is the Wheeler Center for Advanced Studies?
The Center for Advanced Studies is a competitive admissions
science, math & technology magnet program housed
at Wheeler High School.
is a magnet program?
As the name implies, a magnet is a specialized program
within an existing school designed to “attract”
students with a strong aptitude in one or more specialized
type of magnet is the Wheeler Center for Advanced
Wheeler's magnet program is a Science and Math magnet.
Technology is heavily integrated into these areas.
In addition to the core academic requirements magnet
student are required to take 10 math/science core
classes & 4 technology electives. The Center specializes
in several areas including Engineering, Robotics, Medical Biotechnology, Forensics, Advanced Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
magnet student still a part of Wheeler High School?
Absolutely. Magnet students typically take their math,
science, and technology classes in the magnet building
with other magnet students while other subjects are
taken in the main high school building. Since magnet
student schedules tend to be similar, students often
move as a group to their non-magnet classes.
magnet students be able to participate in all other
Yes. Students in the magnet program will be full-time
Wheeler students and will be eligible to participate
in all Wheeler sports and extracurricular programs.
where do the magnets students come?
Students come from all over Cobb County and frequently
apply from out-of-state in hopes of gaining acceptance.
Current students come from over 50 different public,
private and home school environments. In addition
dozens of foreign countries are represented in the
student body and it is not unusual to overhear conversations
in multiple languages.
many students are in the Center for Advanced Studies?
There are approximately 425 students in the program.
Each year, the Center enrolls around 100 -125 new
Are magnet students expected
to maintain a certain academic standard to remain
in the program?
Yes. Magnet students must maintain a B average or
above in science & math classes. Students who receive a grade below a B in science or math classes are placed on academic probation and must earn a B or higher in the subsequent course to remain in the program. In addition, Magnet students must receive a passing grade in all math and science classes to remain in the magnet program.
Can a student drop out of
We hope that doesn't happen! However magnet students
sometimes find the program is not a good fit and they
can drop the program. However, if they live in the
Wheeler district, they must still meet all existing
high school graduation requirements of non-magnet
students. Students from outside the Wheeler attendance
zone who leave the program must return to their districted
high school and will be subject to Georgia High School
Association rules for transfer students. Typically,
this means that the student would not be allowed to
participate in competitive varsity sports for one
does a student apply to be a part of the Center for
The program is designed for entry at the ninth grade
level. Students who are interested in applying must
apply in the fall of eighth grade. The deadline for
application is always the first Friday of December.
Applicants are evaluated on a number of criteria including middle school grades, effective communication skills, teacher evaluations, and standardized tests. An admissions test (typically the PSSS) is administered by the school in late January. Students are then ranked according to these criteria, and top students receive an offer of admission in early March.
What are the qualifications
for magnet students?
Because the program is a science and math magnet,
students are expected to have a strong aptitude in
these areas and must be accelerated, especially in
math. For example, students must be in a position
to enter the program at the Accelerated Math 1 or
Accelerated Math 2 level.
type of transportation will be offered to magnet students
from outside the Wheeler attendance zone and when
will these routes be known?
The county provides arterial transportation to out-of-zone
magnet students. These routes have specific drop-off
and pick-up points. Transportation routes may be viewed here.
What makes the magnet program
different than other specialized programs?
The acceleration, depth and breadth of the curriculum
and the integration of technology help set apart the
Center for Advanced Studies from other specialized
programs. Moreover, the student’s senior year
research and related internship go far beyond the
normal scope of traditional and specialized programs.
Students have the opportunity to become involved in nationally recognized competitions such as the Siemens Competition, Intel Science Talent Search, Young Epidemiology Scholars, BEST Robotics and FIRST Robotics competitions. The fact that students are also able to participate in all other facets of traditional high school education is an added bonus.
Does the emphasis on academics
prevent students from participating in other non-academic
No, the opposite is true. While there is a heavy science
and math academic focus, students are encouraged to
get a well-rounded education and to participate in
all aspects of high school life. In fact, most of
the students do so. Wheeler’s Fine Arts, Journalism,
Music, and Athletic programs have many Magnet students
involved. Many of our students become leaders in their
would you measure the success of the program to this
The strongest measure of success can be viewed in the retention rate of students. Over 95% of the students who were academically eligible have chosen to remain in the program. Another positive measure includes the success of the students on such measures as the SAT and National Merit programs. The composite average for the SAT has consistently been in the 1900's with some classes scoring even higher. Since 2004, many Center students have been named National merit finalists. Several students have scored perfect 1600’s and 2400 respectively on the SAT, scored perfect 800’s on one or more sections of the SAT, and scored 36 on at least one section of the ACT. Visit our Profile page, 800 Club and Club 36 for detailed information. More importantly, the students in the program have achieved in a number of non-tangible areas such as volunteer work, leadership activities, and other non-academic areas such as music, drama, and athletics.
Is the program a member of
any magnet related organizations?
The Center for Advanced Studies is a member of the
National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools
of Math, Science, and Technology (NCSSSMST). The NCSSSMST
offers a strong support and contact network. Nearly
100 of the nation’s top magnet programs and
close to 100 top universities are part of the membership.
The consortium holds annual professional and student
conferences, summer workshops, and publishes a professional
journal in which students and faculty may submit research.
All of the schools work collaboratively to ensure
that the curriculum is rigorous and relevant and
prepares students for post-secondary education. For
further information see the NCSSSMST