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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE professor trains students in computer basics

Ernest Gines, Chancellor’s Award winner for SE Campus, sits in his office planning his next   class lecture. Many students praise Gines’ tough approach when it comes to teaching.  Photo by Heather Bench/The Collegian
Ernest Gines, Chancellor’s Award winner for SE Campus, sits in his office planning his next class lecture. Many students praise Gines’ tough approach when it comes to teaching. Photo by Heather Bench/The Collegian

By Marley Malenfant/se news editor

Ernest Gines, Chancellor’s Award winner for SE Campus, sits in his office planning his next   class lecture. Many students praise Gines’ tough approach when it comes to teaching.  Photo by Heather Bench/The Collegian
Ernest Gines, Chancellor’s Award winner for SE Campus, sits in his office planning his next class lecture. Many students praise Gines’ tough approach when it comes to teaching. Photo by Heather Bench/The Collegian

(Part three in a four-part series on faculty winners of the Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teaching, an annual award that recognizes professors who impress and inspire their students.)

When Ernest Gines teaches, he asks his students what separates them from the competition.

“If you don’t have at least the basic skills, then you are not competitive,” he said. “You need to know how to take things apart and put them together. Know when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

His students said that drive led Gines, SE assistant professor of computer science, to win one of the four Chancellor’s Awards for excellence in teaching.

Gary Tomerlin, SE assistant professor, said Gines sets high standards for students to be successful.

“Mr. Gines’ role as an assistant professor of computer science has worked to ensure the quality of the class we teach and served as a mentor to students,” he said. “He sets high expectations for his students and helps them meet those expectations.”

Gines has taught at TCC since 2000 and has served as the CampusCruiser coordinator. Before he started teaching, he worked with the IRS’ Hispanic Internal Revenue Employee tax assistance initiative.

In Gines’ tenure, his classes have retained 80-85 percent of students and had only an 11 percent withdrawal rate.

A group of SE students, like Kalli Gardner, said they appreciate Gines’ tough personality and his teaching method.

“He is very upfront and has a competitive nature. He gets us to think on our own, which is fine, but frustrating,” Gardner said.

Student Rick Smith said other instructors should learn from Gines’ teaching style.

“If all TCC instructors followed the model of hard work, knowledge of the subject being taught and concern for their students set by Mr. Gines, the college would be served well,” he said.

Brandi Griffin said she liked Gines’ hands-on approach and appreciates the extra time he gives to students.

“His class is very informative. I wanted to make my own blog, and he showed me how to make one,” she said. “He gives you a real experience. I’m just hungry for information.”

Gines said his purpose is not only to teach about computers but to get students to learn on their own.

“I want my students to think for themselves. That’s why you take my class,” he said. “I want not only students to think when it comes to technology but be able to think when it comes to life because that’s the real challenge.

“I’ve been working with computers since 1994, so I tell my students all the time, you must have basic skills in today’s world. If you don’t have basic skills, you are not competitive.”

SE student Tracy Dally said Gines makes his students work hard in the classroom.

“To be honest, he was overwhelming when I first started his class. But I think he wants us to experience what’s really out there in the working world,” she said.

Gines talked about how today’s technology has rapidly changed the world.

“It’s good and bad because technology is changing the way we interact. People don’t write letters like they use to. Everything is e-mail or Facebook,” he said. “It’s making people very passive.”

Gines said his biggest accomplishment is when students learn more coming out of the semester than what they had going in.

“What’s most important to me is that students put in the effort. I know once students show me they’re willing to work, I’m going to show them what I know,” he said.

“When students tell me they’re wanting to learn, that’s what’s most rewarding for me.”

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