Michelle Holschuh Simmons

Michelle Holschuh Simmons

Associate Professor, Educational Studies

209B Wallace Hall 309-457-2153 https://doodle.com/bp/2092895435/book-a-time Visit my website


I have been a teacher in a variety of settings, ranging from high school to graduate school, for more than 25 years. My own work as a high school English teacher in an urban public high school and as an academic librarian in a small liberal arts college informs my current work with Monmouth students who are preparing to be teachers. I am dedicated to teaching and learning, and my efforts have been recognized by Monmouth College as I was named the recipient of the 2022 Hatch Award for Distinguished Teaching.

My disciplinary homes have been in English, education, and library and information science. My interdisciplinary background fits particularly well in a liberal arts college like Monmouth, where collaboration across disciplinary lines is encouraged.


My research resides at the intersection of the fields of education, library and information science, and linguistics. In my dissertation, I examined the ways that undergraduate students acquire discourses (writing, reading, thinking) specific to their chosen discipline, focused especially on the role of the academic librarian in this process. In the years since, I have continued to examine the learning processes of undergraduate students, using the framework of Threshold Concepts to understand the points of struggle that students encounter while they move from novices to experts in their chosen fields.


Ph.D. – Language, Literacy, and Culture, University of Iowa, 2007

M.A. – Library & Information Science, University of Iowa, 2000

M.A.T. – English, Minnesota State University, 1995

B.A. – English, College of St. Benedict (Minnesota), 1993

Courses Taught

  • MCTE 300: Content Area Literacy
  • MCTE 302/402: Educational Technology
  • MCTE 305: English Language Learners
  • ENGL 202: English Language in its Contexts
  • MCTE 372: Secondary English Curriculum and Instruction
  • MCTE 470: Student Teaching Seminar
  • INTG 101: Introduction to Liberal Arts
  • INTG 401: Citizenship: Building Communities
  • EDST 215: Human Diversity
  • EDST 290: Education in Ecuador

Selected Work

Simmons, M. H. & Tucker, V. M. (in press). “Analyzing Written and Oral Learner Discourse: Methods to Discern Truly Thorny Thresholds and to Enrich Threshold Concepts Framework Theory.” In J. Davies et al, (Eds.), Threshold Concepts in the Moment. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.

Simmons, M. H. (2022). Interview with Michelle Holschuh Simmons. In A. C. Bezerra & M. Schneider (Eds.), Competência Crítica em Informação Teoria, Consciência e Práxis. pp. 243-249. IBICT. https://ridi.ibict.br/handle/123456789/1200

Simmons, M. H. & La Prad, T. (2022, March). Teaching Students to Read and Write Like A … Mathematician, Scientist, Musician: Content Area Literacy Strategies to Use Now. Illinois Reading Council Conference, Springfield, IL. https://www.illinoisreadingcouncil.org/conference-information

Tucker, V. M. & Simmons, M. H. (2021). Identity Transformation on Becoming a Teacher: Threshold Concepts and Professional Praxes. Journal of Teacher Education and Educators 10 (3), 273-292.

Simmons, M. H. & La Prad, T. (2021, November). Growing in place: TARTANS rural teacher corps cultivating relevant practice. National Forum to Advance Rural Education: National Rural Education Association Convention, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Simmons, M. H. & Tucker, V. M. (2021, July). Vital but not Thresholds: Differentiating Professional Domain Essentials and Threshold Knowledge. 8th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference. London, UK.

Simmons, M. H. (2020) Response to “Media Revolution: Its Educational Implications.” The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 93 (4), 180-183. 

Simmons, M. & Tucker, V. (2018, June). Using Threshold Concepts to Assess Dispositional Readiness for a Professional Domain: A Case Study in Teacher Preparation Education. 7th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference: Thorny Thresholds: Identity, Transfer, Assessment, Miami, OH.

Simmons, M. & Tucker, V. (2017, October). The process of becoming learners: Professional identity formation among student teachers. Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching and Learning: Evidence-Based Teaching & Learning, Traverse City, MI.

Hirsh, S., Simmons, M. H., Christensen, P., et al. (2015) International Perspectives in LIS Education: Global Education, Research, and Collaboration at the SJSU School of Information. Journal of Library and Information Science Education, 56 (Supplement 1), S27-S46.

Simmons, M. H. (2015). Finding information: Information intermediation and reference services. In S. Hirsh (Ed.), Introduction to Today’s Information Services. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442239593.

Simmons, M. H. (2013). Using an electronic portfolio as a capstone project: The rationale, logistics, and reflections (parts 1-4). The EvoLLLution. Retrieved from http://www.evolllution.com/distance_online_learning/using-an-electronic-portfolio-as-a-capstone-project-the-rationale-logistics-and-reflections-part-1/.

Simmons, M. H. (2012). e-Portfolios in an online master’s program: Student and faculty perspectives. Paper presented at the meeting of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Conference, St. Louis, MO.

Simmons, M. H. (2011). Creating instructional screencasts: An overview of available tools and best practices. Paper presented at the meeting of the Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference, Online. Recording available at https://sas.elluminate.com/mr.jnlp?suid=M.EC76FD524F88CD3AF93EEB884FE5BD&sid=2008350

Simmons, M. H. (2005). Librarians as disciplinary discourse mediators: Using genre theory to move toward critical Information literacy. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 5 (3), 297–311.

“The ability to read, write, and analyze; the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualifications and connections to get your foot in that door and take your seat at that table – all of that starts with education.”

– Michelle Obama