First impressions can count for a lot in further education, particularly when welcoming less confident students back into learning.
And it is here that Leeds City College scores highly, thanks to its security officer Terry Nelson, who was appointed an MBE in the New Year Honours for his services to further education.
Mr Nelson was nominated by colleagues who heard nothing but praise from students - many of whom were taking courses in English as a second language - for the welcome and help they received from him.
John Ryan, equality and diversity manager at the college, said: "Terry goes the extra mile for students in terms of that initial welcome and supporting them before they even reach the classroom. He embodies the ethos of the college perfectly. That front-of-house role is key for any organisation and Terry is unfailingly polite, respectful and helpful."
Also honoured with an MBE was Clare Wright, personal assistant to Ioan Morgan, principal of Warwickshire College.
Ms Wright, who was honoured for services to further education, joined the former College of Agriculture at Moreton Morrell in 1983 when it was threatened with closure. Ms Wright and others at the college saved it with a strategy that involved opening the campus for public events. She was appointed PA to Mr Morgan following the college's merger with Mid- Warwickshire College in 1996.
"Clare is a brilliant public servant," Mr Morgan said. "Her loyalty, commitment and dedication have been unswerving and we are delighted that she has been honoured in this way."
Among the others honoured were seven serving college principals and two former principals.
Lauran Chatburn, principal of Bury College, was one of two principals to be appointed a CBE. The other was Kathleen Thomas at Oldham College.
Ms Chatburn, who became principal in 2005 having joined the college in 1987 as curriculum manager of humanities and communication, said: "This announcement makes me so proud to have been able to be a part of Bury College's success."
Sujinder Sangha, principal of Stockton Riverside College, was appointed an OBE. Mr Sangha said his honour would not have happened without the hard work of all at the college. He added: "We are redoubling our efforts in the contribution we make to our local learners, communities and employers in the challenging economic climate."
The Association of Learning Providers welcomed the news that four of its members, including chair Martin Dunford, are honoured.
CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE
This year's honours for services to further education
- Lauran Chatburn, principal of Bury College
- Emma Harrison, founder and chair of A4e Ltd
- Kathleen Thomas, principal of Oldham College
- Eileen Cavalier, founder of the London College of Beauty
- Martin Dunford, chair of the ALP
- Janette Faherty, chief executive officer of Avanta Enterprise Ltd
- Anthony Jakimciw, principal of Dumfries and Galloway College
- Bill McGawley, vice-chair of Training and Development Resource
- Jane Overbury, principal of Christ the King Sixth Form College
- Raymond Refausse, former director and chief executive of South West College, NI
- Edward Sallis, principal of Highlands College, Jersey
- Sujinder Sangha, principal of Stockton Riverside College
- John Smith, former principal of Burnley College
- Laraine Smith, principal of Uxbridge College
- Lynda Allen, chair, Sir John Deane's Sixth Form College
- Elizabeth Kay, University of the Third Age, Bolton
- Faruk Miah, programme manager at Leeds City College
- Elizabeth Milburn, chair of West Suffolk College Corporation
- Terry Nelson, security officer, Leeds City College
- Margaret Paisley, college manager, Elmwood College Residence and Student Union
- George Richardson, former chair of Calderdale College
- Norman Robertson, former curriculum leader in hospitality at Ayr College
- John Rowlands, economics, John Ruskin Sixth Form College
- Richard Spencer, biology, SRC Bede Sixth Form
- The Reverend Canon Michael Wedgeworth, former chair of governors at Blackburn College
- Clare Wright, personal assistant at Warwickshire College
- Beryl Wyatt, gardening assistant at Writtle College.