Frequently Asked Questions
StarTran’s straight answers
Is StarTran Realtime Theory approved by the National Court Reporters Association?
StarTran Realtime Theory was approved by the NCRA for realtime in the early 2000’s. In recent years the NCRA has stopped approving theories, but StarTran Realtime has maintained and improved it’s realtime efficacy and expanded its CAT dictionary for near 100 percent translation.
Is StarTran Online a school?
StarTranOnline is a business that presents StarTran Realtime Theory in an online, active manner using videos, audios, instructional text, etc. You will learn everything, and more, that you might learn in school in your theory class. You will take tests and receive personal feedback and support from a professional court reporting instructor, but no grades, no certificates, no attendance requirements are given. StarTranOnline requires self-motivation and self-discipline. Theory is the first and most important course, but not a complete court reporting curriculum.
Is StarTran Online accredited?
Because it is not a school, not a full court reporting curriculum, and does not give degrees, StarTran Online cannot be accredited. However, we operate legally under the auspices of the California Bureau of Private Post Secondary Education through their Letter of Exemption issued to StarTran Online.
Don't I need to attend a school to work someday?
The short answer – no. Most states require either the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter), CSR (Certified Shorthand Reporter) or no certification to work as a deposition reporter. Basically, anyone can take the RPR exam if they are in a program of some kind. It doesn’t have to be a court reporting school; it can be a speedbuilding program like SimplySteno. Many states that require a CSR exam will also let you test directly through any teaching platform. In a few states you can pass the RPR exam, qualifying yourself for their CSR exam, or they will accept the RPR in place of the CSR. Michigan is the only state that has some roadblocks in place. If you are in Michigan and have a desire to become a court reporter, please inquire for further details. To find out what you need for your state, check out this complete list: State Requirements. Bottom line, court reporting is a skills-based career. You must show you can do it.
How long is the course and what is the cost?
The StarTran Online program consists of 40 lessons, with each lesson taking between 10-15 hours to complete. It generally takes anywhere from 6-9 months to complete the course, depending on your time, motivation, and skill. You’ll have access to the StarTran Online course for 1 year for a one-time fee of $1,300. The extra time can be used for theory review and practice.
What if I don't complete StarTran Online in a year?
Although you should be able to complete the 40-lesson course in 6-9 months, we understand that situations arise, students go on vacation, family situations come up. That’s one reason we’ve allowed access for one year upon your initial payment. If for some reason you cannot complete the lessons in one year, one additional year (only) may be requested for the amount of $1,200. That said, it is best for the student learning theory to get a momentum going and stick to the regimen.
Can I take a leave, if needed?
Not in the first year. Once you start, you’ll have access to the lessons you need for a full year. If you are working steadily, that extra time should give you plenty of cushion to get the solid court reporting foundation you need, plus take a little time off if needed. That said, theory is best learned by working in a routine manner each week, building momentum.
What materials do I need to get started?
Please check out the To Start page to see what you need.
What happens after I learn theory?
Once you complete theory, you will be writing between 60-80 words per minute on your steno machine. At that time you will need to complete your speedbuilding requirements and core academics (English & punctuation, medical and legal terminology, career studies), either at a brick-and-mortar school or an online course. We encourage students to move into the SimplySteno Court Reporting Program. The StarTran Theory Online Program is built upon the same teaching platform, so the transition is seamless.
How long will it take to become a court reporter?
There are many variables that come into play: your work ethic, your home life, your work life, your family life. Many students have completed court reporting school in 2 years, while others have taken 6 years or longer. It’s a skill-based program, so the smarter you work, the better you’ll do. StarTran Online will get you off on the right foot!
Do you offer financial aid?
We do not accept financial aid. Many students find themselves in what we call the “financial aid loop.” This happens when a student has been in school a couple years, racking up $10,000, $20,000 or more in financial aid bills. If they drop out of school, they will have to start paying back financial aid. So rather than dropping out of a program that isn’t the right fit, they push forward, build more and more debt, and find themselves in the “loop.” We’ve priced the StarTran Online program at a value low enough that we hope prospective students can avoid that loop. If you are qualified, it makes sense to take advantage of PayPal Credit. There is no interest as long as you pay off the loan within six months.
Are there live classes?
No. Instruction is online through videos, audios, textbook downloads, and written instruction. You can log in when you have the time each day — your daily work will be there waiting for you. Support from the instructor is available at all times through telephone or email.
When can I get started?
Since each student is on an individual track, you may start on the day of your choice. To get started, just make your payment from the Join Now page. Once payment is confirmed through PayPal, expect an email from StarTran with further details.
Is learning theory in one place and speedbuilding in another a good idea?
If you learn your theory well, it should make no difference. When you are ready for speedbuilding, if you have a solid understanding of your theory, you should be able to jump into any speedbuilding course without issue.
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