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PRCC offering Court Reporting Technology program this fall

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Starting in fall 2021, Pearl River Community College will begin a new Court Reporting program at the school’s Forrest County Campus and Hancock Center in Waveland.

Besides being the only college in Mississippi to offer Court Reporting, the program will offer a 45-hour certificate with an option to attain the Associate in Applied Science degree.

The program is designed to respond to an urgent need for well-trained, professional stenographers to record, transcribe and create an official record of court proceedings.

“You are not going to have a problem finding a job,” said Rose Sanchez of Hattiesburg, who became the Mississippi Court Reporters Association president in April.

The new hybrid program will enroll up to 15 students and include online classes.

Sanchez and Twila Jordan-Hoover of Carriere, immediate past president of the court reporting association, will teach classes twice a month on Fridays and Saturdays, beginning Aug. 6.

Sanchez is currently a court reporter for Judge Prentiss Harrell in the 15th Circuit District. Jordan-Hoover is court reporter for Judge Deborah Gambrell in the 10th Chancery District.

According to Sanchez, there is shortage of certified court reporters. There are currently 281 licensed court reporters in Mississippi, according to the Mississippi Board of Certified Court Reporters. A decade ago, there were 375 licensed court reporters.

“Retirements have outpaced new people coming into the program,” said Sanchez. “Graduates in the program can start out making $45,000 a year or more. Twila and I are excited about teaching the course. We love our profession and this is a way we are giving back to a great profession.”

Other employment opportunities are available outside the courtroom such as pretrial depositions, arbitrations and board and stockholders’ meetings.

Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for the Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing programs, says Court Reporting is a skill that is in high demand.

“Pearl River Community College is committed to providing programs that prepare our students to enter high-paying jobs as well as meet the needs of our local industry,” said Dr. Causey.

“Pearl River Community College is proud to offer the Court Reporting program during the upcoming academic year,” said Dr. Jennifer Seal, Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research.

PRCC will offer Hancock County students access through Webex and periodic meetings with instructors as needed. 

“Court Reporting will greatly benefit Hancock County residents by providing training for high-demand, well-paying careers,” said Dr. Seal. “PRCC continually prioritizes the labor force needs of our communities.”

Added Dr. Causey, “Implementing this program will help us provide a skilled workforce prepared to understand the language of court reporting. We are excited to offer this opportunity for our community.”

For information about the Court Reporting program at the Forrest County Campus, call 601-554-5505, email jcollum@prcc.edu  or visit the campus on U.S. 49 South.

In Hancock County, contact Dr. Raymunda Barnes, Assistant Vice President, at 228-252-7001 or email rbarnes@prcc.edu .