July 18 2014

I Love Steno: The Student Edition- Students, Know Your Rights

The starting point for any skill or career is learning the fundamentals. It is important that the enthusiasm of a novice drawn to learn a skill is complemented with a warm, proficient, and welcoming educational environment. This is especially true when it comes to a skill like stenography, which requires an immense amount of concentration and time to achieve mastery.

It is an unfortunate reality of society that there exists “educational institutions” that do not have the educational advancement of their students as their foremost goal. Some schools are primarily profit-seeking entities that expend a minimum amount of resources catering to the basic learning needs of their students.

A student should always be aware of their rights and various options of recourse should their rights be violated and their educational standards be left unmet.

Be sure to request that your school provides you with a written/published copy of their grievance policies. Also, be certain to get all other important school guidelines in writing. If a school is refusing to cooperate with your request to get their policies in writing, get their refusal in writing.

It is beneficial to communicate with school administrators in a manner that will document any promises or declarations that are made to you. For this reason, favor written communications over verbal communications.

Schools that are certified by the National Court Reporting Association (NCRA) must adhere to the “General Requirements and Minimum Standards (GRMS)” that are set by the NCRA’s Council on Approved Student Education (CASE).

The NCRA allows for the filing of complaints against member schools. However, they require you to accompany their complaint form with the “final written decision of the institution.” You must also cite the specific GRMS rule number that the court reporting program has allegedly violated. Be aware that filing a complaint via the NCRA also requires that the student signs a form stating that they “have received a copy of the complaint procedures,” and “agree to abide by them.” The complaint form also asks the student to agree to “disclose the contents of [the] complaint to the approved court reporting program complained against, the members of the Council on Approved Student Education Association directors, officers, and appropriate staff.” It should be noted that, “The NCRA Council on Approved Student Education will not consider and monetary disputes.”

The aforementioned courses of action are not your only options. If necessary, you may want to reach out to an education attorney. There are great legal sites, such as www.Justia.com, that will list attorneys in your geographical area. This site also provides information for pro bono attorneys.

Also, be mindful that, according to www.Justia.com, “The United States Department of Education monitors the distribution of federal financial aid for education, focuses national attention on key educational issues and ensures that students are given equal access to school programs.

Love, Speed & Accuracy,

Elsie Villega

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Posted July 18, 2014 by Elsie Villega in category "Information", "Some Words From Elsie

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