The Guidance and Psychological Counseling (GPC) Department of MEF University supports the counselor candidates’ learning by providing students with an opportunity to get hands-on, practical experience through the internship program. These internships take place two days a week in the 3rd grade and three days a week in the 4th grade.
The main objectives of the 3rd-grade internships are to increase students’ observation skills and professional awareness during these observations, and provide students with the ability to analyze cases with a theoretical background. Students are assigned to an “Internship Supervisor” at their practicum institutions during their internships. Each student is expected to write an internship report every two weeks in which they question their observations, the aspects they notice about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss the events they have encountered during the internships with a theoretical basis. Students also receive feedback from their supervisors through internship reports to increase their competency step by step in their internships. MEF GPC 3rd year internships take place within the scope of "Career Counseling-I" and "Career Counseling-II" courses. Within the scope of the “Career Counseling-II” course, students are expected to record career counseling sessions with a high school or university student.
Students assigned to a school or an institution within the scope of their internships in the 4th grade spend three days a week on their practicum institutions and have opportunities to experience supervised practice while continuing their observations. Fourth-grade internships take place in the context of "Individual Counseling" and "Group Counseling" courses. The 4th-grade students, who have learned the principles and theoretical background of group counseling, ethical codes of practice, and activity planning, prepare and conduct 5 sessions of group counseling. Students can be the group leaders or take part as co-leaders under the leadership of their mentors at the internship institution. Following each session, the students write a “Group Counseling Report” to concretely discuss what they observed during the session and awareness about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, and the aspects they could improve in the next session.
Towards the end of the second grade, faculty members contact with collaborating schools and institutions to get information about internships (priorities, number of students to allocate). Faculty members assign students to institutions based on factors such as accommodation, requested age group to work with, etc. Each student has an internship mentor at these institutions. Internship Mentors are expected and encouraged to maximize students’ learning during the internship process, and they fill out an evaluation form based on students’ performance at the end of the semester. In addition to this, an Internship Supervisor (a full time or part-time faculty member of MEF University) assigned to the student by the university visits the student at the school/institution during the internship and collaborates with the internship mentor to provide students with the optimal training experience.
Some of the institutions where our students have completed their internships are as follows:
Ulus MEF Schools
MEF International School
Bahçeşehir MEF Schools
Darüşşafaka Educational Institutions
Ulus Jewish School
Sarıyer Guidance and Research Center
Eyüpsultan Guidance and Research Center
Üsküdar Guidance and Research Center
Ataşehir Guidance and Research Center
Ayazağa Primary School
Şişli Anatolian High School
Maçka Pakmaya Hüsamettin Ziler Secondary School
Kabataş High School
Beşiktaş Anatolian High School
Students are also encouraged to do internships in places other than schools or Guidance and Research Centers. For instance, students can do their internships in psychological counseling centers, human resources units, hospitals, or courthouses if they have the necessary qualifications to encourage students’ development.