Eric Fischl Scholars Program
Eric Fischl is a contemporary painter, sculptor and author. Fischl attended Phoenix College (PC) in the late 1960s. While at PC, Eric studied under contemporary landscape painter Merrill Mahaffey, who Fischl credits with opening his mind to a new way of thinking.
As many artists do, Fischl struggled to find validation in his pursuit of a career in the arts. Fischl says he feels a sense of obligation to give back to the place where he first felt he could be – and was allowed to be – an artist.
In 2009, the Fischl Scholars Program, the first of its kind at a community college, was established to increase the number of students pursuing an Associate of Fine Arts Degree at Phoenix College – in preparation for university transfer.
The Eric Fischl Scholars Program offers talented students the opportunity to complete their Associate of Arts / Fine Arts Degree as part of an exclusive cohort of scholars associated with one of the world’s foremost contemporary artists, Eric Fischl. Once selected as a Fischl Scholar, students are eligible to remain in the program until they complete the requirements for an Associate in Fine Arts Degree. The scholarship provides funding for tuition, fees, and art supplies for the duration of the students’ degree program at PC (see specific criteria and details below).
Steps to Apply
The Eric Fischl Scholars Program (EFSP) was launched in fall 2009 in collaboration with world renowned contemporary artist and Phoenix College alumnus Eric Fischl. The program, which is the first of its kind to be offered at a community college, focuses on increasing the number of students pursuing an Associate of Arts Degree in Fine Art at Phoenix College in preparation for university transfer.
The Eric Fischl Scholars Program is overseen by the Phoenix College Fine Art Department and the Development Office. If you have questions about the RFSP, please call the Fine Arts Department at 602-285-7277 or the Development Office at 602-285-7667.
Primary goals of the program include:
- Identify and recruit talented students, to compete for entrance into the Eric Fischl Scholars Program. Once selected as Fischl Scholars, students may be eligible to remain in the program until they complete requirements for the Associate of Arts Degree.
- Increase the number of students completing an Associate of Arts Degree at Phoenix College.
- Prepare students for transfer to a University.
- Provide financial assistance (up to $2,000 per semester / $4,000 per year) to students in the program.
- Promote community service.
- Provide academic and professional mentorship: This is accomplished through a personalized support system involving appointment of Faculty and Counselor Mentors.
- Faculty Mentors:
- Assist student in identifying their academic and professional goals;
- Help students address personal and academic challenges;
- Advise students on course section and program progression;
- Help ensure satisfactory academic progress.
- Suggest opportunities to enhance the students’ educational experience and artistic talent beyond the classroom – via volunteerism opportunities;
- Aid in selecting appropriate art school(s) and/or universities to which students may apply for transfer.
- Assist students in preparing application materials and portfolios for schools to which they may apply upon concluding their studies at PC.
- Faculty Mentors:
The Eric Fischl Scholars Program is a competitive scholarship. To qualify for consideration, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Majoring in Art at Phoenix College (Qualified areas of study include: Studio Art, Comic & Sequential Art, Computer Graphic Design, Media Arts: Computer Art, Illustration, Digital Animation, Web Design, and Photography.
- Enroll in a minimum of 9 credit hours each semester at PC
- Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Demonstrate financial need
- Digital images of work to submitted for review (see details below)
In addition, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:
- High school senior / recent high school graduate having completed at least two (2) classes in art during high school with a grade of “B” or better
- Phoenix College student having completed 6 credit hours in fine art courses (i.e., course prefixes with ART)
The Eric Fischl Scholars Program offers talented students, including high school seniors with an interest in art, the opportunity to complete their Associate of Arts Degree as part of an exclusive cohort of scholars associated with one of the world’s foremost contemporary artists, Eric Fischl. Once selected as a Fischl Scholar, students are eligible to remain in the program until they complete the requirements for an Associate in Arts Degree. In order to maintain eligibility and remain in the program each semester, Scholars are expected to:
- Pursue an Associate of Arts Degree in one of the qualified areas of study: Studio Art, Comic & Sequential Art, Computer Graphic Design, Media Arts: Computer Art, Illustration, Digital Animation, Web Design, and Photography.
- Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses.
- Maintain a minimum enrollment of nine (9) credit hours.
- Meet in-person with Faculty Mentor at the beginning and at the end of each semester to:
- Review academic progress and progress toward degree;
- Report any issues that may affect or change enrollment status;
- Review the student’s goals and growth in development of their art;
- Notify the Alumni & Development Office of any issues that may affect or change enrollment status.
- Complete 10 hours of Community Service or volunteerism, preferably in the Arts and Culture area, each semester. Community service must be pre-approved by EFSP Faculty Mentor. Scholars are responsible for tracking and reporting their hours to their Faculty Mentor.
- Participate in program enrichment activities as assigned (i.e., special lectures, workshops, museum outings, meetings with Eric Fischl, etc.) and report the activities to their Faculty Mentor.
- Participate in portfolio reviews as requested by the EFSP Faculty Mentors as an indicator of the Scholar’s artistic and academic progress.
- Renew the Fischl Scholarship at the end of each semester by submitting the following to the Alumni & Development Office:
- Unofficial transcript for current/most recent semester;
- Notification of intent to continue in the Fischl Scholars Program;
- Updated contact information (mailing address, email & phone number).
Alumni & Development Office Mailing Address:
1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013. These items may also be submitted via email to Ambar Guillen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be considered for the Eric Fischl Scholars Program, applicants must provide the following:
1. Complete the EFSP Webform Application.
2. Attach the following to webform application:
- Two (2) letters of recommendation. Letters should not be more than 12 months old, and may not be from friends or relatives. IMPORTANT: One of the two letters must be from a current or former art instructor. Second letter of recommendation may be a supervisor or someone who has overseen applicants work as a volunteer. ATTN ART INSTRUCTORS - Letter of recommendation should explain why you believe the applicants should be selected as an Eric Fischl Scholar. Discuss the applicant’s commitment as a student and talent for art, as well as potential for success in the program. Also address how the applicant will benefit from participating in the program.
- Academic transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable).
- Personal Statement (Two pages, double-spaced, 12 point font), outlining the following:
- Academic and career goals;
- Financial need;
- Community service and volunteerism activities;
- The importance of art in society, and;
- How being selected as an Eric Fischl Scholar will impact you.
---Once application is received, student will be contacted to submit
- Art portfolio of 10-12 art pieces for review (in digital format, 300 dpi, JPEG or PDF images submitted via a designated web-folder.
3. Personal Interview: Applicants who pass the review screening (meet all criteria) will be invited for a personal interview with the Eric Fischl Scholars Program Committee at a designated time and place. Final candidates will be notified of their selection by phone and/or email.
4. Orientation: Following notification of their acceptance into the program, recipients will be required to attend an EFSP Orientation, which will include an overview of the program requirements and expectations. Applicants may also be advised to complete academic assessments to determine placement in general education courses (i.e., mathematics, English, reading, etc.).