Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Joan Rhodes


As the number of people immigrating to the United States increases, so does the number of generation 1.5 students in K-12 education (Kanno & Cromley, 2013). With more generation 1.5 students graduating from U.S. high schools, more are also matriculating into higher education institutions (Harklau & Siegal, 2009; Kanno & Cromley, 2013; Kanno & Harklau, 2012; Roberge, 2009). While some generation 1.5 students are successful in U.S. higher education, others are not, and the percentage of generation 1.5 students who are successful is disproportionately less than the percentage of those students who have a U.S. heritage culture (Kanno & Harklau, 2012). Many studies have occurred regarding generation 1.5 students’ writing discourse. Other inquiries have compared the capital that exists in education versus the capital generation 1.5 students possess. Researchers have also investigated how generation 1.5 students’ identity impacts their academic success. This inquiry complements prior research by using a basic qualitative research paradigm to explore not only what capitals generation 1.5 students employ and how they use these capitals but also how generation 1.5 students’ identity interrelates to their use of capital for academic success. This study found that generation 1.5 students utilized family social capital, peer social capital, navigational capital, linguistic capital, motivational capital, and aspirational capital to be academically successful, and these capitals interrelated to generation 1.5 students’ identity, including their personal, heritage, social, student, linguistic, and writer identities. Additionally, this inquiry includes implications for how educators and administrators can support generation 1.5 students to be academically successful.


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