Each year, CPW works with between five and ten communities around the state on planning and policy projects. Graduate students in the Planning, Public Policy and Management Department work in teams under the supervision of faculty to accomplish these projects while at the same time receiving academic credit.
CPW faculty are responsible for securing the projects and are excited to talk with communities and organizations about potential projects.
Do you charge for services? How is your fee determined and how is it billed?
CPW is funded through grants and contracts with communities and agencies; therefore we must charge for projects. CPW’s experience is that many communities will not have complete ownership of projects without some financial stake. A disengaged client diminishes the learning experience and makes project management difficult. Our fees are structured on a cost recovery basis and are billed a project milestones or at the end of the project.
Does the project timeframe have to coincide with the school year?
Although we complete most of our work between January and June when we are teaching the CPW class, we have created a structure to accommodate year-round project work. During the summer, we hire graduate students who have excelled in the CPW class during the winter and spring to finish projects, start new ones, or work on small projects that can be completed over a few months. CPW faculty work year round to ensure project consistency and maintain project momentum.
Will the project be entirely handled by students, or is there a professional staff to oversee and supervise the project? What kind of experience do these people have?
CPW utilizes a three tiered approach to project management: (1) first year graduate students work in teams on projects; (2) second year graduate teaching fellows serve as the day to day project managers and handle many of the project logistics and work with the students; (3) CPW professional staff oversee all projects and ensure high quality products. Both of the CPW staff are certified professional planners and have been working collectively in the field for more than 25 years.
My community is three hours away from Eugene, does the CPW team travel?
Like other consulting groups, CPW recognizes the need for face to face communication when working on community projects. CPW teams do plan strategic trips to all the communities that they work with. CPW staff always accompany student teams when working directly with the community.