Students to Mark National Court Reporting Week with Outreach to Local Veterans and More

Posted Date: 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 2:15pm

Court reporting and captioning students at Alfred State are marking National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, Feb. 16-22, by participating in a national veteran’s oral history project coordinated by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the leading organization representing stenographic court reporting and broadcast captioning professionals.

As part of the project, Alana Devaul, a senior court reporting student and native of Fulton, will use court reporting methods and equipment designed for capturing, storing and retrieving information to transcribe the service story of renowned local artist Chet Swier of Cuba who served during World War II as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. Swier, a native of Kenmore, NY, was shot down over Germany and was captured as a prisoner of war. Although Swier passed away in 2011, his story was caught on tape during annual trips to Cuba Elementary School where he related his story to the young students. The oral account of his service will be collected and donated to the Library of Congress where it will be preserved as part of American history.

Also in celebration of the week, on-campus students will be spending a day at the Allegany County Courthouse where they will shadow official court reporters Jo Ann Tredway of Cuba and Pam Rohrabacher of Wellsville as they “capture the record” in local court cases. The students will also be given a tour of the rest of the courthouse facilities to see how legal documents are created and stored.

In addition, court reporting students will be participating in a civic engagement project they’re calling ASC Operation Gratitude. The project will consist of soliciting a variety of items from the Alfred State community to assemble care packages to send to overseas veterans. Included in the packages will be cards signed by members of the student body, faculty, and staff. Students will also make paracord bracelets (survival bracelets) to send with the care packages.

Alfred State’s associate degree and certificate programs in court reporting and captioning are the only NCRA-approved programs in Western New York. Both programs are online and typically take four semesters (including a summer session) to complete.

“Court reporting and captioning is a highly technical profession that requires great skill and knowledge,” said Francine Staba, chair of the business department. “These professionals make invaluable contributions to the legal and deaf and hard-of-hearing communities each and every day.” As a result, career opportunities for new graduates entering the field are plentiful. The profession offers both flexibility and significant income potential. In New York State, for example, the average annual income for reporting professionals is $84,000.

Alfred State’s court reporting graduates typically find work in the field within six months of graduation and are qualified to be a closed-captioner for live events, broadcast and videography purposes, freelance court reporters, medical transcriptionists, rapid text entry specialists, and real-time reporters.

To learn more about the upcoming events for National Court Reporting and Captioning Week at Alfred State or, to learn more about the program, contact Danielle Green at greendr@alfredstate.edu or Melissa Blake at blakemj@alfredstate.edu.