Frequently asked questions about Internet Scoping School
How much does the course cost? See Payment Plans
Does ISS issue any sort of certificate of completion?
For students who complete all required segments of the course and pass all final exams including the course final, they will receive a printed Certificate of Completion. Reporters know ISS to be a leader in the scoping industry and will trust completion of this training as an indication of the professionalism and quality of a scopist.
Is there any financial aid available?
There is currently no financial aid available through NCRA or ISS. If you qualify for rehab/retraining or Workforce Investment Act funding through your state, ISS is already a registered vendor in several states and we are willing to apply for registration in your state as well. To find out about funding available in your state, contact your local Job Service office.
How long will the course take me to complete?
If you can put in 15-20 hours per week, you may be able to finish within about six months. This is highly variable depending on one's ability to digest and imprint the material. This course is lengthy because we go into great depth in each section, as well as teaching a very thorough section on Case CATalyst software, and providing over 50 practice files with answer keys, written by over a dozen different reporters, to give students real in-the-trenches experience with varied writing and preference styles before they launch themselves into the profession.
What kind of support will I receive as a student/graduate?
ISS staff is available Monday-Friday, 8:00 to 5:00 Mountain Standard time. Message machines are available on weekends and holidays and we will return messages as soon as possible. Graduate support is always available and on an ongoing basis.
Does the school help me to market myself?
Students are taught how to market themselves, and ISS provides numerous marketing opportunities as well. To name a few: a year-round JCR ad; information furnished at Anita Paul-Johnston realtime seminars held all around the world; marketing booth at NCRA National Convention; a marketing group to which students can contribute which prints a directory of participants that are marketed in numerous venues each year.
What if I get a low score on the Word Skills Test?
For those who score high on this exam, you quite possibly have found the home-based career that is right for you. For those who do not score well on the Word Skills Test, this does not necessarily mean you would not succeed as a scopist. You may need to take a refresher English course to brush up on your punctuation, or perhaps take a vocabulary-building course. You can do these things in preparation for taking this course, or in conjunction with it. You will need these skills, however, in order to succeed as a scopist.
What's included in the complete course?
Included in the registration fee:
1. Access to all training modules. See the syllabus
2. Discounts or free access to modules that are added in the future.
3. All required textbooks. (value $85)
4. One year's Student Membership to NCRA (value $65)
5. A listing in our exclusive online student directory.
6. Opportunities to take part in marketing endeavors available only through ISS.
7. 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.
8. Student discount on Case CATalyst through Stenograph.
Are you allowed to take sections of the course or are you charged for units you don't need to take?
Internet Scoping School is set up so that you, the student, choose and purchase only the units that you need.
Why the NCRA Student Membership?
(Note: Student must sign up for student membership at the beginning of training.)
In addition to belonging to the largest certifying and professional group of court reporters in the United States, scopists receive many benefits as NCRA Student Members:
- subscription to the Journal of Court Reporting
- reduced fees for advertisements and supplies, including many wonderful reference books.
- participation in the NCRA Online Forum. This is the chat site on the NCRA Website where many reporters "hang out" and potentially connect with member scopists.
Once students graduate, if they upgrade to an Associate membership, they receive:
- free listing in the NCRA Scopist Directory, used by more and more reporters as a place to find a scopist.
- free listing in the Sourcebook, a complete listing of NCRA members, and another source of reporter contacts.
- reduced fees for attending convention.
Once a student has completed training, s/he may upgrade to an Associate Membership and receive further benefits.
We believe NCRA membership is good for scopists for three reasons:
1. NCRA provides opportunities for marketing and for continuing education for scopists, so it's an important tool for success.
2. It's important for scopists to be involved in their profession, and NCRA is one of several means of being active as a professional scopist. (A complete listing of benefits is discussed in the "The Successful Professional Scopist" segment of the course.)
3. It's just smart business for scopists to belong to the association most of our employers do.
Why the Internet?
The Internet is a perfect venue for this type of course because it teaches computer skills from the inception. One must learn to access the Internet, download files, and use keyboarding skills in order to complete the course -- skills that are invaluable as a scopist. The database is easily modified and can be updated often to keep pace with the rapidly changing computer industry. The Internet gives students free access to other experienced scopists who can answer questions and give guidance, and potential client reporters who can do the same.
Does my type of internet connection matter?
Since reporters often want to send audio files (which are huge) to the scopist, we recommend that students have high-speed access if at all possible. It is possible to take the course with a slower connection, but students will be much happier with the training if they don't experience the frustration of waiting interminably for pages to download.
What equipment do I need to take the course? See Start Up Costs
Why Case CATalyst?
Case CATalyst is the product of Stenograph Corporation, the oldest provider of CAT software in the profession. While other companies have come and gone, Stenograph has survived and grown and has maintained a large, loyal user group.
For students of this course, Stenograph Corporation is offering special pricing on Case CATalyst software including:
Case CATalyst Edit Software
One-Year Support Contract
TOTAL: $1495 plus shipping. (State tax not included in quoted price.)
If you tell Stenograph you are an ISS student, you will save $100 over the list price. This is a nice savings over current pricing and is available through this special offer to ISS students. Software cost is not included in the cost for the course, but need not be purchased until the student is ready to begin the CATalyst Training.
Stenograph Corporation claims as its users 60-65 percent of working reporters; the remainder of the marketplace is shared by about six smaller companies. Therefore, I believe this software product offers the best opportunity to new scopists for finding work and is the same software that will be used in the student's scoping business. Once the scopist is out working, the software should pay for itself in a short period of time.
Why this course over another?
See Compare ISS.
This course will teach all the skills and knowledge necessary to produce high-quality transcripts, tips for getting and keeping clients, as well as other suggestions for being successful, and will make a commitment to providing excellent student support. While the course itself should be set up to be pretty self-explanatory and can be taken at each student's pace, the instructor/administrator and staff will only ever be an e-mail away!
Take the Word Skills Test to see if scoping is the home based business for you!