Over two years ago I had written New York State to learn about how to legally establish a degree-granting college in New York. At that time there was not a process to do so in New York State. Now an application process has opened up and the application may be found here.
Succinctly, we will benefit from New York Stenographers being aware that they can apply to create degree-granting institutions. While I am a staunch supporter of all forms of stenographic learning, I made my way through a brick and mortar, degree-granting college, and received my Associate’s Degree in Occupational Studies, Court Reporting.
We will benefit from entrepreneurs getting together and reinventing how we teach this thing. We will benefit from schools offering financial aid to students that need it. Though this information is only a small piece of a complicated puzzle of how to open a successful school, I do hope it reaches people who have interest in perhaps designing programs of their own and building a better environment for students. At the very least, we’ll have more colleges reaching out to high school students and informing them this is a career option.
For-profit colleges are a tough market, often dependent on the employees they hire to remain in compliance with federal aid requirements and subject to scrutiny from the public. Perhaps now that New York State has opened up this application process we can see more dedicated professionals work on this issue and secure funding for schools that make programs as great as Plaza or New York School of Court Reporting. Perhaps institutions that are currently operating will take steps to grant degrees if they do not already.
For better or worse, in my experience, parents and students consider degree-granting institutions more legitimate and are more likely to put time and money into career-building if an institution or school provides a degree. Though New York currently has no educational or professional bar to becoming a stenographer, there is definitely a social stigma attached to having no degree that we cannot ignore if we hope to attract more students to this wonderful profession.