How do you get credit for work and life experience?
Some schools offer school credit for work and life experience. It is as simple as asking the school if they do award credit and what constitutes work and life experience deserving of award. Some programs will request a list describing all learning experiences in a person's life, with appropriate documentation. This is known as a life-experience portfolio or a prior learning assessment. The names differ from school to school, but they are essentially the same thing. Be wary of programs that offer a degree based solely on your life or work experience. No accredited school would confer a degree with only life and work experience.
Is there value in my previous life and work experience?
It depends on the course and school, but there are many ways to use what you know to your benefit. Some schools will accept prior learning assessment to determine whether you have knowledge that translates into academic credit. For instance, native Spanish speakers might get credit for Spanish courses if they can demonstrate a facility with the language.
How does a Life-Experience Portfolio or Prior Learning Assessment work?
Again, this varies by institution, but you'll need to match your knowledge base to an actual course. You must then prove that you have working knowledge in that course. If you want credit for a basic computer animation course, it is as simple as demonstrating your skill with an animation program by designing a character and animating it. For other courses that are not as easily demonstrated, it might be much harder to show proficiency.
What Types of Experiences Qualify?
It varies by school and program, so you will have to contact your school's representatives to find out if they accept life and work experience for credit and what experiences qualify.