From its inception the National Space Grant College & Fellowship Program has emphasized 5 major components in the implementation of this program.
- Diversity - recruitment and/or participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities throughout all aspects of the program.
- Competitiveness - accessibility by a wide field of applicants and established review processes to select the most qualified individuals and programs.
- NASA Ties - relationships that have been established with NASA Centers and Enterprises for the purposes of implementation, coordination, communication, or dissemination.
- Industry Relations - relationships with private industry that have been established to increase the effectiveness of Space Grant programs through sharing of resources, including funds, facilities, and personnel expertise.
- State Government Involvement - relationships that have been established with state government for the purposes of implementation, coordination, communication, or dissemination.
TSGC has interwoven each of these 5 emphases into each of its program elements
TSGC actively recruits the participation of underrepresented groups in all of its programs. This philosophy runs as an unbroken thread through all TSGC activities from program management to General Public Outreach programs. Representatives from Minority Serving Institutions serves on every TSGC advisory panel, comprise half of the Consortium's Fellowship Selection committee, and have a reserved seat on the Consortium's Board of Directors. Ten of TSGC's 27 academic affiliates are federally designated as Minority Serving Institutions. All TSGC programs not only encourage the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities but specifically target their inclusion. Special programs have been developed for and implemented in areas of the state that have high concentrations of underrepresented minorities. Student organizations that cater to women and minorities are targeted in the distribution of program announcements. In 2002, even though severely hampered by the 1996 Hopwood vs. Texas ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals which prohibited public institutions from considering ethnicity their selection processes, TSGC's Fellowship and Scholarship program was able to more than double the number of women and minority applicants and to increase the number of awards given to minorities by 67%.
TSGC strongly embraces the philosophy of utilizing competitiveness to increase the quality of its programs. TSGC not only competitively awards all program, fellowship and scholarship funding but also emphasizes the competitive selection of program participants. All TSGC programmatic funds are awarded competitively through a peer-review selection process. TSGC maintains a proposal evaluation committee in each program area that routinely reviews incoming proposals. These committees are comprised of proven experts in their fields. Evaluation criteria include NASA focus, customer identification and service, diversity factors, partnership among consortium members, and how the program will be sustained in the future when TSGC funding ceases.
TSGC's fellowship and scholarship funds are also awarded on a competitive basis. These programs are open to any student attending TSGC affiliate institutions.
The result of the competitive approach is that in the last 5 years no single institution has received more than 10% of TSGC program, fellowship, and scholarship funds.
TSGC has long standing relationships with NASA centers and personnel. NASA centers and personnel are integrally involved in every aspect of the Consortium and in all programmatic areas. The Consortium conducts joint research with Langley Research Center in the area of sensor platform development for Mars exploration. NASA personnel have participated in the development and implementation of over half of the Consortium's Pre-College Education programs. All of TSGC's Higher Education programs maintain close ties with NASA centers through: NASA mentors, NASA defined design projects, utilization of NASA equipment, NASA reviewers. Three of TSGC's programs have been developed or greatly expanded at the specific request of the NASA centers that provided the majority of their funding. NASA/ Johnson Space Center maintains an office in Austin at the Consortium for the specific purpose of fostering close ties with the Texas Space Grant Consortium and the University of Texas Center for Space Research. These partnerships include 5 different NASA centers representing over 4 man-years of collaborative effort.
Since its inception TSGC has maintained close ties with private industry. Private industry consortium members routinely sponsor TSGC events, co-fund TSGC programs, participate in membership activities, and serve on the Consortium's Board of Directors. Industry has contributed well over $600,000 to TSGC projects in the last five years through joint research with TSGC affiliates and sponsorship of Higher Education and Pre-College Education programs. TSGC's Research Infrastructure Development program is specifically designed to foster strong ties between the Consortium's academic affiliates and industry through jointly funded research. Boeing Company, United Space Alliance, and Lockheed Martin have played major rolls in advising the Consortium on its activities through active participation on TSGC's Board of Directors, speaking at its meetings, and serving on advisory panels.
TSGC maintains strong ties with several State of Texas government agencies. The two state agencies that most closely align with TSGC's mission are the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Aerospace Commission. These strong relationships have had a significant impact on the Consortium in two major areas  Implementation of new programs and  establishing partnerships with other organizations.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board [THECB] holds a permanent position on the TSGC Board of Directors. This organization is responsible for working with the Legislature, Governor, and colleges and universities to coordinate Texas higher education and expand access, improve equality and promote efficiency in the system. The THECB has been extremely active in the Consortium by providing contacts at all Texas institutions of higher education, reviewing research proposals, and in the development of the Consortium's Research Infrastructure Development program. Dr. Linda Domelsmith, Director of Research Programs and member of the TSGC Board of Directors, has played an integral role in the development of TSGC's Research Infrastructure program which is based upon a state funded research program she oversees.
The Texas Aerospace Commission is responsible for the economic development of the Aeronautics and Aerospace Industries in the State of Texas. Bill Looke, the Executive Director, serves on the Consortium's Board of Directors and plays an active role in the Consortium.