta of The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional, reviews and explains how to make audio and video podcasts (Internet-distributed audio and video programs) part of your marketing and communications plan. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
    • 90 apps in 90 minutes: In this fast-paced, high-energy session, learn from Sara Wood, CAE, and Christine Phipps, RPR, about the latest and best apps that can help you improve your productivity, organize your day, and provide you with the necessary tools to be a rock star in the field. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
    • How to caption sports like a pro! An overview of captioning sports for the seasoned captioner, and newbies, too! We’ll start with the opportunities available, where to begin, dictionary management, and how to prep! Tips, tricks, and sports-related terminology. 0.15 CEU. Register here.

Help others and give back while helping yourself

  • Mentor: Do you remember when you were just starting out or studying for your RPR? Are you now able and willing to share your experience and knowledge? There are students looking to ask questions on studying, staying motivated, breaking speed barriers, and getting their first job. Can you help? A minimum of five hours will be required to earn 0.25 PDCs, and those hours can be divided among multiple students or all with the same student. Details of NCRA’s Virtual Mentor Program are available on the website, or send an email to for more information.
  • Teach a webinar: Are you knowledgeable about a topic relevant to the court reporting profession? NCRA’s live webinars can be given as PowerPoint slides with audio or a desktop sharing format. What knowledge can you share with your fellow court reporters? Review the CEU rules for acceptable topics and give back to your community while earning PDCs.
  • Promote the profession: Consider presenting at a court reporting school as a guest speaker or career day participant, or explain the importance of the record by speaking at a law school or judges’ association.
  • Provide pro bono services: Consider offering free court reporting, realtime, CART, or captioning services. Examples of this include providing CART services for a deaf consumer at a meeting or church service or taking depositions for litigants who could not afford reporting services. 0.25 PDCs will be awarded for a minimum of 2.5 hours of pro bono service, of which 30 minutes can be the preparation involved.
  • Veterans Day is a great time to think about and get involved in the Oral Histories Program. Since 2003, NCRA members have worked with the National Court Reporters Foundation and the Library of Congress to record and transcribe the moving stories of many U.S. war veterans, building a lasting legacy of the diverse group of men and women who have served our nation during wartime. By interviewing and recording a veterans’ oral history, you can contribute to this lasting legacy and earn PDCs. The Foundation also assists other organizations by transcribing historical recordings, such as those of Holocaust survivors for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the collection of the Center for Public Policy & Social Research (CPPSR) at Central Connecticut State University, and from legal aid lawyers, administrators, and educators of the National Equal Justice Library (NEJL) at Georgetown University that capture their individual experiences representing the poor in legal matters.

And don’t forget, it’s cheaper to submit your CEUs online!

For more information, visit Ways to Earn Continuing Education.

Natalie Dippenaar is NCRA’s Professional Development Program Manager. She can be reached at

There’s still time!

By Natalie Dippenaar

This is part two of a three-part series. Part one was titled, “What can I do in a month?

Why do I need CEUs?

First, let’s explain that CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to 10 hours of participation in an accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice their professions. To answer the question more directly, many certifications and professions ranging from lawyers to hair dressers, require professionals to participate in continuing education programs for a certain number of hours every year in order to keep their certificates or skills current. The field of court reporting and captioning demands that its practitioners acquire and maintain a broad base of knowledge. This is important – it means your skills will stay up to date and your certification is truly worth all the effort you have put into it.

How can I earn CEUs?

There are several last-minute options to earn CEUs if your cycle is expiring at the end of the month. Members can sign up for webinars scheduled throughout the month of September. In addition, e-seminars and book and article tests, to name a few, are a great way to earn last-minute CEUs at on your own schedule.

Webinars can earn you 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.

  • Friday, Sept. 16: 5 – 6 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Disability awareness and etiquette: More than one out of every five individuals in the United States has a disability. As the baby boomer population ages, the prevalence of disability is expected to increase. People with disabilities are entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to anyone. Yet many of us have not had personal experience with a person who has a disability and/or have not been exposed to a wide variety of types of disabilities and, thus, feel awkward or inadequately prepared to interact or respond appropriately. This session will review common disabilities and discuss courtesies and responses that are applicable in everyday interactions. Individuals will have an opportunity to dialogue about personal experiences and discuss specific situations with the presenter, Robin Jones. Register here.

