Frequently asked questions

Thank you for your interest in learning more about Prince. On this page are answers to some of the questions that students frequently ask us. To see the answer to a question, simply click the question. To view all of the questions, click “[expand all]" to the right.

The NCRA has developed a comprehensive list of questions for prospective students who are researching court reporting school and program options. This information could prove critical to your success and help determine how likely you are to graduate. Click here to view our responses.

We hope the answers about the industry in general and Prince Institute specifically are helpful.
General Program Questions

There are many flexible career options that allow you to make your career what you want and what you need to fit your lifestyle if you are dedicated to working hard. Our programs provide you with a solid foundation for interesting careers in: court reporting, government or corporate reporting, webcasting, broadcast captioning, CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation), scoping, proofreading, and more.

You must possess a minimum of a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Our experienced Admissions Representatives will help you determine if this program is a good fit for you.

We offer the flexibility of on campus or online classes. Many of our students attend school and maintain part-time employment. Please visit our campus calendar to view term and quarter enrollment dates.

We offer realtime technology in our computer labs and classrooms. In addition, we offer the very latest in Web-enabled instruction technology to our onsite and online students.

Prince Institute offers a range of degree, diploma, and certificate programs depending on your campus and area of study. Find your campus below to see exactly what programs, degrees, and certificates are offered.
Certificate Programs:
Realtime Reporting: CART/Captioning Concentration
Realtime Reporting: Judicial Reporting Concentration

Certificate Programs:
Office Assistant
Associate Degrees:
Professional Transcription
Realtime Reporting: CART/Captioning Concentration
Realtime Reporting: Judicial Reporting Concentration
Online Learning: You must first align with a campus to qualify for Online Learning. The programs, certificates, and degrees offered at your selected campus are available online.

General School Questions

Flexibility: You can still work part-time or be a stay-at-home parent and take courses. You have extra flexibility with our online courses designed to fit your schedule. Courses can be taken onsite or online, and, at our Southeast campus, our students have the best of both worlds—they can take a combination of both.
Job placement assistance: As a Stenograph school, we have close ties to both local and state reporters, and our relationship with our parent company, Stenograph, the worldwide leader in court reporting and captioning solutions, gives us a unique opportunity to assist our students with placement. For placement data by campus and program, please visit Student Consumer Information.
Dedicated teachers who know the industry: Our certified instructors are experienced professionals. Guest speakers bring the "real world" to our students.
The opportunity to work with modern technology: We offer modern technology with realtime capabilities in computer labs and classrooms including the most current student machine shorthand and software technology.
Affordability: Grants, loans, and various scholarships are among the financial aid options available for those who qualify.
Individualized attention: We keep our class sizes small.

Prince Institute is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Some of our campuses have additional certifications and/or approvals:
Great Lakes Campus

  • Approved by the Private Business and Vocational Schools, Illinois Board of Higher Education


Southeast Campus

  • Certified by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
  • Licensed by the State of Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education and approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education
  • Participating partner with vocational rehabilitation, and approved for the training of veterans and eligible persons as well as active duty military personnel

Accreditation videos from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation


Prince Institute is invested in its students. Our goal is to provide hands-on training and education that may lead you directly into the workforce upon graduation. Building relationships with working professionals plays a big part in the process. Through participation in school activities, community events, and the Prince Institute internship program, we assist students in networking with future employers throughout the time a student is enrolled.

Prince Institute employs highly trained instructors who know the industry and have a genuine interest in, and commitment to, the success of each student. They are practitioner-based professionals who are passionate about sharing best practices from their experience on the job. They are committed to providing you with an education that is relevant and to teaching you the technology skills that are applicable in today's workplace.

Prince Institute will provide academic adjustments appropriate to individual needs as necessary to ensure that it does not discriminate on the basis of disability.  For more information or to voluntarily disclose a disability in order to apply for an academic adjustment, please contact the office of the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Prince Institute focuses on developing your network to become a successful professional.  Guest speakers provide insight into the career world and often help motivate students by sharing stories of their own journey to get there.  Field trips help you experience courtroom, agency, and career-related environments and meet the professionals who make it all happen.
The Virtual Student Union, an extensive site frequented by both online and on-campus students, is an excellent resource for those who wish to get more involved with the school community.  There you can keep up with the latest events, seek additional contacts and resources, connect with other students by contributing to discussions, sit in on virtual classrooms, and celebrate student success.  Students are encouraged to take advantage of the wealth of information and connection-building possibilities in the VSU.

