In the past there has been much written about successful commercial software development projects while failures are largely ignored. Similarly, the software engineering education literature contains many references to successful course projects, while academic course project failures are rarely described. This paper provides an analysis of software engineering course project failures as well as practical recommendations for increasing the chances of successful projects. The failures are grouped into technical, personal and management categories. Our recommendations are based upon a synthesis of current approaches being adopted to various degrees in industry as well as our own personal experiences. Most of our non-technical recommendations have historically received very little attention in course offerings or even current popular software engineering texts. It is our goal in this paper to sensitize software engineering course instructors to the possible failures their project teams face as well as provide them with insight into increasing their teams chances for success.