Dr. TJ Owens Early College Students will reach their highest personal and academic potential by becoming responsible citizens within their community.
To their personal success
- strong leaders who nurture future leaders by demonstrating integrity, desire, determination, and dedication
To their academic success
- critical thinkers who are life-long learners, committed to personal and academic growth
- citizens who are nurturing, responsible, and open-minded problem-solvers
A Dr. TJ Owens Early College Academy graduate will:
Become a confident leader
Develop a sense of personal identity and accept the personal identities of others
Utilize effective communication skills, both written and verbal
Listen to and validate the opinions and ideas of others
Demonstrate initiative and self-direction
Believe in and model the qualities of strong character in both an academic and personal community
Foster a diverse community that welcomes new members
Become a representative of GECA and establish connections to the greater community and globally
Acquire the abilities, skills and knowledge required for the lifelong pursuit of ongoing academic, occupational and personal growth
Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills
Develop collegiate-level skills through rigorous curriculum
Develop technology literacy for a 21st century education
Dr TJ Owens was a man of stature, a man who tried to make the lives of people better. Dr. TJ Owens, former Dean of Students at Gavilan College was not just an educator. He was a civil rights champion, the president of the Gilroy School Board and, for four decades from San Jose to Salinas, Dr. Owens inspired, coached, cajoled, and in a few cases even rescued young people. He was legendary for his style as well as his smile.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in physical education from CSUF, Dr. TJ Owens earned a master's degree in counseling from Santa Clara University and a doctorate in community college administration from the University of San Francisco. Owens was proud of his athletic background and would often say that the football scholarship he earned from California State University, Fresno, was the catalyst for his future in education.
Owens was a member of the national organization 100 Black Men, the Rotary Club and was president of the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education. He was elected for his second term in November 2002 and would have been up for reelection in November 2006.
The father of five, he was also an active member of Bethany Church in Gilroy. He was a man who was very devoted to his spiritual life and was always counted upon in terms of his service and volunteering. Owens served as president of the San Jose chapter for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during "turbulent times" for the black community.
In partnership with Jobs For the Future (JFF), Early Colleges have sprung up throughout the country. According to JFF:
"Early colleges are high schools and feeder middle schools that use a transformational strategy of bringing college into high school. Early college schools expose all students to college coursework, preparing them f or college and careers, reducing time and cost toward postsecondary degrees, and building a college-going culture for all students in the school.
Early college supports all students—particularly struggling learners—to meet and exceed college-and career-ready standards. Early college replaces remediation with acceleration for these students, and it include s a powerful teacher effectiveness program that supports teachers to use college-ready instructional strategies and administrators to build effective student supports and an engaging college-going culture."
The Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA) is an educational partnership between Gilroy Unified School District and Gavilan College, and is one of the cutting-edge Early College High Schools that are being envisioned and funded all across the United States through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. If you apply for this innovative, highly supportive, and academically challenging program and are selected to attend, your four years of high school will be spent on the Gavilan College campus. You and your fellow students will experience a rigorous, college preparatory high school education, as well as take college classes (up to 11 units a semester) for which you will receive both college and high school credit.
In four years, you could graduate from GECA with not only a high school degree, but also an AA/ AS or 60 transferrable college units. That means that one could enter the UC, CSU or private four-year university of your choice with your first two years of college fully or nearly completed.
Applications are available on this website during the application window. Applicants are not required to live in the Gilroy Unified School district.
We encourage you to visit our web site for further information! For any other questions not available, please feel free to call: 408 846-4909.