|Dr. TJ Owens|
Gilroy Early College Academy
|Type||Early College Academy|
|School district||Gilroy Unified School District|
|Oversight||Western Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Student to teacher ratio||30.57|
|Color(s)||Red and Black|
Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (known as GECA) is a prestigious early college high school located in unincorporated Santa Clara County, California, near Gilroy, at the southern edge of Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. A California Distinguished School, GECA regularly ranks among the top high schools in California and consistently ranks within the top 1% of the best high schools in the United States.
Founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GECA operates as an early college school, requiring its students to receive their college preparatory education through a mixture of honors high school classes, Advanced Placement (AP), and college classes, offered through partnership with Gavilan College, allowing most GECA students to graduate high school with an associate's degree.
Dr. T.J. Owens, GECA's namesake, was the former Dean of Students at Gavilan College and president of the Gilroy Unified School Board. A prominent member of the national organization 100 Black Men of America and civil rights activist, Dr. Owens was a key figure in GECA's inception, but died two years before the early college academy was established.
Approximately 90 percent of the class of 2011 graduated and entered a four-year university or continued their education at Gavilan with the intention to transfer to one.
The school's non-weighted average API from 2011-2013 is 929 schoolwide, 900 for socioeconomically disadvantaged students, and 869 for English learners. Statewide, students of all groups average 790, socioeconomically disadvantaged students 742, and English learners 717.
GECA is one of ten schools participating in A Study of American Public High Schools with Academically-Competitive Admissions sponsored by Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
GECA is regularly ranked as one of the best high schools in California and the United States as a whole. GECA is the best performing of the 28 early college high schools in California.
GECA is one of 40 Beat the Odds Schools in a study conducted by WestEd, which identified 40 schools that consistently and significantly outperforming schools with similar demographics on the California Standards Tests and the California Academic High School Exit Exam.
GECA was awarded the California Gold Ribbon in 2015.
|Asian||White||Hispanic||Two or More Races||African American||Filipino||Pacific Islander||American Indian||Not Reported|
The GECA Associated Student Body (ASB) organizes events to foster school spirit and assists students in setting up clubs. Tribunal is the judicial branch of student government and addresses honor code violations such as bullying, cheating, and other behavioral issues.
Student clubs include the gay-straight alliance, FLC club (currently suspended), film club, CSF (California Scholarship Federation), Yearbook, Outreach club, Red Cross club, Ignite (religion club), Operation Smile, Athletics Club, and Robotics Club. At the beginning of first semester, students can start a club if they meet certain requirements.