  • Thursday, Sept. 22: 4 – 5 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Developing resiliency: Six powerful strategies to thrive at work: During this webcast, Dr. Kevin Nourse and Dr. Lynn Schmidt will introduce the Resiliency Framework, which was developed from extensive research and interviews. The framework consists of six strategies that help people thrive in the face of career challenges. Attend this session to find out which resiliency strategy you need to strengthen to increase your career satisfaction and viability. You will take a brief assessment to determine your resiliency needs, and you will leave with at least one action that you can take immediately to increase your resiliency. By using the six resiliency strategies, you can create a career defined by growth, success, and satisfaction. Register here.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 1 – 2 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Practicing in the digital age: How to evolve with your attorneys: In a recent survey, 97 percent of attorneys said they believe electronic case management can mitigate the risk of missing critical details. Attorneys today are under constant pressure to produce an accurate, efficient work product with the expectation of providing exceptional client service. Attendees will learn how transcript workflow technology benefits both you and your clients by relieving pressures and producing secure, flexible transcripts efficiently. Brought to you by Thomson Reuters. Register here.

Watch the CEU Corner and visit the NCRA webinar website for late additions to the schedule.

E-seminars can earn you 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.

  • 90 apps in 90 minutes:In this fast-paced, high-energy session, learn from Christine Phipps, RPR, and Sara Wood about the latest and best apps that can help you improve your productivity, organize your day, and provide you with the necessary tools to be a rock star in the field. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
  • How to caption sports like a pro!An overview of captioning sports for the seasoned captioner, and newbies, too! We’ll start with the opportunities available, where to begin, dictionary management, and how to prep! Tips, tricks, and sports-related terminology. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
  • How to make the most out of the best practices for CART captioning: Learn about CART captioning best practices with Sami Silvia, RMR, CRR, CRC, and Carol Studenmund, RDR, CRR, CRC. The e-seminar discusses the roles of all the parties involved in bringing access to people with hearing disabilities through CART captioning. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
  • Empower hour with Julie: This webinar, taught by Julie Lessa, RPR, discusses equipping, empowering, and educating women on safety. She presents different lethal and nonlethal options for protecting yourself in different situations. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
  • Medical captioning: Mirabai Knight, RDR, CRR, CRC, discusses how prefixes, suffixes, research skills, fingerspelling techniques, and other strategies that can be used to build a robust medical dictionary. 0.15 CEU. Register here.

Courting Disaster game: Play a game, purchase the e-seminar, and earn 0.15 CEUs. Courting Disaster is the first online learning game designed to simulate the unique challenges that court reporters face every day. The game is free to play and offers a one-of-a-kind interactive learning experience for court reporters, students, and anyone interested in the reporting profession. To earn CEU credits, purchase the follow-up e-seminar that explores the issues encountered in the game in more detail. To play now, register here.

What about earning PDCs?

Members may earn up to 1.0 Professional Development Credit (PDC) to apply towards their current cycle requirements. Generally speaking, PDCs acknowledge that many members give back to the profession in many ways, including through providing pro bono service, promoting the profession at career days, or other service, and that those activities can increase a person’s knowledge of the world around them. PDCs may not be applied to CLVS or reinstatement continuing education requirements.

  • Article tests: You can earn 0.25 PDC by reading one of the listed articles and then passing a short multiple-choice test. The questions are based on the material in the article, although some may require additional research. The passing score is 75%, and tests are marked Pass or Fail. Each test may only be taken once, and your results will be automatically downloaded to your official NCRA transcript within 5-7 business days, reflecting the day you completed the test. But remember, units will only be awarded to participants who pass the exam and tests may not be repeated. Check out the list of articles and read more here.
  • Book tests: You can earn 0.25 PDC by reading one of the books approved by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR) and then taking a short multiple-choice test. The passing score is 85% and each test may be taken only once. Click here for the list of approved books and to take a book test.
  • Distance learning ideas: The Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR) and the NCRA Independent Self-Study Task Force Committee (ISSTFC) have pre-qualified a number of third party providers/programs as activities acceptable for CEUs or PDCs. Click here for the list of approved programs.
  • Oral Histories Program: You can earn 0.25 PDC per completed transcript from an interview of a veteran, Holocaust survivor, or attorney who participated in Legal Aid, through NCRF’s Oral Histories Program. The completed veterans transcripts must be mailed to NCRF, so keep postal time in mind if you’re facing the September deadline. The transcripts for Holocaust survivors and Legal Aid, however, are submitted electronically, which gets you your credits even faster. Contact NCRF’s Foundation Manager, April Weiner, at for more information.

What if I run out of time without finishing my required number of CEUs?

If you’ve run out of time, you can opt to pay for a four-month extension from Sept. 30 to Jan. 31, 2017. The processing fee is $99. Click here for a Cycle Extension Request Form.

And don’t forget, it’s cheaper to submit your CEUs online!

For more information, visit Ways to Earn Continuing Education.

Natalie Dippenaar is NCRA’s Professional Development Program Manager. She can be reached at