Naifeh Center Expands Availability of CPM Program

As the Tennessee provider for the national Certified Public Manager (CPM) program, the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership wants the state’s public sector workers to make the most of having access to the program.

The Tennessee CPM program, which graduated its first cohort in early 2019, expanded the program this year to offer sessions in Nashville and Knoxville. In 2020, the CPM program will have cohorts in Nashville, Knoxville and Jackson. The CPM curriculum is for those that would like to be challenged in their careers and be exposed to new ideas. Many participants are seizing the chance to make a difference in their agency and to join a lifelong network of other professionals.

In its effort to make the CPM program available to as many Tennessee public sector employees as possible, the Naifeh Center worked with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to receive approval from the Veterans Administration for the training to be eligible for veterans’ benefits. This means veterans and their eligible dependents can use their benefits to pay for the program.

“I found out about the CPM program from a good friend of mine and I thought that the program would be a great opportunity for me because I have a passion for leadership and management training based upon my prior military career,” said Michael Parson, a current student of the CPM program and veteran. Initially, I was unsure about getting into the program based on affordability, but when I learned that the CPM was approved through the VA, I jumped on the opportunity because I had just enough VA educational benefits to cover me through the program.”

The Naifeh Center also partnered with UT Martin to promote the CPM program. Those who complete the Tennessee CPM are now eligible to receive six undergraduate credit hours from UT Martin.

The CPM program is a year-long program that meets once a month. As the program progresses, participants complete a capstone project by choosing a problem that needs to be fixed in their agency. By understanding all seven competencies in the curriculum and combining program experiences, participants can propose and implement a solution to the problem. More information can be found at