Industry News | May 2, 2017 | By Danny Klein | QSR Exclusive Brief

Chipotle is Now Offering a Business Degree to Workers

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In as little as 18 months, a Chipotle employee can earn a business degree without ever missing work. The chain launched a customized Bachelor’s Degree in Business Tuesday, further expanding its current educational assistant program with Guild Education.

“This degree enables our employees to apply what they learn in the classroom to their work at Chipotle and vice versa,” says Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle, in a statement. “Employees will gain a solid understanding of business operations including people development, marketing, and decision making. The new degree program extends a series of education benefits we’ve been putting in place over the last couple of years to help better equip our employees for success at Chipotle and beyond.”

The degree is being offered through Bellevue University, a private, non-profit, regionally accredited institution that worked with Chipotle to develop the curriculum. If an employee signs up, the courses will be designed around their schedule. If combined with credit from a previous school and credits earned through Chipotle’s internal training, the chain says students can finish in around a year and a half. It also has a cohort format, which allows students to share and learn from their own organizational and real-world experiences, Chipotle says.

“One of the best ways we can help working students succeed is to leverage their real-life experiences and skills,” says Rebecca Murdock, dean of the College of Business at Bellevue University, in a statement. “With Chipotle’s help, we have built a truly best in class business degree program.”

Chipotle is offering up to $5,250 per year in tuition assistance to eligible students as well as other benefits, including a personal success coach.