Award Year: 2021

Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy

5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard
Gilroy, CA, 95020-9578

(408) 846-4909

Mrs. Sonia Anna Flores M.Ed., Principal at time of Nomination

Choice School

Gilroy Unified School District

School Website

School FaceBook

School YouTube

School Social Media

School Twitter

Bell Award Winner


GECA students will reach their highest personal and academic potential by becoming responsible citizens, fulfilling the school's motto of "Be Someone. Go Somewhere. Seek Excellence."

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 24%
  • Hispanic: 52%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 5%
  • Asian: 18%
GECA students pose for a selfie during break

GECA students pose for a selfie during break

The Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA) is located on the Gavilan College campus. It is an accelerated ninth through twelfth grade program designed to foster academic and career success. GECA operates as an educational partnership between Gilroy Unified School District and Gavilan College. GECA is one of the cutting-edge Early College High Schools that have been designed, implemented, and funded nationwide through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in cooperation with Jobs For the Future, local community colleges,and school districts.

Students served by GECA typically are underserved youths who are the first in their family to attend college, come from a low-income background, and/or have demonstrated a high level of academic ability but still need targeted academic support provided by the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) model, and have family support for participation in the program throughout the four years. Once the program is completed, a student will have both a high school diploma and an associates degree or two years of college credit (between 40 to 60 transferable college units), allowing them to enter a four-year college or university with sophomore or junior standing. Eighty nine percent of students in the most recent graduating class petitioned to graduate with their Associates Degree while simultaneously earning their high school diploma, and close to 97% of all graduates continue on with their college education after graduation. GECA presents the ideal learning environment for students to acquire the education and experience necessary to succeed in college and career.