Bloomfield College will soon be the only institution in New Jersey to offer on-site court reporting instruction, offering two certificate programs starting in January 2020. These certificate programs will prepare students for careers in scoping (certificate one), and judicial court reporting/captioning (certificate two).
The Director of the program, Dr. Greg Reid sat down recently at Bloomfield College with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle, who also teaches various radio classes at the college.
The National Court Reporters Association cites 5,500 job vacancies due to a lack of qualified applicants and an aging workforce (2018). More than 60% of people working as court reporters and captioners are making at least $60,000 annually, with salaries expected to increase by 14% through 2020.
Dr. Reid, who is also the Library Director at Bloomfield College, says the court reporting program is in high demand for both legal proceedings and for video captioning.
"Court reporting is relatively unsung. It pay very well. There are a number of court reporters that make six figures and above. It is a profession that does not require a four-year college degree to complete. In fact, the new Bloomfield College program starting in January is a two-year certificate program. It's a challenging program and it prepares one for positions not only in the traditional judicial system, but also careers for closed captioning, tv closed captioning. There's CART, which is Computer Assisted Real Time translation which helps for hearing impaired applications and there's a number of other ancillary jobs for which court reporting training positions one and these are very lucrative."
Court reporting, and related professions, deal with converting spoken word into standard, readable copy that can be searched and archived. Initial spoken word capture is done by a human, cryptically, via “machine shorthand.” The tool utilized for capture is a small "steno" machine with specialized keyboard that interfaces, via software, with a standard computer/laptop.
Dr. Reid says it's an ideal profession for a career-changer.
"It's very common to see persons with a bachelors degree and or something above that who change careers and go into court reporting. It's ideal for persons who are not particulary mobile who must for example stay at home. Like when one watches television closed captioning late at night, chances are the person who is executing the captioning is sitting at home, perhaps in pajamas during their actual work."
Dr. Reid earned a Bachelor of Science degree in German from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master of Arts degree in German Literature from the University of Notre Dame. In 2003, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy (Information Studies) degree from Florida State University.
Dr. Reid began his career as a Public Services Librarian at Milwaukee Area Technical College, where he recommended purchases of books and equipment and redesigned and implemented new work areas.
He would then move on to become Head Librarian at Florida Metropolitan University and Westwood College of Technology in Woodridge, Illinois, where he would open library operations on the brand-new campus. Before leaving Illinois, Dr. Reid served as Librarian at MacCormac College, and then relocated to California to serve as Executive Director of the Learning Resources Center at Southern California University of Health Sciences. He would later return to MacCormac College as Academic Dean for three years.
After accepting the position of Dean of Learning Resources and Technology and later Dean of Academic Affairs and Library, both at Colorado Heights University, he spent the next three years in Colorado before assuming his most current role at Central Park Campus Library at Collin College in Texas.
As Library Director at Bloomfield College, Dr. Reid is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the library, Media Center, and Learning Hub; manage the budget of the Library and Media Center; assure adequate hours of service; maintain a learning environment for students and faculty; and collaborate with faculty in developing and enhancing the book, media, and electronic collections. In addition, the Director is responsible for the planning and implementation of transformational approaches to student engagement with the Library, Media Center, and Learning Hub.
For those interested in the court reporting program you can go to https://bloomfield.edu/academics/certificate-programs/court-reporting
Click above to hear the entire conversation with Dr. Greg Reid.