In the second term of the third year, students take the "Scientific Research Experience-I" course. In this course, students learn how to ground their questions in the counseling area on a scientific basis. This course aims to enable students to gain the ability to generate appropriate research questions and to apply the statistical knowledge required for research.
In this course, each student is assigned to a research advisor, who guides and supports them in conducting their research. Students are first required to write an exhaustive literature review on their topic of interest. At the end of the semester, each student proposes their research project to the ethics committee. Upon approval, students begin to recruit participants and collect data. Students typically tend to begin the data collection process either in the summer of their 3rd year or the fall of their 4th year.
Once data collection is complete, students work with their advisors to perform the necessary statistical analyses of their findings. After these analyses, each student starts to write their research according to the American Psychological Association guidelines. In addition to this, each student also prepares a poster of their research to be presented at national/international conferences as a graduation requirement.
In the MEF Faculty of Education, practice is equally important as theoretical knowledge. Students who have a chance to observe students from different age groups and their families within the scope of their internships at schools or other institutions also start to notice the elements they think are interrelated in the field. Conducting research that deals with these elements address the country's problems and aims to contribute to the field. In this context, it is one of the department's primary missions that every psychological counselor who graduates from the department adopts the principles of the scientific method.
One of the distinguishing factors of graduates of MEF University GPC department from other graduates is having a research experience while still at the undergraduate level and being able to present these studies in the international arena. This experience is especially relevant for students who wish to pursue a career in academia. Psychological counselor candidates who wish to pursue their masters or doctoral degree can continue to expand their research and be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. By providing a wide range of individual scientific research experience at the undergraduate level, MEF GPC differentiates its students in graduate applications and employment processes.
Apart from academic studies, experience in conducting a research has a great benefit for students who plan to work in the field following graduation. A strong knowledge of research practices and the scientific method enables and empowers students to develop their own projects to solve problems that they identify while working. A counselor can get both government support and funds from private organizations to carry out preventive work by developing projects to interfere with many issues in Turkey. A psychological counselor who has mastered in the scientific research will develop different solutions by looking at the cases from a more scientific point of view in every school or institution they attend.