- MOD Pizza has partnered with Penn Foster, a nationally accredited online education program, to help its employees earn their high school diplomas while continuing to work at MOD restaurants.
- MOD will pay 100 percent of each employee’s tuition and provide individual mentor support as well as provide access to technology, such as computers and hotspots, for employees who need it.
MOD Pizza, one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the U.S., has developed a new program to help its 8,300-plus employees earn their high school diplomas while holding down their jobs.
For the new Mod Scholars program, MOD Pizza has partnered with nationally accredited Penn Foster, a self-paced online education program. MOD will cover 100 percent of tuition for each scholar, while MOD Scholar Mentors will provide individual support to each student as they work towards their diplomas.
The company said the program is open to MOD Squad members at any stage of their high school progression, supporting them through completion. The program offers:
- Rolling enrollment for 25 students; as students graduate, additional MOD Squad members will be offered a spot.
- Full tuition coverage for eligible full-time and part-time MOD Squad members recommended by a MOD Pizza manager
- Flexibility to allow students to progress at their own pace
- A Penn Foster-trained MOD Scholar Mentor will be assigned to each student to provide encouragement, guidance and day-to-day support.
- Technology tools, including computers and hotspots, for those without access
- Support for students with an individualized education program (IEP)
“We believe in supporting our Squads and providing bridges to help them succeed at MOD and beyond. We’ve learned that a lack of a high school diploma can pose a significant barrier to career progression and wage growth,” said Marty Pisciotti, senior vice president of people for MOD Pizza. “Our goal with the MOD Scholars program is to help our Squads unlock career opportunities, open the door for college and provide economic mobility and long-term stability whether at MOD or in the next step of their journey.”
The first cohort of MOD Scholars are now enrolled in the program and are working towards their diplomas, the company said.
“I made it to the last week of my senior year of high school, but wasn’t able to graduate. I had missed too many days of school due to issues at home,” said Jessica, a MOD Pizza general manager. “I look forward to earning my degree through this program and going to college. In the future, I’d like to become a mentor for other students as I continue my career at MOD.”
The MOD Scholars program is one of many resources focused on providing stability and economic mobility for MOD employees. MOD also believes in inclusive hiring practices, offers free meals to its MOD Squad members, and provides crisis support through its “Bridge Fund.” In 2020, the Bridge Fund provided over $750,000 in grants to assist employees in crisis during the pandemic.
For its efforts to create an inspired place to work, MOD, which was featured on the cover of PMQ’s January-February 2021 issue, is often recognized as a progressive employer. Fortune named the company in its “Change the World” list and as a “Best Workplace” in several categories.