Papa Johns Expands Dough & Degrees Education Program

Team members who work as few as 10 hours per week can now earn degrees at no cost, ranging from high school diplomas to master's degrees at a newly expanded range of schools, colleges and universities

Sep 28, 2022 - 10:22
Feb 13, 2024 - 12:16

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) has begun extending the Dough & Degrees tuition benefit to more team members and offering them new ways they can further their education by earning degrees and professional certifications at no cost to them. Team members who work as few as 10 hours per week and have been employed for only 60 days at stores owned by Papa Johns can now earn a degree at no cost. More than 80% of Dough & Degrees students are working on the frontline in Papa Johns restaurants, and more than 60 Papa Johns team members have earned associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees at no cost to them since Dough & Degrees launched in 2019. Many Dough & Degrees graduates are now applying their education in new roles across Papa Johns in departments such as Operations Excellence, Marketing and Supply Chain. Team members can also benefit from a newly expanded range of learning programs available through Dough & Degrees, providing new opportunities for all eligible team members, no matter when their formal education ended or what course of study they wish to pursue.

“At Papa Johns, ‘People First’ is one of our core values. That means helping our team members meet a broad range of needs – including equipping them for their future,” said Marvin Boakye, Papa John’s Chief People and Diversity Officer. “Through Dough & Degrees, our team members are preparing for rewarding careers, honing their expertise in a particular subject and pursuing their dreams, without taking on education debt. Since launching Dough & Degrees, Papa Johns has invested more than $3.5 million to help our team members reach their education goals, debt-free. These lowered eligibility requirements and expansion of education opportunities available will increase access to tuition benefits for more team members while embracing their many different backgrounds and experiences.”

New education offerings added to Dough & Degrees include:

  • Career Online High School: Team members who left high school prior to graduating can earn their high school diploma, opening up new career prospects and equipping them to take the next step in their education journey.
  • Academic & Guidance Coaches: Dedicated academic advisors and coaches will help Dough & Degrees students review their education interests and goals.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL): To further build a more inclusive workplace where team members from diverse backgrounds and experiences feel welcomed and valued, Papa Johns is offering free courses designed for team members who are non-native English speakers.
  • New Professional Certificate Programs: Team members now have access to more than 25 professional certificate programs to build expertise in their chosen field.
  • Extensive Catalog of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Courses: Nearly 200 professional development courses will empower team members to build proficiency in a wide range of subjects, including marketing, data science, ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance), leadership, diversity & inclusion, technology, project leadership, human resources, business and finance. Many of these courses will count as CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credit for various professional organizations.

Papa Johns has partnered with EdAssist by Bright Horizons, a leading provider of workforce education solutions, to administer the newly expanded Dough & Degrees program.

“Pursuing a postsecondary education is never easy, especially for working learners trying to balance career, family, and life obligations,” said Dr. Jill Buban, Vice President and General Manager of EdAssist by Bright Horizons. “Papa Johns has developed a best-in-class education benefits program that not only eliminates cost and access barriers for employees but also incorporates essential supports that are proven to positively impact the success of adult learners. We’re thrilled to partner with Papa Johns to bring this expanded program to life for thousands of hardworking employees around the country.”

More than 250 Papa Johns team members have become Dough & Degrees students – with no up-front financial contribution required of them – since the program began. Papa Johns covers tuition, books and fees – all paid for upfront by Papa Johns, so there are no out-of-pocket costs to team members. Dough & Degrees provides no-cost education benefits to Papa Johns corporate team members, including those who work in corporate-owned restaurants, corporate hubs, Quality Control Centers and at subsidiaries of Papa John’s International, Inc. In addition, Dough & Degrees provides education benefits at deeply discounted costs to team members working at restaurants owned by Papa Johns franchise partners.