Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. How does the schedule work?
- Q. How are college courses mixed in?
- Q. What are the main differences between attending GECA and attending a conventional high school and enrolling in Honors and AP Courses?
- Q. Who pays for the textbooks?
- Q. What's the tuition?
- Q. Can you buy hot lunches or cafeteria food?
- Q. Do students have access to the college library?
- Q.What is a Seminar Class?
- Q. When does the school day start/end?
- Q. Is there music, art, drama, or any other classes like that?
- Q. How much homework should we expect?
- Q. Can we go anywhere on campus?
- Q. Does GECA have sports?
- Q. Can a GECA student participate in a sport offered at Christopher High School or Gilroy High School?
- Q. How hard are the classes?
- Q. GECA sounds great but my grades are not that great. Can I improve my grades at Gilroy High School or Christopher High School and then apply in Grade 10 or 11?
- Q. Since all the GECA courses are Honors or AP, how will colleges to which I apply know that I undertook a more challenging course of study?
- Q. Is there any social aspect to the school?
There is an INTERCESSION schedule (when college classes are still not in session in August and January) and a REGULAR SESSION schedule during which college classes are in session. The REGULAR SESSION SCHEDULE at GECA is a "traditional schedule" for high school classes and a "block schedule" for college classes.
College courses are mixed in with the high school classes. It's like a typical high school schedule but with college classes being substituted for classes that are not taught at the high school level (foreign language, physical science, vocational, art) for the high school diploma and other rigorous college courses are taken to reach their desired goal of an AA/AS degree or 60 transferrable units.
Students are enrolled in college classes AND Honors/AP high school courses while attaining their high school diploma. Students are required to complete 40 college units to receive a diploma from the Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy. Students may satisfy up to two years of college if they complete 60 college units, which saves students (and families) time and money to complete requirements for a Bachelor's degree. To learn more about the benefits of an Early College over a conventional high school, see the Jobs For the Future Informational site.
GECA is free and has no tuition or fees (with the exception of fees for courses taken over the summer in summer school). It is a public school created by a partnership between the Gilroy Unified School District and Gavilan College. Start up grant funding was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We strive to help those who couldn't usually afford college, families who have never attended college, or those who would not thrive in a typical high school setting.
This is totally up to the student and their diligence. There may be times built in the school day through "seminars," classes for students to do their homework. If time is used wisely during the school day, it will greatly reduce homework at night. Otherwise, a student may have as much as 3-4 hours at home to do each evening.