How does ISS compare to other training courses?
1. Is there any sort of screening test for prospective students?
Internet Scoping School asks all prospective students to take our Word Skills Test. For those people who have very poor word skills, they are advised that they may want to seek another profession, or if they desire to go into scoping, will need to do some intensive English preparation. We give an honest critique and suggest resources to help with refreshing your skills. Of one thing we’re certain: Someone who doesn't have good word skills is highly unlikely to succeed as a scopist. We refuse to take that person's money and train them for a profession at which they will more than likely fail.
2. What all is included in the cost of the training course?
There are several worthwhile benefits included in the ISS training course that have a real dollar value to graduates:
A. NCRA student membership, $60 value.
B. Reduced price on Case CATalyst software key. Includes a year service contract and Audiosync capability.
C. Offered discounts or free access to modules that are added in the future.
D. All required textbooks are included in the section price.
E. A listing in our exclusive online student directory.
F. Opportunities to take part in marketing endeavors available only through ISS.
G. Access to our “Students Only” forum that includes a job bank, endless tips and hints to help you with your studies and marketing yourself as a graduate, and access to daily help from the head instructor at Stenograph.
3. How thorough is the course?
The Internet Scoping School course covers everything from notereading to transcript production to marketing, ethics, ergonomics, commonly made mistakes - everything a new scopist needs to know to not just do the job but to be successful and make money at it. A medical terminology section and a punctuation minicourse were added in 3/04; new sections are always being added, as well as other exciting enhancements. Compare to other courses and see if you don't conclude that ISS is the most thorough scopist training course available.
4. Is there hands-on training of CAT software?
The ISS course includes step-by-step instructions on software commands and shortcuts, as well as how to ensure accuracy when editing. After each chapter, a practice file is provided on which to practice new commands. Having worked with such a broad group of reporters myself, over many years as a scopist, I am happy to pass on the methodologies I've learned that help in editing for a variety of writing and preference styles. Then a large selection of files is provided, written by over a dozen different reporters on which students can increase speed and familiarity with commands. Answer keys are also provided so that mistakes are caught early, before they become bad habits.
5. How does ISS compare to other courses costwise?
Although the cost of ISS is higher than some of the other courses, it is also the most comprehensive, so it is the best value for your training dollar. I have had students who took other training courses, and feeling ill-prepared to begin their scoping businesses have then paid to take the ISS course. I was relieved and very gratified when they told me the ISS course was much more thorough than those they'd taken previously and they felt it was well worth the extra investment. That's taking it from the horse's mouth!
6. Are you allowed to take certain sections of the course or are you charged for units you don't need to take?
Most other scopist training courses are presented as a package deal. Internet Scoping School is set up so that you, as the student, choose and purchase only the units that you need.
7. What marketing opportunities does the training course provide for its students and graduates?
This is an area in which ISS really stands head and shoulders over the other courses. Here are the marketing tools that have been put into place so far:
A. ISS runs a year-round ad in the Journal of Court Reporting. Reporter contacts from this ad are passed on to the ISS class and have led to work for many graduates;
B. A free listing is provided on the "Graduates' Page," located on the Internet Scoping School Website;
C. Since I often speak at conventions, I use the opportunity to "plug" ISS graduates and hand out graduate directories;
D. Realtime "queen" and educator Anita Paul-Johnston mentions the ISS training course and has graduate directories available at all her seminars because she knows me personally and believes the ISS course and its graduates to be the best available;
E. If enough students are willing to participate and contribute to the cost, ISS rents space at the Vendor Exposition at NCRA National Convention. This includes handing out a brochure with participating students'/graduates' information, and an eye-catching door prize that draws reporters over to the table;
Our first ISS table was at Convention 2000 in San Diego. ISS paid over $1000 of costs associated with this venture. It got a lot of attention and led to many work contacts for students. One woman, who hadn't even completed the course, has been working more than full-time ever since, using those contacts to lead to others. We have had a table in the Expo ever since. See pictures in our photo album.
F. Anyone who is interested can guest-author in the "Scoping" column of the JCR. This is a great way to get one's name in front of the reporters. See articles by Linda and ISS graduates on our Press Page.
