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Officialship Training Program


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Getting Started.

- A two-year, tuition-free academic commitment.

Court Reporting Services is offering an in-person, tuition-free training program to become an Official Court Reporter, with guaranteed job placement upon passing the required certification exam.

The training program requires a two-year, in-person commitment.


Details below!

What is an

An Official Court Reporter works in a courthouse and is highly trained and skilled to capture every word spoken during court proceedings, through the use of a technologically-advanced stenographic machine, and transforms the proceedings into an official certified transcript.

Court reporters are known as "guardians of the record."

Top 5 Reasons to Consider a Career as an Official Court Reporter

About the program...

Program Overview

  • Applicants will be selected for inclusion in the program.   

  • The projected timeline of the course is two (2) years.  (Since students progress at varying rates, there is no guarantee the student will achieve the required speed level for testing during that timeframe.)

  • The program will be taught by licensed court reporters or individuals approved by Court Reporting Services.

  • Students will be required to attain the minimum certification for employment eligibility by passing the Court Reporting Services’ Part-A exam.

  • The individual must then remain employed with Court Reporting Services for at least two (2) years, in return for the tuition-free training, and pursue unrestricted licensure.

Projected Class Start Date 

  • Spring class - January 22, 2024 

  • Fall class - September 9, 2024

Program Timeline

Stage 1:  Machine shorthand theory is estimated to be taught in three to four months. 

Stage 2:  Speed-building will begin after theory, until certification is attained.

Estimated program timeline:  Two (2) years

Program Location

  • Beckett Law Office, 508 South Broadway Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

Program Provisions

  • Those interested in the program will be required to submit the Application Form & Assessment Test in order to be considered for acceptance into the program. 

  • The participants of the program will be selected by Court Reporting Services.

  • To be formally accepted into the program, the selected candidate must agree to provisions of the program by signing a contractual agreement within three days of notification of selection.  

  • ​​​The agreed provisions will be, but not limited to: 

    • ​Attend classes onsite Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and remote classes via Zoom Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  No alternative attendance offered. 

    • A maximum of three (3) unapproved absences during a three-month period will be allowed.  Students must provide written documentation to the court reporter instructor for any illness or absence, which will be reviewed and considered by Court Reporting Services.  More than three (3) unapproved absences will be cause for immediate expulsion from the program.

    • Become eligible to sit for and pass Court Reporting Services’ Part-A exam.   

    • Upon passing the Part-A exam, to accept a court reporter position as a Court Reporting Services’ employee.

    • After becoming a Court Reporting Services' employee, must make attempts to attain restricted Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) license through the Chief Judge and subsequently an unrestricted CSR license through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation; or, alternatively, apply for reciprocity after passing the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) exam through the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).  The employee must report to Court Reporting Services every six months to ensure reasonable attempts are being made to achieve their unrestricted CSR license.

    • Remain employed as a Court Reporting Services’ employee for at least two (2) years.  If the employee leaves employment for any reason before two (2) years, a fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) will be imposed and payable to Court Reporting Services.

Application Process

  • Those interested in the program must apply by submitting the Application Form & Assessment Test packet (at the bottom of this page).  The packet must be emailed to by April 30, 2024.

  • Potential candidates will be selected from the submitted applications to attend a mandatory Information and Evaluation Workshop at the Court Reporting Services' office in Springfield, Illinois, on May 4, 2024, from 9:00 to 4:30.  During the workshop, potential candidates will receive in-depth information about the program, introductory stenographic training, and be required to take a speed typing test to demonstrate the ability to type at least 50 words per minute on a QWERTY keyboard.

  • Following the workshop, a​ final selection of individuals will be made.  The selected candidates will receive an offer to participate in the program via phone call and will have a deadline in which to accept or reject the offer.  If the offer is accepted, the candidate must make arrangements with Court Reporting Services to sign the contractual agreement associated with the program.​

Program Curriculum 


Curriculum will include, but not be limited to:


  • Machine Shorthand Theory (Stenograph Theory for Court Reporting)

  • Speed-Building

  • Transcript Preparation

  • Software Training

  • English/Grammar

  • Legal/Medical Terminology

  • Courtroom Procedures

  • Administrative Regulations for Court Reporting Services' Employees in the Illinois Courts

  • Code of Conduct for Court Reporting Services' Employees

  • Standards for the Security of the Official Court Record

  • Internships and onsite training (subject to location)

  • Exam Preparation

  • Guest Speakers

Equipment Required - ** Purchased by Student **

While the program tuition is free, there will be some costs required for each student.  Selected candidates will receive guidance as to all purchases.

  • Steno writer and software through Stenograph

    • Both rent and one-time payment options will be available.

  • Audio dictation material through MyRealtimeCoach

    • Stage 1 (Theory) - $36 per month per student

    • Stage 2 (Speed-Building) - $56 per month per student


The Steno Machine

Also known as a stenotype, stenographic machine or writer, this magic machine allows one to type over 300 words per minute by keystroking words phonetically.

The Steno Keyboard

Application Instructions for our

Tuition-Free Officialship Training Program


Step 1 of 2 (typing test)

Please read through the instructions before taking the typing test.

1.    Click the image or this link to begin your typing test..

2.    Click on START TEST.

3.    Start typing.

4.    Click on SHOW RESULT.

5.    >skip ad

6.    Make a note of your Typing Speed, Accuracy, and Net Speed to insert on your application form in Step 2 of 2. 


Note:  You can retake the typing test as many times as you would like.  You need only one score of 50 words per minute or above to qualify for this training program.  If selected as a potential candidate for the program, you will be required to take another speed test while being monitored to demonstrate your speed.

Step 2 of 2 (application form)

Please read through the instructions before filling out the form.

  1. Click the image or this link to fill out the Application Form & Assessment Test

  2. Save the completed form to your computer, with your last and first name as the file name of the document.

  3. Email your form as an attachment to by:   April 30, 2024 (Fall class starts September 9, 2024) 


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