Jacob Shortt has been awarded Pamplin's 2019 Certificate of Teaching Excellence.   Jacob Shortt has been with Virginia Tech since the Fall of 2016.  He has taught Intermediate Accounting Part I and Part II, Accounting Systems and Controls, and most recently a newly created class, Accounting Analytics.  Jacob developed the Accounting Analytics course over the Summer of 2018 with the input of his colleagues and through insights gained from the 2018 American Accounting Association Intensive Data and Analytics Summer Workshop.  He first taught this course in the Fall of 2018 and continues to teach it.

The future of accounting is ever-evolving and to allow our curriculum to be at the cutting edge of changes, a course focused on looking forward needed to be developed.  The Accounting Analytics course ensures that students grasp the methodologies of data analytics including a tool agnostic critical thinking mindset.  The course places an emphasis on large data and how to approach analysis in methodologies that include both traditional and emerging technologies to produce action-oriented solutions.  The course includes analysis of big data, data cleaning, use of data visualizations, emerging auditing techniques, and tool-agnostic critical thinking approaches.  This course incorporates various software including advanced Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, IDEA, and Tableau.

Jacob’s approach to teaching focuses on hands-on exercises, in-class discussions, and projects.  One of his favorite exercises in the Accounting Analytics course revolves around showing a visualization at the start of each class followed by a discussion on the visualization’s designs, implications, improvement-needs, and relation to current class subjects.  Jacob does his best to relate each piece of subject matter to the professional work environment including anecdotal discussions from his own professional experiences.

Jacob Shortt facilitates presentations in Accounting Analytics class

Here are just a few comments from the end-of-semester student feedback:

Mr. Shortt is the best teacher I have had in my 5 years at VT. I wish I could have taken every class he taught. He is so good at connecting with students and made me feel that I could go to him about any problems I was having in his class or others. I learned so much about data analytics from this class and I am excited to use my new knowledge in my job after graduation. I loved taking this class and feel like it was a very valuable part of my education here at VT. I felt that I learned a lot of critical thinking skills from our beginning of class exercises.

Mr. Shortt is by far the best professor I have ever had. I truly cannot say enough good things about him.  Mr. Shortt truly cares about his students and makes their feelings and thoughts feel valid. His energy is positive, encouraging, and uplifting creating a safe space for his students. His approach to teaching is appreciated. In a typical class, he would lecture on important concepts, providing numerous examples as he went, and then walk-through in class demonstrations of different software and how the concepts lectured on applied to the software. This made classroom material appear applicable as students move forward in their career.

Professor Shortt truly cares about his students. The class environment he fosters is open and he is willing to receive the student’s feedback. The fact that he cares about each and every student helped me know that he would always be willing to help me better learn the material. His goal wasn't to teach us enough to be able to take a test, but to fully understand the material in hope that it will help prepare us for our future careers.

Mr. Shortt is a wonderful teacher and I think that he did a really good job at making the class relevant and applicable. Since we worked with a variety of different programs, I feel much more prepared to use analytics in the workplace and have even used what I have learned in this class to help me in other classes. Mr. Shortt is great at encouraging students to participate and does not just lecture at us. Rather, he is interactive and welcomes classroom discussions and values everyone’s opinions.

I have had Professor Shortt for three years now, and I can say with 100% confidence that he is the best professor I've ever had at Virginia Tech. He genuinely cares about the success of his students inside and outside of the classroom. As a senior now, Professor Shortt I know has helped me and many other students with professional help and in the classroom to do well in his classes. He gives insightful knowledge about the subject matter due to all his experience in the accounting field. This is my last semester with Professor Shortt, and genuinely wish I could have him for my last semester with college because I always learn and retain the information he presents in his class. He is one of those professors that makes you want to go to class even if he doesn't take attendance.