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Track 7 Applied Practicum

The Applied Practicum Research module, Track 7, is often challenging for CPM students who have been away from academic research or writing for a number of years. Even so, the Applied Practicum is meant to bring together the knowledge and skills gained from CPM training with a practical, work-based issue or problem to be explored. Much of the value of the CPM experience is in its practical application of theory and the sharing of real-life solutions with classmates and program faculty. While Track 7 is not required to be the final module of a student’s CPM sequence of courses, it is recommended, as students are prepared for this activity throughout many of the earlier Tracks.

Provided here are additional resources and information to assist you in the completion of your Applied Practicum Project:


1. You will meet with your program director to select a topic and discuss approaches, best practices, and methodology. The best topics are of interest to you and necessary or important to your job or career.
2. You will be required to do a short presentation of your topic and research for your classmates. This is generally 10-15 minutes in length with a question and answer time.
3. You will have at least 2 months to complete your research. Your program director will be available to you on an independent study basis to assist you, answer questions, and give guidance.
4. The research paper must be completed and accepted by the program director before a student may graduate from the CPM program (conducted in June and December of each year).


- While the format may vary, as not all practical projects fit neatly into a single configuration, generally all papers will have these sections: Introduction, Literature Review, Research Description, Methodology and Conclusions/Recommendations. Your program director may give you further instruction.
- The written research paper must be at least 15 pages in length (not including attachments) and contain at least 10 separate references/sources.
- The paper should use no less than 12pt font and may have 1 inch margins and up to 1.5 pt line spacing. The APA Documentation Style guide should be used to note all references.
- See your program director for further style guidelines.


The thought of writing a fifteen page paper can be daunting, but you can do it.  There are resources to help you through.

  • David Tees, North Texas CPM Coordinator and professional writer, provides an excellent website to help develop your writing skills, break through "writers block," and refresh your memory on the basics.
    Check it out here.
  • You may want to refer to this website for a good APA Documentation Guide.


Here are some sample Applied Practicum Project Research papers that may help you get started.

Research Project Title
Carl White, CPM & Anthony Wilson, CPM
(Askew Award Winner)
Pam Nelson
Troy Gay, CPM
(Askew Award Winner)


As a member of the American Academy of Certified Public Managers, Texas participates in their award programs, particularly in recognizing outstanding Applied Practicum Research Projects. The Academy created the George C. Askew Award to acknowledge the efforts of those who have demonstrated exemplary work in the completion of CPM projects across the nation, which are a vital component of each CPM program participant’s training.

An award winning project should be innovative in its approach, should demonstrate an improvement in quality within the work unit as a result of the project, should show cost savings if they are expected as the result of the implementation of the project, should be an outstanding demonstration of CPM principles, and may recognize other significant contributions. A winning project paper is selected annually from each state.  Find the Texas Winners on the American Academy of Certified Public Managers website.

Perhaps your research project will be the next to be recognized!