For more than 70 years, Stenograph has been the leading supplier of productivity tools for the court reporting profession. The company has built its reputation on innovation, quality and service. In 2005-2006 Stenograph acquired the Prince Institute of Professional Studies in Montgomery, AL and the Denver Academy of Court Reporting in Denver—renaming both schools as Prince Institute. In 2011 Prince Institute opened its third campus in Schaumburg, IL. Stenograph is committed to helping its schools grow as top institutions in the world of court reporting education.

Prince Institute has campuses geographically positioned for the convenience of our students.

  • The Great Lakes campus, located in Schaumburg, Illinois serves those who reside in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.


  • Our Southeast campus, located in Montgomery, Alabama serves residents of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Because programs vary by location, if a desired program offering is not available at your geographical campus, students are given the option of aligning with one of our other campus locations.

About Careers in Court Reporting

Leading court reporting educators say prospective students should be intelligent, disciplined, motivated, computer-literate, and possess above-average language skills. A court reporting career requires two and a half to four years of uninterrupted training, as well as state certification in many jurisdictions. Court reporting students also need to be able to meet deadlines, work well under pressure, and concentrate for long periods of time. Students in court reporting should expect to do college-level work. In fact, court reporting students learn a variety of subjects that are part of many different postsecondary programs of study, including civil and criminal law, grammar, languages, legal terminology, anatomy, medical terminology, computer technology, and keyboarding. One of the most essential things to learn as a court reporting student is machine shorthand. Once a student has mastered the machine shorthand theory, he or she will spend a majority of his or her time concentrating on speed and accuracy. In order to graduate, students typically need to write at speeds of 225 words per minute.

A court reporter is someone who is trained to take official, verbatim records of proceedings in environments like courts, government meetings, and public hearings. The job requires accuracy, skill, and an ability to perform well under pressure. Many people are familiar with the sight of a court reporter. Typically, he or she sits close to the proceedings to ensure that no words are missed, and a variety of technologies may be used to create a transcript. Some court reporters use a Stenograph machine, which records symbols which stand for various sounds or words. Others transcribe verbatim speech in real time, or record proceedings to transcribe later. Technology such as voice recognition may also be used by a court reporter.
Once the court reporter completes a transcript, it serves as an official record of the proceedings, and it is usually carefully filed. In some cases, transcripts may be inspected for signs that a legal proceeding was not carried out properly, in an attempt to overthrow the decision in a case. People may also use such transcripts for research; many courts make transcripts of their proceedings available to people who want to look them over.

Income varies depending on the type of reporting jobs and the experience of the individual reporter. The median yearly income for court reporters is $61,800 according to the National Court Reporters Association. However, earning potential is often only limited by the amount of time court reporters are willing to work. Official court reporters earn a salary and a per-page fee for transcripts. Freelance reporters are paid per job and receive a per-page fee for transcripts. Broadcast captioners are paid according to the number of live broadcasts they caption. CART providers are paid by the number of classes or events they caption.

The idea of taking accurate records of important proceedings is centuries old. While the profession has evolved from a pen and quill process to state-of-the-art technology, a few things remain true:

  • Court reporters are often at the frontline of social and cultural change as they document history for the official record.
  • This is a highly skilled position requiring a unique ability to convert the spoken word into information that can be read, searched, and archived.
About Careers in CART/Captioning

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), also referred to as realtime captioning or live-event captioning.

These professionals can work in many settings, including: classrooms, courtrooms, religious services, conventions and conferences, personal appointments and meetings, civic events, cultural presentations, and more. Captioners often work for local television stations and networks to caption the news, emergency broadcasts, sporting events, and other programming.

These professionals transcribe the spoken word into readable English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and realtime software. Through the services of CART providers, text appears on a computer monitor or other display and serves as an important communication tool for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or learning a second language.
CART provides a complete translation of all spoken words and environmental sounds in realtime as they are spoken for the benefit of an individual consumer or larger group in a variety of settings including classrooms, courtrooms, religious services, conventions and conferences, personal appointments and meetings, civic events, cultural presentations, or anywhere communication access is needed.

About 30 million Americans are considered deaf or have some form of hearing loss and CART professionals help those individuals get the information they need. CART is specifically recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act as an assistive technology that affords effective communications access.


