MA: Counseling and Leadership, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Cohort

The 2012-2013 Air Force Officer Command Cohort.

2012-2013 Air Officer Commanding Cohort


The Counseling and Leadership master's degree program is a one-year, comprehensive curriculum for developing selected Majors for the important responsibility of air officer commanding or leading a cadet squadron at the US Air Force Academy. This training program was piloted in 1999, formalized in 2003 and is a sustained collaboration between the UCCS College of Education's Department of Counseling and Human Services and the United States Air Force Academy.

It is an inclusive program in that it includes a forty-five credit hour graduate curriculum, fieldwork, ongoing and topical colloquia, and personal and professional assessments designed to support counseling and leadership development. This degree program facilitates critical thinking, enhances interpersonal effectiveness, broadens perspectives on coaching and mentoring, develops influencing skills, and improves the student's ability to lead change and development among cadets. The job description of an Air Officer Commander, from COCI 36-3522, requires officers to be competent in mentoring, capable of leading, teaching, and evaluating cadets through all aspects of cadet and military life, able to enforce standards, demonstrate nearly impeccable role modeling, competent in guiding the squadron's leadership team, and skilled in counseling cadets, individually and as a group.

Students are tapped by the United States Air Force for admission to this select program. Once enrolled, this one year program features training with faculty from both the Department of Counseling and Human Services (UCCS) and the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership (USAFA).

15 Courses (45 credits)

Summer (15 Credits)

Course/Title Total Credits
AOCC 5010 -Theories/Techniques of Developmental Counseling 3
AOCC 5020 - Laboratory in Developmental Counseling 3
AOCC 5210 - Characteristics of the Effective Leader 3
AOCC 5290 - College Student Development 3
LEAD 5700 -  Introduction to Research and Statistics  3

Elective Courses Available: Summer Session

Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5040 - Human Growth and Development 3
COUN 5550 - Practice of Crisis Counseling, Trauma and Disaster Work 3
COUN 5090 - Spiritual Dimensions of Counseling 3


Fall (15 Credits)

Course/Title Total Credits
AOCC 5100 - Group Dynamics and Group Leadership 3
AOCC 6500 - College Teaching and Learning 3
AOCC 5750 - Mental Health Triage and First Aid 3
AOCC 5250 - Leader and Leadership Development 3
AOCC 5430 - Career Development 3

Elective Courses Available: Fall Semester

Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5510 - Principles of Addiction Treatment 3
COUN 5580 - Sexuality in Counseling 3
COUN 5440 - Advanced Psychopathology and Diagnosis 3

Spring (12 Credits)

Course/Title Total Credits
AOCC 5800- Organization and Administration of the AOC Program 3
AOCC 5600 - Leading Diversity 3
AOCC 5280 - Teams and Organizational Leadership 3
AOCC 5160 - AOC Field Experience 3


Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5440 - Advanced Psychopathology and Diagnosis 3
COUN 5130 - Introduction to Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling 3
COUN 5070 - Adventure Education and Experiential Learning 3
COUN 5530 - Motivational Interviewing I and II 3

Due to the collaboration between the United States Air Force Academy and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to offer the Counseling and Leadership master's degree program, the admissions process is unique from other programs offered by DCHS. To complete the admissions process, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Please complete the online application in its entirety.

    >> Go to online application Apply Now!
  • You must submit one official copy of a transcript from each institution of higher education that you have attended. Please note: transcripts are required for all degrees obtained and courses taken through institutions of higher education. For example, if you attended a community college prior to a four year institution, we must have these transcripts as well. This is a Graduate Studies requirement and you will not be officially admitted until all application materials are received.
  • You must pay a $60.00 application fee. The application fee must be submitted electronically in the online application.  This fee is nonrefundable and does not apply to tuition and other fees. Applications and credentials submitted for admission become the permanent property of the University. Your application will not be processed until your application payment is received.
  • Please follow these instructions when completing the forms:
    • Give full name, including former names under which materials pertinent to this application may be found.
    • Social Security numbers (optional) are used for record keeping and identification of students.
    • Do not disregard any part of your previous record.
    • By submitting your application online you are certifying to the best of your knowledge, the information furnished is true and complete. Moreover, you understand if found to be otherwise, it is sufficient cause for refusal or dismissal.
    • Because you have been selected by USAFA for this graduate program, you do not have to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation or a personal goal statement. Further, you are not required to complete an interview with a faculty member in the Department of Counseling and Human Services.
  • Mail all transcripts to:
    University of Colorado Colorado Springs
    Admissions and Records
    1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
    Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Getting Started at UCCS

To acquire a student identification card it is necessary to go to the Information Desk on the 1st floor of the University Center.


If you have any more questions please visit the Contact link below. 

All students in the Counseling and Leadership program will participate in a comprehensive exam process during the third semester (spring) of their graduate program. The comprehensive exam process will consist of three parts: multiple-choice exam, written essay exam, and oral exam.

General Counseling and Leadership Knowledge

Courses covered:

  • Theories/Techniques of Developmental Counseling
  • Group Dynamics and Group Leadership
  • Introduction to Research and Statistics
  • Leading Diversity
  • Characteristics of an Effective Leader
  • Leader and Leadership Development

Specialty Knowledge and Skills related to Working with USAFA Cadets

Courses covered:

  • College Student Development
  • College Teaching and Learning
  • Organization and Administration of the AOCC Program
  • Career Development
  • Mental Health Triage and First Aid
  • Teams and Organizational Leadership

Self-Awareness and Personal Growth Related to Counseling and Leadership

Courses covered:

  • Laboratory in Developmental Counseling
  • Elective courses in the department of Counseling and Human Services
  • AOCC Field Experience

Portrait of Bob BryantThe combined UCCS and USAFA AOC masters program has been an incredible opportunity to spend a year not only learning about the techniques and practices of both leadership and counseling, but it has also importantly provided the chance to get to know myself just a bit more within a full-time academic environment dedicated to my fellow cohort mates and my development. This self-awareness, combined with leadership and counseling theory and practice is undoubtedly preparing us for the challenges of Air Officer Command. There is no other command tour that I can think of that affords you the opportunity to spend a year preparing for the dynamics of those upcoming duties. Push your personal boundaries and comfort zones throughout the program and take advantage of this outstanding year devoted to your development. I know it will be a great year for you and your families. You will do great and the cadets will ultimately benefit from your hard work and enhanced leadership skill set.

- Bob “Bruno” Bryant, 2010-2011 Counseling and Leadership Cohort