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Old 03-08-2017, 11:36 AM
3 posts, read 1,885 times
Reputation: 10


Hi everybody!

Iím born and raised in San Diego and am thinking about a career in court reporting schools...too bad they are all in unpleasant cities. DMACC has the shortest & cheapest program, so I am thinking about doing my time quick and getting out. Will I be miserable there for a short 2 years?

I have lived in Buffalo for 4 years so I can deal with the cold, Iím just curious what it is like around my campus, Newton, and if there are any fun things to do for young people. I also want to know if I will be safe at night walking to and from class, etc.

Thanks for all the feedback!
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:30 PM
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,983 posts, read 5,463,852 times
Reputation: 9217
Spend the money and come visit for a long weekend. Newton is a tiny town. DMACC - Newton is a tiny commuter branch campus. There is not the typical "college" atmosphere with bars and lots of young people. My sense is that people live at home with their parents and drive there from other towns. There are no dorms.

You should also make sure that the program will last two years and that you have a back up if they close it due to lack of enrollment.

I have read articles about the so-called "high numbers" of court reporters that will be needed, but I also know that a number of people wash out of the programs because operating a stenograph for hours each day requires a skill set that only a limited number of people have. Perhaps you are one of them. Given all they need to know about English grammar, linguistics, law and medical terminology vs. the actual pay, I don't think the effort is worth it. If the CART programs paid better, that would be the way to go because you can start work as soon as you can transcribe 280 (or 380 - I don't remember) words/minute: no degree is required but you should be able to spell decently (-;

My suggestion would be to shadow a court reporter for a day if you can and use a stenograph for at least an hour before you commit to a program. If you can't do that, contact an organization for the deaf community that handles the CART program and shadow a CART provider for a day. CART providers use a stenograph to translate speech into closed captioning. They both take the same classes at the beginning

If you want to go into law, look closely at becoming a paralegal. Fewer students wash out of that program and you can frequently find a job after your first year, which will help you pay for your second year of classes. That way, you won't graduate in debt.

BTW: if you throw caution to the wind and buy a stenograph machine & software and then wash out of the program, email me. I'll buy your machine and software, if you haven't tossed your machine against the wall too many times.

Last edited by Meemur; 03-08-2017 at 01:42 PM..
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:37 PM
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,545,887 times
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Newton is very small. My barber's girlfriend is just finishing up this program and she lives in Des Moines and drove to Newton as needed for classes. That said, Des Moines is no San Diego but we all really like it here.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:52 PM
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,983 posts, read 5,463,852 times
Reputation: 9217
If memory serves, the DMACC- Newton Campus has a small housing office where they can help you find a room in a house in Newton, but I've heard from others that since there are few jobs in Newton, you'd be better off living in Des Moines and commuting. However, I should warn you that Newton is not a fun drive in the winter: that campus closed twice so far because of ice storms.

As for living in Iowa, you'll hack it just fine if you survived Buffalo. There is tons more sun here in the winter. You can hack it for two years, easy. Just take my advice and know what you are getting into before you spend the money on school.
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