  • Experts estimate that more than 100 million Americans a year utilize closed captioning to follow the audio portion of TV broadcasts.
  • The audience for captioning includes people who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as patrons in noisy environments such as restaurants and gyms.
  • Federal regulations require captioning of hundreds of hours of live television each week.
  • Captioners use realtime technology to produce instantaneous text.
  • Captioning helps the 30 million people for whom English is a second language.
  • Captioners work for local television stations and networks to caption the news, emergency broadcasts, sporting events, and other programming.
  • For dependent audiences, closed-captioning can mean life or death in an emergency—a hurricane or other natural disaster, a terrorist attack, or localized dangers such as natural gas leaks or fires.
  • Closed-captioning allows people who are deaf and hard of hearing to participate in civic and personal events, such as city council meetings, medical appointments, and church services.


  • CART providers most often work as independent contractors.
  • About 30 million Americans are considered deaf or have some form of hearing loss.
  • Unlike computerized note taking or abbreviation systems, CART provides a complete translation of all spoken words and environmental sounds, letting consumers decide for themselves what information is important.
  • CART is specifically recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act as an assistive technology that affords effective communications access.
  • CART providers usually accompany CART consumers to the site of the event. But, depending on circumstances, a CART provider may be able to work remotely using a phone line and an Internet connection.
About Careers as an Office Assistant

These professionals perform a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an organization efficiently. They serve as information and communication managers for an office; plan and schedule meetings and appointments; organize and maintain paper and electronic files; manage projects; conduct research; and disseminate information by using the telephone, mail services, Web sites, and e-mail. They may also handle travel and guest arrangements.
Office assistants use a variety of office equipment, such as fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, and videoconferencing and telephone systems. In addition, they often use computers to do tasks previously handled by managers and professionals. These tasks include creating spreadsheets, composing correspondence, managing databases, and creating presentations, reports, and documents using desktop publishing software and digital graphics. They may also negotiate with vendors, maintain and examine leased equipment, purchase supplies, manage areas such as stockrooms or corporate libraries, and retrieve data from various sources. For more information, click here.

  • This occupation ranks among those with the largest number of job openings.
  • Opportunities should be best for applicants with extensive knowledge of computer software applications.
  • Secretaries and administrative assistants are increasingly assuming responsibilities once reserved for managerial and professional staff.
About Careers in Professional Transcription

A professional transcriptionist accurately converts dictated materials or rough notes into written form using headsets, computers, and/or transcribing machines. The transcriptionist must check for correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling, as well as mistakes and inconsistencies within the material to be transcribed.

After transcriptions are complete they become permanent records that can be extremely useful in the future.

Steady growth in employment is expected to continue due to an increasing demand for standardized records. Professional transcriptionists can work for a transcription firm or as an independent contractor with a flexible schedule either part-time or full-time with excellent income potential.

About Prince Institute Online

Prince Institute Online and Onsite students take the same courses with the same objectives. Instructors design materials and facilitate student work to stimulate learning in either the physical or virtual classroom.
The methods may differ for online versus onsite students.
For example, in an onsite course, students will have a live discussion at a set time that may not involve the participation of every student due to time. In an online course, students will utilize the discussion board to hold an asynchronous conversation over a longer time period. All online students will participate in the conversation, and they have more time to reflect and formulate their responses before contributing to the discussion.

In addition to some differences in course format, onsite and online students experience differences in the way they approach and complete their work.
Online students have more independence because they manage their own time and schedule to complete school work. Online students choose when to study during the week, as opposed to attending class at a set time. Online students also choose where to study; they do not have to commute to campus multiple times each week. While this enables greater flexibility for online students, online students must utilize time management and self-discipline to complete all of their obligations in a timely manner. On the other hand, onsite students may benefit from the structure of attending class at a set day and time.


In either onsite or online environments, students have access to their instructor to ask questions, receive feedback, and further their learning.

The online and the onsite programs of study at Prince Institute are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Prince Institute is also a member of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU). Each campus has also been approved by its state. For additional information, please contact one of our admissions representatives at (800) 430-0791.

Online students can utilize all of the same resources as onsite students, although online students may access the resources differently. Online students can easily reach the financial aid department, campus staff, and their instructors via phone and email to ask questions and to receive coaching and guidance. Additional resources for both onsite and online students include Stenograph Technical Support for writer and software issues, a counseling service, and the Virtual Student Union.  Successful online students seek out resources when they need them.

Course materials are delivered through a learning management system, so students can access their course materials using the Internet at their convenience. Online students will receive access to and instruction on how to use this system during their online orientation session.