March 31, 2023

Newton DMACC graduate speaks to DMACC Board of Directors

Des Moines Area Community College Newton Campus Court Reporting graduate Rachel Ellefson, of Mason City, spoke to the DMACC Board of Directors during its monthly meeting held in March on the Newton Campus.

Ellefson enrolled in DMACC’s initial court reporting class after earning a four-year degree from Wartburg College. The DMACC Newton Campus started the new program in August 2014. Ellefson, whose mom is also a court reporter, was among the eight students enrolled in the first cohort. Among those eight, four had already earned four-year degrees.

Ellefson told the Board that the DMACC program is not easy and requires daily practice on the steno machine. Students are required to pass speed tests with 95 percent accuracy and write at 225 words per minute to graduate.

Ellefson is an official court reporter, working in the Second Judicial District of Iowa in Mason City. She told the board jobs are plentiful in Iowa. DMACC Court Reporting Chair Patricia Ziegler said that the program has received job openings from at least eight states with salaries exceeding $50,000 per year. She said the fall class will begin on Aug. 24.

For more details on upcoming Information Sessions, contact Nicole Kalkwarf at