Counseling, MA - Air Officer Commanding

Counseling: Air Officer Commanding

Master of Arts (MA)

Course Delivery

On Campus

Total Credits

45 Credits

About the Program

El Pomar Clock Tower on UCCS Campus

This emphasis in the Counseling master's degree program is a one-year, comprehensive curriculum for developing selected Majors in the Air Force for the important responsibility of an air officer commanding or leading a cadet squadron at the United States 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.

Focus of Study

This inclusive program includes a 45-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.

Program Requirements

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).

Program Coursework

Semester Courses
15 Credit Hours
  • AOCC 5010: Theories of Motivation & Behavior Change
  • AOCC 5020: Laboratory in Developmental Counseling
  • AOCC 5210: Characteristics of the Effective Leader
  • AOCC 5290: College Student Development
  • LEAD 5700: Introduction to Research and Statistics
Elective Courses Available:
  • COUN 5040: Human Growth and Development
  • COUN 5550: Practice of Crisis Counseling, Trauma, and Disaster Work
  • COUN 5090: Spiritual Dimensions of Counseling
15 Credit Hours
  • AOCC 5100: Group Dynamics and Group Leadership
  • COUN 5240: Coaching and Consulting Practice
  • AOCC 5250: Leader and Leadership Development
  • AOCC 5330: Ethics and Character Development
Elective Courses Available:
  • COUN 5510: Principles of Addiction Treatment
  • COUN 5580: Sexuality in Counseling
  • COUN 5570: Play Therapy and Child Counseling
  • COUN 5900: The Science of Behavioral and Process Addictions

15 Credit Hours

  • AOCC 5600: Diversity & Inclusion in Leadership
  • AOCC 5280: Teams and Organizational Leadership
  • AOCC 5750: Mental Health Triage and First Aid
  • AOCC 5160: Field Work in Counseling and Leadership
  • Add 3 credits of elective courses

Elective Courses Available:

  • COUN 5440: Advanced Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • COUN 5130: Theories and Techniques of Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
  • COUN 5070: Adventure Education and Experiential Learning
  • COUN 5530: Motivational Interviewing I & II

For details on program coursework, please visit the Academic Catalog.

Comprehensive Exams

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 of Motivation and Behavior Change
  • 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
  • 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
  • AOC Field Experience

Admissions Details

To learn more about the general application process, please visit the program's Admissions page.

Additional resources for Admissions: