A Catholic College in Iowa’s going against the trend of aging, shrinking and falling behind the times. Mount Saint Clare in Clinton is making new partnerships, including an alliance with a local community college so its students can take classes and even transfer after their two years there. College spokeswoman Tara Snyder says Mount Saint Clare is also helping ease the troubles of students attending Marycrest International, the school bought by a Japanese investor that will close in June. They’re working with Marycrest because there are similar majors, size and values at both schools. Snyder acknowledges that Mount St Clare’s bucking a trend, in a way, by surviving and continuing to grow.She says it’s a struggle for small private schools like Mt St Clare. But Snyder says they can offer individualized instruction at a school with just 520 students, and other “extras.” She says strong ethics, values not always emphasized at a big university. Mount St Clare, founded by the order of St Francis, still has some Catholic nuns on the teaching staff, and has a new president, Sheila Smith, who took over last summer.