The chain recently launched an accelerated business degree program.

DENVER – Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the launch of a bachelor’s degree in business program that is customized for the company’s employees.

The program is available through Bellevue Univ., a private, non-profit institution in Bellevue, Nebraska. Chipotle said the program integrates applied learning with theory with the goal of accelerating career growth within the restaurant industry. Students can apply credits from a previous school and credits earned through Chipotle’s internal training toward the degree, which can be completed in as little as 18 months. The program also features a cohort format, which allows Chipotle students to share and learn from their own organizational and real-world experiences.

Students who enroll in the new program are eligible for up to $5,250 a year in tuition assistance from Chipotle as well as other benefits, including a personal success coach who will assist in the program enrollment and application for federal financial aid.

“This degree enables our employees to apply what they learn in the classroom to their work at Chipotle and vice versa,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “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 new bachelor’s degree in business, among more than 30 degrees offered through Chipotle’s educational assistance program in partnership with Guild Education, enables employers to offer education-as-a-benefit programs through a network of non-profit universities and education providers.