The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a part of the National Security Investigations Division and acts as a bridge for government organizations that are interested in information on non-immigrants who are moving to the USA to attend school. SEVP provides approval and oversight to schools authorized to enroll F and M nonimmigrant students and gives guidance to both schools and students about the requirements for maintaining their status.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an online system that the US Department of Homeland Security uses to keep up-to-date information on student and exchange visitor programs. They have this in place to protect national security, while also supporting the entry of international students. Institutions must use SEVIS to receive a certification with the student exchange visitor program. If a school does not obtain this, they cannot offer programs to international students. See a full list of approved institutions here.