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Dr. Amy Belcastro, Professor

Dr. Amanda Casto

"A master's degree provides opportunities to advance into careers realized and unknown, networking with a wide variety of people, and self-discovery."

Degrees Held

  • PhD in School Organization Education Policy (Higher Education) – University of California, Davis, 2009
  • MA in Education (Behavioral Science – Women’s Studies) – California State University, Sacramento, 1991
  • California Professional Clear Teaching License. Middle Level (Social Science & English), Elementary Multiple-Subject – California State University, Sacramento, 1991
  • BA in History – University of California, Santa Cruz, 1988

Career Highlights

I have been at Southern Oregon University since 2002. I have worked in teacher licensure, state-level policy work, educational reform, and curriculum development. I received my PhD in Educational Policy with an emphasis in Higher Education from University of California, Davis. Before moving into higher education, I taught 12 years in public schools and worked for the California Dept. of Education.

As the first person in my family to attend college, I understand the challenges of negotiating the culture of the academy. I have a passion for program development and have been able to develop an alternative pathway for teachers, a first-year Bridge Program at SOU, and the Adult Education concentration for the MSEd. I am committed to providing opportunities, access, and support for those seeking education. I have served on state and institutional committees and have written grants on issues of student success with a focus on historically under-served populations. I coordinate the MSEd program and advise both the General Studies and the Adult Education concentrations

In which online program do you teach?

Adult Education Concentration and program core of the MSEd

Which classes do you teach online?

ED 515: Critical Issues in Education
ED 522: Curriculum Design & Educational Change
ED 590: Principles and Theories of Adult Learning and Development

What do you want students to take away from your classes?

By valuing students' lived experiences, I wish to provide opportunities to develop students' critical thinking and perspectives as they become leaders in the workplace and society.

I want students to explore innovative instructional designs and strategies to help them create effective learning units relevant to 21st-century learners.

How long have you been teaching online courses?

I have been teaching in both traditional face-to-face and distance learning delivery models for over 20 years.

Why did you start teaching?

Central to my teaching philosophy is my commitment to teaching for social justice and equity by supporting success and providing opportunities for all students to meet their personal and professional goals.

What is the value of a master's degree in education?

A master's degree provides opportunities to advance into careers realized and unknown, networking with a variety of people, and self-discovery.

What advice would you give to those considering an online MSEd program?

I encourage all students to intentionally craft their professional path by making meaningful connections to their own educational process and goals.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know.

I love all things outdoors and almost all foods.

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