The Center is a specialized four-year program offering Cobb County high school students a unique and accelerated curriculum in science, math, and technology for over 20 years. We offer advanced courses in all subject areas taught by dedicated teaching professionals eager to challenge and support high-achieving, STEM-minded students.
Our enthusiastic students, talented staff, and supportive parent community, allow us to offer specialized courses and opportunities not found in any school or program in the area.
Our culture of support, intellectual curiosity, and exploration allows our students to thrive during the four years at Wheeler Magnet, setting them up for future success with strong background knowledge, self-confidence, and marketable skills. These qualities make our students competitive candidates for future internships, scholarships, and admission to elite universities.
What 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 areas.
Are Magnet students 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 have several non-magnet classes together.
How many students are in the Center for Advanced Studies?
There are approximately 520 students in the program. Each year, the Center enrolls around 100 -140 new freshmen.
How does a student apply to be a part of the Center for Advanced Studies?
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 December 1. Applicants are evaluated on a number of criteria including middle school grades, teacher evaluations, standardized tests and PSAT 8/9. Students are then ranked according to these criteria, and top students receive an offer of admission in February.
What type of student are you looking for?
Accelerated students with a love of learning and a particular interest in STEM or STEAM.
What 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. Your bus stop location may be viewed here. Enter your address and choose MAG in the program drop-down
What type of Magnet is the Wheeler Center for Advanced Studies?
Wheeler's Magnet program is a Science, Math and Technology magnet. We were STEM Certified by the state of Georgia in 2012 and recertified in 2016. We received STEAM Certification from the state of Georgia in 2017.
The Center specializes in several areas including Engineering, Robotics, Medical Biotechnology, Horticulture, Advanced Chemistry, and Advanced Physics.
Who can apply to the Magnet Program?
Anyone can apply to our Magnet program, but you have to live in the Cobb County School District in order to register and attend the program. Many students whose families intend to move to Cobb County will apply in advance of their actual move. Students from all over Cobb County and frequently from out-of-state, apply 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.
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. We offer flexibility for students to take the classes that most interest them. 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 Regeneron Competition, Intel Science Talent Search, 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.
What are the required courses?
In addition to the core academic requirements magnet students are required to take 10 Math/Science core classes & 4 Magnet recognized Technology classes(STEM Track) or 2 Technology classes and 2 Fine Arts classes (STEAM Track).
Are magnet students expected to maintain a certain academic standard to remain in the program?Yes. Magnet students must maintain a 3.0 average or above in science & math classes (A's and B's). Students who receive a grade below a 3.0 in science or math classes are placed on academic probation and must earn a 3.0 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 and remain on grade level to continue in the magnet program.
Do Magnet students participate in all other activities?
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.
Does the emphasis on academics prevent students from participating in other non-academic activities?
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 non-curricular activities.
Can a student drop out of the program?
Very rarely does this happen, however, magnet students sometimes find the program is not a good fit and they are able to transition elsewhere. If they live in the Wheeler district, they must still meet all existing high school graduation requirements. Students from outside the Wheeler attendance zone who leave the program can request to stay at Wheeler or return to their districted high school.
How would you measure the success of the program to this point?
The strongest measure of success can be viewed in the success rate of our students when they transition to college. Each year magnet alumni talk about how easy their college experience is after the strong preparation they received in the magnet program. Another positive indicator includes the success of the students on such measures as the SAT and National Merit programs. 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.