MA: Counseling and Leadership, 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).
The 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
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