8. How qualified is the instructor?
- How much experience does the instructor have as a scopist?
I began my scoping career in 1979, when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, so I have many years of experience in the profession. I started out typing from dictation, but shortly thereafter the first CAT software came out and I began to do computer editing. I have worked with numerous reporters over the years and interfaced with many scopists as well. The wealth of knowledge I have gained has been invaluable to my own scoping career, and I believe it benefits the students of my course as well.
- How much experience does the instructor have in training other scopists?
Years ago I was working in-house for a large reporting firm. I developed a screening test for applicants, as well as conducted a thorough, hands-on training program with new hires. Since then, I've conducted seminars at national and state conventions, reporting schools, and taught my own online program. For several years I've also been NCRA's and Stenograph Corporation's scopist source; if you have a question about scoping, they'll send you to me. I take time to answer questions and encourage other scopists. I really enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge and experience with others.
- How much experience does the instructor have promoting the scoping profession?
Below I have cut and pasted the "professional service" section from my resume. Because I love the scoping profession and want it to be the best it can be, I have been very involved in professional improvement. This is something I would want in an instructor because I believe in it so strongly.
Member Court Reporters Forum '94-'97; member Scopist Section Management Committee; '95-'97; president SCOPE national scopist association '96-'97; member Verbatim Reporters' Forum '97-'02; member NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) Scopist Task Force '94-'99; member NCRA Scopist Certification Subcommittee '95-'97; Associate member NCRA and Montana State Court Reporters Associations '-92-'05; speaker at state court reporter conventions in Wyoming, Montana, Washington, and Texas; speaker at NCRA National Convention '95, '96, '00, '02; '05; speaker USCRA (United States Court Reporters Association) National Convention '05; Chair NCRA Scopist Day Planning Committee '96-'98, Cochair; '99; coordinator NCRA Scopist Booth '95-'05; edited on-site daily copy Kansas City, KS 4/98; Lander, WY, 5/99, 1/00; Spokane, WA, 5/05; author "Scope It Out" column in Montana CRA state newsletter, "The Nugget," '97-'00; editor "Scoping" column for the Journal of Court Reporting '97-'05; instructor/ administrator Internet Scoping School (www.scopeschool.com) '99 to indefinite. Full resume
- How qualified is the instructor to train on a CAT software?
I am certified by Stenograph Corporation to train on Case CATalyst software. To keep my certification current, I must periodically attend training workshops offered by the company. This is especially important when a new version of software is being released. There will be many changes and enhancements on which I will need to take training myself and then update my students and graduates. Reporters expect their scopists to be current and knowledgeable on software, so that they can help them with questions, so this is essential to your success as a scopist.
- What contacts does the instructor have in the reporting profession?
Due to being involved on scopist committees with NCRA, I have made many contacts with NCRA staff. Because of speaking at several national and state conventions, as well as being the editor of the "Scoping" column for the JCR, my name is very well known. With visibility tends to come credibility. I use my reputation and standing in the profession to the benefit of my students and graduates wherever possible. I often get referrals from reporters I don't even know, and I am happy to pass reporter contacts on to my group. I SS also gives graduates opportunities to get their faces and names before the reporters, which is one of the best forms of marketing there is.
9. How do graduates of the course and professionals in the field feel about ISS?
ISS has been up and running since 1999. It was the first Internet-based scopist training course and is still the leader in the field. Please visit our testimonials page to see what graduates have to say about ISS and also our recommendations page to see what professionals in the field think. We also highly recommend visiting the Graduate's Page and privately e-mailing some of them to get their personal opinions.
10. What sort of support do the students/graduates receive?
We are available by e-mail or phone 7:00 - 6:00 Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday, and often check e-mail on weekends as well. During workdays we pick up e-mail every 10 minutes, so if you need an immediate answer to a question, you don't have to wait. Students are given access to the ISS private Forum where other students and graduates can lend a helping hand. We are available to graduates on a continuing basis and are happy to help with a tough paragraph in a depo, suggest a page rate, or hunt down an answer if we don't know it. We also help place graduates with reporters. If there's a way we can help to ensure our graduates' success, we're there!
If you have any questions about the Internet Scoping School training course, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you find a better, more thorough scopist training course anywhere, take it!