Accreditation is a system of voluntary, non-governmental, self-regulation and peer review unique to American educational institutions. It is a system by which an institution evaluates itself in accordance with standards of good practice regarding mission, goals, and objectives; the appropriateness, sufficiency, and utilization of resources; the usefulness, integrity, and effectiveness of its processes; and the extent to which it is achieving its intended student achievement and student learning outcomes, at levels generally acceptable for higher education. It is a process by which accreditors provide students, the public, and each other with assurances of institutional integrity and effectiveness and educational quality.

The Institutional Self-Evaluation Report is the mechanism by which an institution reports to its peers and is evaluated for accreditation.