MA in CHS: Counseling and Leadership Program (Air Force Officer Command)


The 2012-2013 Air Force Officer Command Cohort.

2012-2013 AOC 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 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 AOC, 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).

Student Handbook

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.
    • Please complete the admissions process by January 28.
  • Mail all transcripts to:
    University of Colorado Colorado Springs
    Admissions and Records
    1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
    Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Acceptance & Helpful Information

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. 

Post-Admission Requirements

All students in the Counseling and Leadership program will take a comprehensive exam during the spring of their graduate program. This comprehensive exam will consist of three sections.

General Counseling and Leadership Knowledge

Courses covered:

  • Theories and Techniques of Individual Counseling
  • Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling
  • Introduction to Research and Statistics, Issues, Ethics and Trends in Professional Counseling
  • 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
  • Advanced Techniques in Cadet Counseling
  • Organizational Leadership

Self-Awareness and Personal Growth Related to Counseling and Leadership

Courses covered:

  • Laboratory in Individual Counseling
  • Laboratory in Group Counseling
  • All personal growth components of the program

Courses (45 credits)

Please know that space is limited in each course and students should register early for elective courses.

* CACREP aligned course

** Leadership Sequence

*** Specialty course

+ Students must take 6 credits of Fieldwork. Students will register for 1-3 credits per fieldwork section. Students should consider taking 1 credit of Fieldwork during the semester that they take the elective.

++ Students will select the semester and course to complete the elective requirement. It is recommended that students consider courses from the list above; however, students are also able to independently identify a graduate level course from the UCCS catalog, (1) complete the Elective List Waiver Form, (2) have it approved by USAFA designee and (3) the Chairperson of the Department of Counseling and Human Services.

Summer (15 Credits)

Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5010* -Theories and Techniques of Individual Counseling 3
COUN 5020* - Laboratory in Individual Counseling 3
COUN 5210** - Characteristics of the Effective Leader 3
LEAD 5700* - Introduction to Research and Statistics 3
COUN 6200 -  Executive Coaching & Career Development  3


Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5550++ - Practice of Crisis Counseling, Trauma and Disaster Work 3


Fall (12 Credits)

Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5100* - Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling (with lab) 3
COUN 5330* - Issues, Ethics and Trends in Professional Counseling 3
COUN 5250** - Leader and Leadership Development 3
COUN 6500 - Introduction to College Teaching and Learning 3


Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5510 - Principles of Addiction Treatment 2
COUN 5520 - Infectious Diseases in Addiction Treatment 1
COUN 5580++ - Sexuality in Counseling 3
COUN 5440++ - Advanced Psychopathology and Diagnosis 3

*COUN 5510 & COUN 5520 designed and need to be taken concurrently.

Spring (15 Credits)

Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5290*** - College Student Development 3
COUN 5600** - Social and Cultural Diversity 3
COUN 5840 - Teams and Organizational Leadership 3
COUN 5270*** - Advanced Techniques in Cadet Counseling 3
COUN 5160 - Fieldwork in Counseling and Leadership (150 contact hrs.) 3


Course/Title Total Credits
COUN 5430++ - Career Development 3
COUN 5130++ - Introduction to Marriage and Family Counseling 3
COUN 5070++ - Adventure Education and Experiential Learning 3
COUN 5530     - Theory & Techniques of Motivational Interviewing* 2
COUN 5970     - Advanced Pharmacology* 1

*COUN 5530 & COUN 5970 designed and need to be taken concurrently.

Additional Electives

In addition to the electives listed above students may elect to add or substitute the following Public Administration courses.

Please check the UCCS course bulletin for scheduling information, as these courses are offered online and on campus. Please note that the Department of Counseling and Human Services does not schedule nor teach these courses. However, both have been identified as complements to the Counseling and Leadership curriculum.

Course/Title Total Credits
PAD 5260 - Managing in a Multicultural Society 3
PAD 5271 - Managing Conflict & Change 3

Internship/Practicum Opportunities

All Fieldwork is coordinated through USAFA. Please contact Dr. Leann Morgan if you have questions about this process.


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