UTPA's Certified Public Manager Program gaining popularity among public sector employees
Posted: 08/21/2013
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Shawn Snider, chief fire fighter from the City of Edinburg, is looking forward to the successful completion of the 14-month Certificate in Public Manager (CPM) Program through the Office of Continuing Education at The University of Texas-Pan American.

John Milford (front center), UTPA's CPM program coordinator, is pictured with members from the June 2012 CPM program cohort at their graduation. Another CPM program cohort will begin on Sept. 13.
Snider said the training program is so comprehensive that participants walk away with knowledge that would typically take 20 years of work experience in the public sector to gain. The program, in its fifth year, has graduated more than 90 participants, many of them city and county government employees.

Snider will join the others who just completed the 2012-2013 cohort at the State Capitol in December to receive the certificate which also comes with six credit hours of college course work from Texas State University (TSU) in San Marcos. Some of the previous participants have utilized the college credit hours they earned to enroll in undergraduate or graduate studies in public administration. Although the UTPA program is considered a non-credit certificate program, it is licensed through TSU which makes it eligible for the academic credit hours.

The seven-track, nationally accredited program is designed to enhance and develop the skills of the participants to deal with real-world challenges and situations. All tracks are developed from a practitioner's point of view utilizing knowledge-based skill sets that can be incorporated within their career path. The information conveyed is team taught by a combination of academic and practitioner faculty. At UTPA, the CPM program is coordinated by public administration faculty member John Milford. Milford has more than 35 years of experience in the public sector to better understand the specific training needs of the program's participants.

Enrollment is now available for the next cohort which will start on Sept. 13. Upon successful completion of all course work and assignments, the participant is eligible to receive the designation of Certified Public Manager. CPM courses (tracks) do not need to be taken in a particular sequence; however, all seven tracks should be completed within a five-year period to qualify for completion of the program and obtain certification.

The program attendance is intended to have minimal impact on the participant's job and career. Each track consists of a total of three business days over two months. For example, the first part of a track is offered on a full day on Friday and a half day on Saturday, with the second part offered in the following month on a full day on Friday and a half day on Saturday.

For more information about the program, visit or call the Office of Continuing Education at (956) 665-2071.