Weber State University's Board of Trustees has agreed to help Utah Valley State College launch a four-year degree in English beginning next fall.

"Frankly, it may be a little altruistic to help a sister organization gain a four-year degree," trustee Doug Holmes said in a report to the board Tuesday. But the board approved the action without hesitation.Holmes said Weber State's primary role will be to advise instructors and help develop a curriculum for the major. The annual cost to WSU will be less than $10,000, he said.

UVSC in Orem already has 153 declared English majors, and the majority surveyed said they would stay at the school and complete the degree if a four-year program were established.

In past presentations to the state Board of Regents, UVSC officials have said their school serves a unique population of students who come from large families in Utah County and lack the resources to attend other universities in the state.

UVSC has used such information to persuade the regents to allow the school to offer additional four-year degrees.

UVSC officials will ask the state Board of Regents at its meeting at the College of Eastern Utah next week for permission for another four-year degree.

Primarily a two-year college, UVSC has had permission from the regents since 1993 to offer a limited number of four-year baccalaureate degrees. The school offers five such degrees, but late last year the regents denied a request to add a sixth.

At the time, some regents questioned whether more four-year degrees fit the school's mission.

UVSC's response: Change our mission. And the regents did.

In March, the regents dropped the word "selected" in the section of UVSC's mission statement that outlines what four-year programs can be offered.

UVSC President Kerry Romes-burg called the move a huge step and predicted that school administrators would begin expanding its four-year offerings in a "very slow, deliberate way."