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Michele Pickel Ph. D.


Michele Pickel
(651) 641-8786

Michele Pickel

Assoc Professor of Education

Dr. Michele Pickel has been teaching future educators at Concordia - St. Paul since 1998. Prior to coming to Concordia, she taught in a variety of settings in WI, OK, MT, and MO where her husband, Steve, served as DCE.  Active, experiential instruction is the way Pickel has always taught and how she now teaches the students at Concordia, and the children, college students and teachers who go to her Cross P Ranch for Horse Powered Reading Instruction. Horse Powered Reading (HPR) uses non-riding activities with real horses to develop metaphors for critical reading skills that struggling readers are missing. Pickel’s research and development of Horse Powered Reading Instruction serve as a model of active, experiential reading instruction for Concordia students who volunteer at Cross P Ranch. It also enriches and informs the instruction in class for all of her other students.

Since joining the faculty at Concordia, Dr. Pickel has been a strong proponent of Service-Learning.  In 2012 she developed a collaboration between Concordia and the nearby TCHDC Liberty Plaza apartments to create an after school program called PLUS Time (Playful Learning with University Students). This partnership not only provides an important enrichment program for K-5th children from the immigrant families of Liberty Plaza, but also an invaluable learning experience for the Concordia students Pickel mentors as workers and volunteers in the program.


  • PhD., Education and Urban Policy Studies in Education, University of Missouri-Kansas City (2003)
  • M.Ed., Elementary Education, Southwest Oklahoma State University (1987)
  • B.A., Elementary, Early Childhood, and Director of Christian Education, Concordia College, St. Paul, (1977)
  • PK-6 Teaching License with K-12 Reading Endorsement
  • Advanced Certification,  Equine Assisted Growth And Learning Association (EAGALA) (2011)


Literacy Education, Service-Learning, Experiential and Horse Powered Reading Instruction, Lutheran Education


“There two passions that highlight my career: development of the PLUS Time collaboration and the creation of Horse Powered Reading Instruction.  Both of these events have been ways to achieve my life’s mission: To make a positive difference in the life of children!  Plus Time develops excellent urban educators who help at risk students and Horse Powered Reading is an amazingly powerful tool to help struggling readers!”


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