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 2018-2019 Colleague Group begins March 13th.

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, you will be required to:

  • complete pre-class assignments,
  • write post-class reflective essays and provide peer review to a classmate’s,
  • write three 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 two consecutive days each month over a two-year period, excluding July and August. The 2018-2019 schedule appears below.


Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, 2811 Agriculture Dr, 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.


$3,600 (does not include travel expenses), which can be split across the two fiscal years.

How to apply

Complete the 2018-2019 Colleague Group application form here»
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Application deadline

February 19, 2018

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, robbi.dreifuerst@wisc.edu or program associate Sunshine Jansen, 608-262-4354 or email sunshine.jansen@wisc.edu.

2018-2019 Colleague Group schedule


March: Managing Self

13 Overview / Orientation
Management Assessment for Personal Planning and Development

April: Presenting Yourself

10 Executive Writing
11 Presenting Yourself to One or Many

May: Working with Others

8 Emotional Intelligence
9 Building Teams

June: Managing Work

12-13 Managing Projects


No classes; work on group & individual projects

September: Leading Others

11 Leadership
Leading and Managing from the Middle

October: Acting Ethically

9-10 Ethics, Values and the Public Manager

November: Improving Organizational Performance

13 Program Evaluation Techniques
14 Organizational Performance Measurement

December: Managing Personnel

11 Human Resource Management
Having Challenging Conversations


January: Thinking Strategically

8 Productivity and Quality Improvement
Strategic ThinkingPlanning and Organizational Transformation

February: Developing Resilience

12 Managing Organizational Change
Essential Time and Stress Management Techniques

March: Keeping It All Together

12 Records Management
Topic chosen by class

April: Managing Financial Resources

9-10 Budgeting

May: Understanding the Public Sector

10 The Public Management Profession and Environment
Policy Analysis for Non-Analysts

June: Solving Problems

14 Problem Analysis and Problem Solving
Overview of the Case Method in Decision Analysis 


No classes; development of case studies presentations

September: Bringing It All Together

10-11 Case Studies in Decision Making

October: Bringing It All Together (continued)

15 Case Studies in Decision Making
16 Individual and Group Project Presentations

November: Celebrating Accomplishments

1 Capstone Seminar; Graduation


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