CPM Colleague Groups (Cohorts)

The CPM Program provides the education and training needed to meet the unique demands and challenges of public management, strengthening administrative, technical, and interpersonal skills through a combination of classes, activities, and written applied projects. By participating in an 18-month Colleague Group cohort, you will form a learning community with other public sector professionals, engaging with an intensive broad-based management curriculum that hones your management and program delivery skills.

For additional information and an application for the next Colleague Group, see below. Questions? Contact Amanda Lang (amanda.lang@wisc.edu).


“The CPM program brought together a cohort of emerging leaders and a cadre of distinguished instructors.  It was a pivotal experience for my advancement as a leader.” (Randy W., Oregon Area Fire / EMS District)

“The CPM program offed me as a 20+ year public manager the ability to enhance skills and better understand reasoning and logic for sound public management process and approaches.  Furthermore, the Colleague program enhances the CPM program by promoting a forum which furthers a participant’s experience with peer group discussion and experiences that are likely more open and honest due to comfort and familiarity developed with each other.  I believe this aspect is as much of the learning process as the classes themselves, and is less likely to be experienced in classes taken in absence of a formally scheduled program.” (Allan D., Village of Hobart)

“This is equivalent to a public sector MBA (I know… because I had a regular MBA degree and worked in the private sector before).  So, every new/future leaders of the state government should have this certification to be effective public managers/leaders.” (Masud P., Wisconsin Department of Administration)

Expectations of a Colleague Group participant

The program is organized into three phases: supervisory, management and executive.

  • Phase I– Supervisory
    • Management assessment
    • Write a supervisory paper
  • Phase II– Management
    • CPM classes- see class schedule for additional information
    • Complete pre-class assignments
    • Write post-class reflective essays and provide peer review to a classmate’s
  • Phase III– Executive
    • Write 3 papers, including an extensive applied project (click for a downloadable Excel file) that benefits one’s agency
    • Plan and participate in a group project that benefits the larger community
    • Participate in development and presentation of case studies
    • Note: If multiple colleagues from the same entity are members of the same colleague group, they have the opportunity to work together on a single applied project.

CPM policies

How to apply

Applications for the 2024-2025 IL-WI Joint Hybrid Colleague Group Cohort are available by clicking here.

To view the schedule for the 2024-2025 IL-WI Joint Hybrid Colleague Group Cohort please click here.

Important Links/ Additional Information

Class Projects

Colleague Group Handbook

Phase I Written Project guidelines


CPM Projects

CPM Certificate Overview

Support Extension