As a young employee at University of Phoenix (UOP) many, many years ago, I recall being introduced to the concept of Prior Learning Assessment. Having been in my late-teens to early-twenties, I couldn't personally connect to the idea, having very little prior learning (a.k.a. experiential/life learning) myself that I could use to convert into college credit. I do remember understanding the benefit this was to our adult students working towards their bachelor and master degrees, however.
In this article found in The Chronicle of Higher Ed, the author shares that traditional colleges and universities are finally open to the concept of awarding credit to students for the life and work experience. This, of course, is a structured process that must adhere to guidelines each college or university sets forth to stay within accreditation requirements. Interestingly, the articles states that UOP has been doing this for many years...um, try decades.
Nontraditional higher ed, once again, has led the way in an area of learning that traditional schools are just acknowledging as beneficial tools to assist students on their path towards graduation.