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 2016-2018 Colleague Group is in progress.

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 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 2016-2018 schedule appears below.


Madison Water Utility, 119 E. Olin Ave, 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.


$3,400 (does not include travel expenses), which can be split across the 2 fiscal years.

How to apply

Complete the 2016-2018 Colleague Group application form here»
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Application deadline

September 6, 2016

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.

2016-2018 Colleague Group schedule


October: Managing Self

4 Overview / Orientation / Teambuilding
Management Assessment for Personal Planning and Development

November: Leading Others

1 Leadership
2 Leading & Managing from the Middle

December: Managing Work

6-7 Managing Projects


January: Understanding the Public Sector

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

February: Presenting Yourself

7 Presenting Yourself to One or Many
Executive Writing

March: Improving Organizational Performance

7 Program Evaluation Techniques
Organizational Performance Measurement

April: Acting Ethically

4-5 Ethics, Values and the Public Manager

May: Thinking Strategically

2 Productivity and Quality Improvement
Strategic Thinking, Planning and Organizational Transformation

June: Keeping It All Together

6 Records Management
Essential Time and Stress Management Techniques

July-August: No Classes; work on Group & Individual Projects

September: Managing Financial Resources

5-6 Budgeting

October: Managing Personnel

3 Human Resource Management
Promoting Employee Engagement

November: Developing Resilience

7 Managing Organizational Change
Having Critical Conversations 

December: Solving Problems

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


January: No Class; Development of Case Studies presentations

February: Bringing It All Together

6-7 Case Studies in Decision Making

March: Bringing It All Together (continued)

6-7 Case Studies in Decision Making

April: Celebrating Accomplishments

5 Project Presentations
Capstone Seminar; Graduation


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