Integrative learning is the process of connecting academics and beyond-the-classroom experiences so that students can apply information and skills to novel and complex issues or challenges. The graduation with distinction requirements will allow students to:

  • Collaborate with students in other disciplines
  • Give students a variety of experiences outside of the classroom
  • Find ways to put the pieces together and develop habits that will prepare them to make informed judgments in the conduct of personal, professional, and civic life
  • Apply learning to real world context

All students who successfully complete the requirements below will receive:

  • A special seal on their diploma
  • A denotation in the graduation program signifying that they have graduated with a distinction
  • A denotation on their academic transcript signifying that they have graduated with a distinction

Graduation with Distinction in Patient Centered Care

Cabarrus College currently offers a Graduation with Distinction in Patient Centered Care. The Picker Institute (2007) has identified eight major dimensions of patient-centered care:

  • Respect for patient-centered values, preferences, and expressed needs, including an awareness of quality-of-life issues, involvement in decision-making, dignity, and attention to patient needs and autonomy.
  • Coordination and integration of care across clinical, ancillary, and support services and in the context of receiving “frontline” care.
  • Information, communication, and education on clinical status, progress, prognosis, and processes of care in order to facilitate autonomy, self-care, and health promotion.
  • Physical comfort, including pain management, help with activities of daily living, and clean and comfortable surroundings.
  • Emotional support and alleviation of fear and anxiety about such issues as clinical status, prognosis, and the impact of illness on patients, their families and their finances.
  • Involvement of family and friends in decision-making and awareness and accommodation of their needs as caregivers.
  • Transition and continuity as regards information that will help patients care for themselves away from a clinical setting, and coordination, planning, and support to ease transitions.
  • Access to care, with attention to time spent waiting for admission or time between admission and placement in a room in the inpatient setting, and waiting time for an appointment or visit in the outpatient setting (pp.2-3).


Students desiring to earn distinction should speak with their Academic Advisor to discuss the requirements. In general, to earn a distinction students will:

  • Have a GPA of 2.5 in any major
  • Complete 2 college required learning activities beyond the classroom which relate to patient-centered care (see below).
  • Complete 2 pre-approved additional learning activities beyond the classroom of the student’s choice which relate to patient centered care.
  • Present learning at the integrative Symposium and complete an e-portfolio to showcase experience.

Required Activities

  • Read college chosen summer read and write a reflection of lessons learned. When writing your reflection, a rubric is provided to give some guidance. The paper should be written in a professional manner (introduction, logical flow, correct grammar, conclusion) (following provided rubric). The reflection will be evaluated for completeness by the Integrative Committee. The Summer Read choice is “Josie’s Story” by Sorrell King.
  • Participate in Interprofessional Collaborative Project with a final simulation (further details on schedule to follow). This activity will allow you to work in a simulated experience with other healthcare professional students. You participate by following through with the activities of the discipline you are studying while working with students from other disciplines. After the experience, all of those involved will join together to reflect on the experience and discuss insights gained. Students participating in the fall will meet three times face-to-face. Students participating in the spring will complete an online module.

Additional Learning Activities

Learning activities must be pre-approved by your academic advisor. Without pre-approval your activity will not be counted toward meeting the requirement. After participating in these learning activities, students must also submit a reflection of their experience. Suggestions for learning activities include:

  • Shadowing minimum of 8 hours in another healthcare profession
  • Community experience in healthcare setting dealing with patients above and beyond volunteer hours
  • Professional Conference
  • Diversity experience

How to Sign Up

All interested students should contact their Academic Advisor for more information.


Access the application here.