How Does Student Service Learning Benefit Oakdale High School?


Sydney Kubic

Señora Brown’s Student Service Learner Quinn Scholtes performing her tasks as an SSL.

Sydney Kubic, Writer

The Student Service Learning program is an opportunity for juniors and seniors at Oakdale High School to gain new skills and experience with helping teachers and their classmates within the classroom.

Amanda McGrew, OHS’s work based coordinator, runs the Student Service Learning program. McGrew is in charge of making applications, assigning SSLs to teachers, and running the program once the semester has started.

“My job is more the behind the scenes piece of the job,” McGrew states, “I am responsible for distributing information to teachers and students. I am also there if a teacher is having an issue with an SSL or an SSL is having an issue with a teacher.”

There are requirements to be a part of the program. To join the SSL program, a student must have already passed the class that they want to SSL for. McGrew also recommended: “That you have taken a class with the teacher you want to SSL for and feel comfortable and confident.”

Prior to submitting an application to McGrew, teacher approval is required.

“I wanted to become a SSL during my freshman year. I had an SSL for Intro to Theatre which got me excited for theater and I wanted to be like her,” Rae Brewer, Michael Copen’s Intro to Theater SSL, spoke.

Many SSLs at Oakdale like being able to watch the students in their class benefit from having a peer who has already taken the class be able to help them.

“Having an SSL program is important because it allows students to help out their peers and give them a better understanding as someone who has been in their position before. An SSL can also help the teachers by completing the things they may not have had the time to do before,” explained Erin Nichols, a senior who is currently Tricia Stockman’s SSL for Computer Graphics 1.

McGrew talks about how the SSL program at OHS helps students within the class: “As a former classroom teacher, the class really benefits from a variety of factors. The class can benefit because the SSL can help make quizzes, reviews- that’s a really great thing for them to do- particularly the science classes benefit because the SSLs can help get labs set up and break them down so that actually gives the students more time to participate in the actual activity.”

The Student Service learning program is not only important for classes, but also for the SSL themselves. McGrew voiced, “Our attempt is for them to realize the impact they’re making not only for the class, but that they’re learning that taking the initiative will help build some leadership skills and teach them to advocate for themselves.”

For many members the SSL program acts as an extension of the classroom for students who want to continue but have completed all of the courses offered in a field at OHS.

“I decided to become an SSL mainly because I had already taken all of the graphics courses our school provided, and I really wanted to continue with graphics since that’s what I want to do moving forward,” Nichols remarked.

Student Service Learning provides an opportunity for juniors and seniors to learn what it is like to help others in a classroom setting, whether it be their fellow classmates or their teachers and develops the leadership skills that students need.