CPM Colleague Groups (Cohorts)

You can complete the nationally-accredited Certified Public Manager® Program in 18 months as part of a cohort. This group attends classes collectively, 2 days per month, becoming Certified Public Managers together.

The next Colleague Group begins September 2014

Information on this page relates to the current Colleague Group, which began on October 22, 2013. Our next Colleague Group is projected to begin in September 2014. If you are interested in receiving updates about the next group, join our mailing list»

In a Colleague Group you will complete all requirements needed to become a Certified Public Manager, with the following added benefits:

  • Collegiality
    You will participate in the entire program with the same group; this allows you to develop professional networks and to work on group projects.
  • Responsiveness
    The curriculum will be tailored to the needs of the class; information from the first sessions will be used to select instructional materials that respond to your individual and agency-specific needs.
  • Easier registration, fewer decisions
    You only have to register once, and you will not have to choose between elective classes, or be concerned that the class you need is not available in a given semester.
  • Cost savings
    Offering a colleague-based program in a government facility saves significant program administration costs. We pass those savings on to you. The cost of this program is less than if you were to register for classes on an individual basis.

Expectations of a Colleague Group participant

In addition to attending 32 days of class, a participant is required to:

  • complete pre-class readings or assignments,
  • write post-class reflective essays,
  • write 3 papers, including an extensive applied project that benefits one’s agency, and
  • plan and participate in a group project that benefits the larger community.


You will attend class 2 consecutive days each  month over a 2-year period, excluding July and August. The 2013-2015 schedule appears below.


Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence; 2909 Landmark Place, Suite 101; Madison WI (map)
Other colleague groups may be held at other locations in the state if there are at least 20 participants at a site.


$3200.00 (does not include travel expenses), which can be split across the 2 fiscal years.

How to apply

Complete the 2013-2015 Colleague Group application form here (pending).

Application deadline

Exact deadline TBA; most likely a month prior to the start of the next colleague group.
All applicants will be notified within a week of the application deadline. Those selected will receive registration information.


Questions? Contact us! CPM director Robbi Dreifuerst 608-262-3830, rdreifuerst@dcs.wisc.edu or program associate Sunshine Jansen, 608-262-4354 or email sjansen@dcs.wisc.edu.

2013-2015 Colleague Group schedule
(Here for your reference only. Next colleague group starts Sept 2014)

Class topics are firm. Sequence is subject to change. All classes meet from 8:30am to 3:30pm, with a 1-hour lunch break.


October: Managing Self

22 Introduction / Orientation / Teambuilding
Management Assessment for Personal Planning and Development

November: Presenting Yourself

19 Presenting Yourself to One or Many
Executive Writing

December: Leading Others

17-18 Leadership


January: Solving Problems

28-29 Problem Solving and Decision Making

February: Managing Work

25-26 Managing Projects

March: Acting Ethically

25-26 Ethics, Values and the Public Manager

April: Keeping It All Together

22 Records Management
Time and Stress Management Techniques

May: Understanding the Public Sector

27 The Public Management Profession and Environment
Policy Analysis for Non-analysts

June: Thinking Strategically

24 Strategic Planning and Goal Setting
Productivity and Quality Improvement

July/August: No Classes; work on group & individual projects

September: Managing Financial Resources

23-24 Budgeting

October: Managing the Organization

21 Managing Organizational Change
Having Critical Conversations

November: Improving Organizational Performance

18 Organizational Performance Measurement
Program Evaluation Techniques

December: Managing Personnel

16 Human Resource Management
Introduction to the Case Method in Decision Making


January: Bringing It All Together

27-28 Case Studies in Decision Making

February: Bringing It All Together

24-25 Case Studies in Decision Making

March: Bringing It All Together

24 Project Presentations
Capstone; Graduation


This program is sponsored by UW-Madison in cooperation with UW-Extension.