Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




John R. Thelin


The higher education's voluntary system of self-regulation is the accreditation process which recognizes institutions and their degrees with an established level of performance, integrity, and quality entitling them to the confidence of the educational community and the public they serve.;It was hypothesized that if the National War College fits the model of a professional school and volunteers to seek accreditation, then the benefits of the accreditation process will provide for an enhanced program and successful accreditation will enhance the professional status of the National War College in the higher education community.;In addition to the hypothesis, the study considered how military professional military education fits into the community of higher education, whether regional or specialized accreditation was more appropriate for the National War College, why accreditation was sought, and what external influences impacted accreditation.;The accreditation process was examined through a qualitative case study on the National War College by testing Alexander Flexner's model for a profession and the paradigm of William Selden and Harry Porter.;It was concluded that the profession of arms resembled the Flexner model for a profession and that the accreditation process will benefit the National War College as it does more traditional institutions.;In addition, it was concluded that regional accreditation was the most appropriate method of recognition over specialized accreditation.;In sum, it was concluded that professional military education had a legitimate niche in higher education. While this research provides a basis for understanding professional military education, more research will further assist academicians understand this widely misunderstood profession. Most importantly, it was shown that the accreditation process is applicable for federal-degree granting institutions which are atypical of most member institutions of accreditation bodies.



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