How Chipotle’s New Degree Program Is Shaping Higher Education

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Chipotle recently announced its new debt-free, tuition-covered program for its employees, which is somewhat similar to other tuition assistance programs at fast-food restaurants. The workers must major in Agriculture, Culinary, or Hospitality.

What does this mean for Chipotle and its workers, as well as the institutions?

Voice of B2B, Daniel Litwin, talked with Sarah Boisvert Founder & CEO of the New Collar Network, and Phil Ollenberg, Assistant Registrar, Office of the Registrar & Enrollment Services at Bow Valley College, on Marketscale TV. The trio talked about Chipotle and its new program.

 

 

Chipotle will be working with The University of Denver, Oregon State University, Bellevue University, University of Arizona, and others. Some fast-food stores offer something similar and Starbucks debt-free degrees. This doesn’t necessarily mean workers will flock to these stores to get into these programs.

 

“I think that what they’re educating is their management level,” Boisvert said.

 

The program is beneficial for Chipotle and universities, according to Ollenberg. As it automatically gives universities a funnel of students. For Chipotle, having specific contracts with universities simplifies the process, so they don’t have to approve programs individually. They simply write the colleges a check at the end of the year. But, they must choose these specific paths.

“In terms of your listing, we are seeing education becoming more and more focused on specific careers, specific professions, and specific industries,” Ollenberg said. “This is just a natural evolution of that.”

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