Since 2019, the Papa John’s International, Inc. Dough & Degrees program has offered team members a myriad of ways to further their education by earning degrees and professional certifications at no cost to them.  Papa Johns has partnered with EdAssist by Bright Horizons, a leading provider of strategic workforce education programs, to administer the Dough & Degrees program.

Since Dough & Degrees’ inception, the program has impacted lives and career trajectories of Papa Johns’ team members and the businesses’ attraction and retention of employees. A 2023 survey of program participants revealed:

  • A 211% higher average restaurant team member tenure
  • 79% Dough & Degrees graduate retention
  • 29% of program participants received a promotion after starting Dough & Degrees
  • 34% of participating team members said education benefits weighed into their decision to join Papa Johns
  • 76% of participating team members believe Dough & Degrees positively impacts Papa Johns’ culture

“At Papa Johns, we constantly strive to support and empower our team members, and we’re proud to have helped so many realize their educational ambitions and achieve their dreams – both personally and professionally – over the last five years,” said Elias Reyna, Chief People and Diversity Officer, Papa Johns. “In partnership with EdAssist, we designed this program to be as accessible as possible – especially for those who may be balancing career, family and life obligations– offering them many ways to further their education by earning degrees and professional certifications at no cost to them.”

Dough & Degrees provides no-cost education benefits to Papa Johns corporate team members, including those who work in corporate-owned restaurants, corporate hubs, and Quality Control Centers. By working as few as 10 hours per week and with 60 days of employment, Papa Johns corporate team members can earn a degree with no out-of-pocket expenses.  Among the benefits afforded by Dough & Degrees are:

  • No-Cost Degrees: Team members can partake in an employer-sponsored program through which they can pursue additional education, training and skill development at no cost to them.
  • Career Online High School: Team members who left high school prior to graduating can earn their high school diploma, charting new career pathways 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 via MyTimeEnglish 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, diversity & inclusion, technology, project leadership, human resources, business, finance and more. Many of these courses will count as CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credit for various professional organizations.

“There are always hurdles to overcome when embarking on a new educational journey, which is why it was vital to develop a program that not only eliminates cost and access barriers for team members, but also incorporates proven supports that adult learners need to succeed,” says Diane Bartoli, SVP of EdAssist by Bright Horizons. “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Papa Johns to offer this best-in-class program to thousands of hardworking employees, which reaffirms their position as a people-first organization.”

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