I've noticed there are several ssh apps on the apple store, I am trying to access my schools unix machine from this ssh connection and use this to write code and compile c++ code on my unix drive. Is this possible to do from from ipad?
SSH is simply a protocol used to connect to a remote computer. It doesn't really restrict what you can or cannot do once you're logged in to that computer. And iOS doesn't really have any restrictions on typical SSH usage (except that you can't set up a tunnel for other apps).
So if you can do what you need to using SSH from your computer to your school's computer, then you should be able to do the same on the iPad with an SSH app.