Be a Public Manager: Course and Training Information

Certified public manager programs, which are designed to develop leadership, high performance and ethical practices within the non-private sector, are offered in many colleges and universities in the U.S. Courses are open to state, federal and local government managers and to managers in non-profit and tribal establishments.

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Essential Information

Programs for public managers can be found in universities and colleges in more than 20 states. Courses vary in structure, and content is geared toward the state in which the program is taught. All programs must have at least 300 hours of class and practical learning. Curricula is based on seven competency areas required by the National Public Manager Consortium that include leading through organizational changes, developing oneself and focusing on public service.

Here are some common concepts found in certified public manager courses:

  • Self-knowledge
  • Working in groups
  • Personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Budgeting
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Managing problems

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List of Public Manager Courses

Individual Development Course

Through exercises, diagnostic tests and discussions, students gain insight into their own personal and leadership styles. From this foundation, they learn to use their particular strengths to motivate workers, provide feedback and delegate tasks effectively. Techniques include fostering emotional intelligence in oneself and others. Students set personal development goals to accomplish throughout the program.

Group Management Course

Equipped with increased self-knowledge, program participants explore how people work together in groups, both in relation to leaders and to one another. Topics and experiential activities on productivity development, conflict resolution and decision-making are featured. Empowering public sector and non-profit workers to exercise their creativity is also an important theme.

Public Sector Management Course

Public and private organizations differ in significant ways. They have different cultures, operational strategies and regulations. This course helps managers gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each and learn effective approaches to alliance-building. U.S. political culture and its impact on public management through legislation, budgeting and current events is studied as well.

Financial Management Course

This course takes students through the steps of financial planning for public and non-profit institutions. Emphasis is placed on how to effectively prepare a budget, manage risk and handle cutbacks within a climate of frequent legislative changes. Participants also learn to monitor, evaluate and report on active financial plans. They may be asked to develop a budget as one of their program projects.

Power, Ethics and Integrity Course

A strong expectation of ethical conduct in the public service domain is reflected in this course. Students participate in discussions and exercises that explore the integration of personal and organizational ethics. Strategies are offered for promoting ethical behavior in the workplace and managing problems that arise. Emphasis is placed on the responsible use of power and the benefits of empowering employees.

Working with Public Policy Course

Since public policy shapes the environment in which they work, public managers need to understand how policy is created, implemented and administered, as well as the ways in which they can contribute to the process. Students learn to analyze and evaluate policy decisions and to offer critiques and arguments using established methods.

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