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New Certified Courtroom Technologist program at TCC takes just five weeks to complete

If you’re seeking a rewarding career in the courtroom, committing to law school isn’t your only option. Tidewater Community College’s inaugural Certified Courtroom Technologist program prepares students for a future in audio/visual technology in federal, state and local court systems.

The five-session program is on Saturdays only beginning Oct. 5. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first class will meet at the William & Mary Law School, where students will be introduced to the McGlothlin Courtroom, the most technologically advanced trial and appellate courtroom in the world. The other four classes will meet in the Kempsville Building at the Virginia Beach Campus.

The McGlothlin Courtroom is both classroom and laboratory, serving as a testing bed for the latest advances in courtroom and legal technology. The courtroom continually experiments with the latest hardware and software to determine its potential utility and legal effects.

Students who complete the program are eligible to sit for the Courtroom Technologist Certification Exam administered by the Center for Legal and Court Technology. Once certified, graduates will be prepared for entry-level positions that support courtroom audio/video technologies, including sound systems, evidence presentation and remote testimony.

The program cost of $3,950 includes the exam fee. It is worth four Continuing Education Units. Military-related students can use their GI Bill benefits or MyCAA to pay. Register at

Contact Batanya Gipson, executive director of TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education, at or 757-822-7701 for information.

Military Times ranks TCC the best two-year college for vets in Virginia

Tidewater Community College has been recognized as the top-ranked two-year school in Virginia for its support of veteran and military students, according to 2019 rankings released by Military Times on Monday.

Rankings are based on the results of Military Times’ annual survey – a comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement – as well as a detailed review of public data collected by federal agencies.

TCC, which has a Center for Military &Veterans Education (CMVE) on each of its four campuses, ranks fifth overall and is one of two Virginia Community Colleges in the top 10. Southwest Virginia Community College checks in at No. 9.

“Our priority at the CMVE continues to be serving military-related students, whether they be active-duty, transitioning military, veterans or their family members,” said Batanya Gipson, interim director of the CMVE. “We strive to make the CMVE a one-stop shop, where our military-related students can receive help with academic and career advising and learn how to use their GI Bill®  funding and other college and community resources that can help them achieve their education and career goals.”

About 35 percent of TCC’s enrollment is military-related students.

The CMVE continues to work to secure approval for students to use GI Bill® benefits and SkillBridge funding. The college offers a digital court reporting program geared specifically toward military and their families. TCC was recently recognized for its partnership with Virginia Natural Gas, which provides training for transitioning military.

The college’s Solar Ready Vets program, which prepares sailors for careers in the solar industry, is in its third year. TCC also introduced a Career Studies Certificate in Inside Machinist last year that provides opportunity in the manufacturing and maritime industries, an ideal fit for former military members.

Military Times; Best for Vets: Colleges is an editorially independent, objective and rigorous news project in its ninth year. This feature evaluates the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. About 500 colleges took part in this year’s survey, and less than half received recognition in the survey.

The survey asks colleges and universities to disclose academic outcome and input data, describe many aspects of veteran culture on campus and meticulously document a wide array of services, special policies, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

For the full list of two-year rankings, click here.

Rankings are published in Military Times print products – Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times – sold on newsstands and sent to subscribers the week of Oct. 22.

Learn digital court reporting in just six weeks

Tidewater Community College prepares students for certification in the high demand, cutting edge field of digital court reporting.

Sponsored by TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE), the six-week program trains students in court and deposition procedures and practices, audio and video equipment and the complete process of advanced digital court reporting.

SkillBridge-approval enables eligible transitioning service members within 180 days of separation, with command approval, to participate in training as their place of duty. Students who successfully complete program requirements are guaranteed an offer of employment with Veterans Reporters Inc., either in Virginia or in their offices nationwide.

“There is a looming critical need for court reporters across the country,” said Batanya Gipson, project manager for military contract programs at the CMVE. “Many court systems are looking to digital court reporting as the answer. The digital court reporting program at TCC offers students the ability to make themselves marketable in this new and growing field.”

The next session begins April 16 and concludes May 25. Classes meet weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the Virginia Beach Campus. Additional sessions are scheduled for:

  • June 18 – July 27
  • Aug. 20 – Sept. 28
  • Oct. 22 – Dec. 5

The course, recognized by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT), prepares graduates for the national certification exam.

Donna Jenkins completed the program last fall and was hired immediately by Veteran Reporters Inc.

“You have to be a very meticulous person,” said Jenkins, who works in Washington, D.C. “You have to be committed and you have to recognize the seriousness of what you’re doing because people’s lives depend on what you’re doing and the record you’re taking.”

Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent and basic keyboarding and computer skills to enroll.

Although the program is geared to transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses, enrollment is open to anyone.

The cost of the program is $3,950.

Students who complete the program earn 24 Continuing Education Units, a TCC certificate of completion and membership in AAERT.

Military-related students should contact the CMVE for information on using their education benefits to enroll in the digital court reporting program. Contact Gipson at 757-822-7724 or or email to enroll in the program.