The Frances M. Maguire Pre-College Program

Maguire FdnThe Frances M. Maguire Pre-College Program offers tuition-free college-level studio art instruction to students enrolled in select partner schools. 

Informed by PAFA’s renowned First-Year Experience and inspired by Frances Maguire’s commitment to education and the visual arts, the program builds observational drawing and painting skills, emphasizing proficiency with materials and techniques.

Featuring a combination online/in-person format that offers greater flexibility than PAFA’s current academic-year classes for high school students, the course provides geographically- and financially-accessible art instruction for students from across all of the Maguire partner schools, regardless of distance or access to transportation.  The program is available by application-only for the Fall and Spring, offering 42 hours of rigorous, college-level instruction and 1.5 undergraduate credits per semester.

The Spring 2020 application deadline has passed.  Fall application information will be available in August 2020.

The Frances M. Maguire Pre-College Program at PAFA is made possible through the generous financial support of the Maguire Foundation. 

Program Structure

Taught by CE faculty member Roger Chavez, the program offers 12 weeks of drawing instruction in the Fall and 12 weeks of painting instruction in the Spring.  Students may enroll in either the Fall or Spring programs individually, or participate in both semesters for a comprehensive year-long course. 

The program is comprised of online instruction supplemented by in-studio sessions on PAFA's campus.  Online instruction includes recorded demonstration videos, posted assignments, a content board where students share digital images of their artwork, and video critiques with instructor.  Periodic in-studio sessions allow students the opportunity to draw and paint representationally from a variety of subjects including still life arrangements, PAFA's historic cast collection, the cityscape, and life models.  Visits to museum collections further promote an awareness of art history and visual principles.  The goal of the program is to develop the student as a well-informed artist, skilled in techniques and reflective of history and practice.

2019-2020 Schedule

Semester Course On-Campus Dates
Saturdays 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fall 2019
October 5–December 21
  • October 5
  • October 26
  • November 9
  • November 23
  • December 14
Spring 2020
January 25–April 18
  • January 25
  • February 15
  • March 7
  • March 28
  • April 11


This program is available by application to students enrolled in participating Maguire partner schools:

  • Academy of Notre Dame-Philadelphia
  • Agnes Irwin
  • AIM Academy
  • Archbishop Carroll
  • Archbishop Ryan
  • Archbishop Wood
  • Baldwin
  • Bishop McDevitt
  • Bishop Shannahan
  • Cardinal O'Hara
  • Conwell-Egan
  • Cristo Rey
  • Father Judge
  • GFS
  • Gwynedd Mercy Academy
  • Hallahan
  • Haverford
  • Holy Ghost Prep
  • John W. Hallahan
  • Lansdale Catholic
  • LaSalle College High School
  • Little Flower
  • Malvern Prep
  • Mercy Career and Technical High School
  • Merion Mercy Academy
  • Monsignor Bonner
  • Mount St. Joseph Academy
  • Nazareth Academy High School
  • Penn Charter
  • Pope John Paul II
  • Roman Catholic
  • Shipley School
  • Springside Chestnut Hill
  • St. Hubert
  • St. John Neumann / Maria Goretti
  • St. Joseph's Prep
  • West Catholic
  • Woodlynde

How to Apply

Only students who are enrolled in the above approved Maguire Partner Schools are eligible to apply.  All application requirements are submitted online via SlideRoom (see directions below).

The Spring 2020 application deadline has passed.  Fall application information will be available in August 2020.

Important:  Prospective students are encouraged to check their schedule availability to make sure they can attend the on-campus sessions (see Schedule, above) before applying.  Failure to attend one or more on-campus sessions will result in grade deductions. 

Application Requirements

  • Completed online registration form.

  • At least two letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors (teachers'/counselors' email addresses required).  It is recommended that one of your recommenders serve as a mentor to you in order to assist in the completion of course requirements.

  • Portfolio of 5–8 images.  Portfolios should consist of your strongest artwork and should include drawings or paintings from direct observation (as opposed to referencing photographs). Make sure the photos of your artwork are well-lit, not blurry, and show only the artwork (you may need to crop). A smartphone camera is typically sufficient.

Application Instructions

  • Submit applications through SlideRoom.
  • "Login" to an already existing account, or “Sign Up” to make a SlideRoom account.  (SlideRoom is a free service.)
  • If creating a new account, open the email that was automatically sent to you and click on the activation link.  Log in to your new account.
  • Select Frances M. Maguire Pre-College Program 2019-2020 from the Directory.
  • Complete the application form sections online and upload your digital portfolio images.  The recommendation letters will be requested from your instructors via SlideRoom—be prepared to submit your teachers'/counselors' email addresses.
  • Once all sections are completed, review and submit your application.  Once submitted, it cannot be altered.  Logout when finished.  Be sure to make note of your SlideRoom login information:  In addition to logging in to complete an application in progress, you can use this account for future SlideRoom applications at PAFA and other participating institutions.  

Admission Decisions

Students will be notified of acceptance decisions via email.  Accepted students are automatically enrolled in the program, pending signed agreement to the PAFA Maguire Program policies and expectations.

Log In To SlideRoom

Policies & Procedures

  • By enrolling in The Frances M. Maguire Pre-College Program, students agree to abide by academic and classroom policies defined by the program instructor and program coordinator.  Accepted students must indicate their understanding and consent to policies on a signed Maguire Policy Agreement Form.
  • The Frances M. Maguire Program offers 1.5 undergraduate credits per semester to students who satisfactorily complete program requirements.  Students will receive a course grade and appropriate credit that will appear on an official PAFA transcript, if requested.  For an official transcript, please submit a completed Transcript Request Form to PAFA's School Registrar with appropriate payment.
  • Official withdrawals from the program may be granted up to the sixth week of the semester.  A “W” will appear on the transcript and will not be computed in the grade point average.  An “F” will be recorded for all withdrawals after the sixth week and will be computed in the grade average; an “F” cannot be changed to a “W” after the fact.  Official withdrawals must be submitted to, and approved by, the Continuing Education Programs Office at
  • All students participating in programs at PAFA must abide by applicable policies detailed in PAFA's Student Regulations and Policy Guide, as well as rules and guidelines defined by PAFA's Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and Procedures, which also offers resources to students who need to report incidents or complaints.  Failure to comply with these policies and procedures may result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the program.

Contact Pre-College Programs

Studio art classes and education for high school students to develop their artistic passions and prepare for college.