National Collegiate Honors Council


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From: The Demonstrable Value of Honors Education: New Research Evidence, edited by Andrew J. Cognard-Black, Jerry Herron, and Patricia J. Smith. (Lincoln, NE: NCHC, 2019). Copyright 2019 by National Collegiate Honors Councils.


Alexander Astin’s Inputs-Environment-Outcomes (I-E-O) model for longitudinal study of student success in higher education challenges researchers to account explicitly for the wide range of educational, social, and cultural backgrounds that students bring with them to college. Astin’s approach factors in an understanding that educational outcomes are associated not only with the various educational environments to which students are exposed during their college years, but also with the inputs of these students—the factors that shaped them long before they first arrived in a university classroom. Meaningful conclusions concerning factors that contribute to student success must take into account the complex interactions of all three of the I-E-O components. Inputs precede and inform student choices of and attitudes toward their environments, and both play significant and interrelated roles in shaping educational outcomes for each student (Astin 1993).